Wye Valley NHS Trust is advising people who do not need urgent medical treatment to seek advice from their local pharmacies or ring NHS 111 for guidance to avoid a trip to the Emergency Department.

The County Hospital has been extremely busy in recent weeks and it is advising that anyone who turns up seeking medical treatment that is not urgent could face a long wait as the most sick patients are being prioritised.

“Please think twice before visiting the Emergency Department – consider if your illness/injury could be treated at home with advice from NHS 111 where trained advisors can discuss your condition and help you to access the most suitable treatment,” said Jon Barnes, Chief Operating Officer at the Trust.

In recent days people have turned up with such things as a sore throat, earache, a nosebleed, feeling weak after being out in the sun and self-diagnosed high blood pressure – all conditions which could have been discussed with a medic via NHS111 rather than having to spend time waiting to be seen as they were not emergencies and did not need to be seen urgently.

“If you need urgent or emergency treatment, we will be there for you, but we are assessing patients and those who are seriously sick are being seen first – so you could face a long wait if you attend and you don’t need urgent care.”