Don't clog up A&E if you really don't need to be there
Please don't make Accident and Emergency your automatic choice unless your condition is serious or life threatening - that's the plea from the NHS in Lincolnshire.
ULHT (United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust) says it is experiencing exceptionally high demand for its services due to the long Christmas holiday and cold weather.
Accident and Emergency departments are seeing unprecedented numbers of patients - a 30 per cent increase - so it is imperative that only those acute emergency patients attend A&E.
With this increased pressure the trust is asking patients to think carefully and consider all options before coming to an Accident and Emergency department. There are a range of alternatives, including GPs, contacting your local pharmacy or calling the NHS 111 service.
With all the seasonal bugs around now, there has also been an increase in the numbers of medical staff reporting short-term sickness.
A spokesman said: "We urge everyone to think twice before they go to A&E - if it's not serious or life threatening, you shouldn't be there."
The Christmas weekend saw East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EMAS) deal with 5,448 more calls than during the same period last year (an eight per cent increase), the NHS 111 service also saw an increase of 20,000 more calls than during the same period last year.
The range of alternative services available in the Boston area include:
Your local pharmacist can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints, without you having to go to your GP or other healthcare setting.
● NHS 111
NHS 111 is a service which makes it easier for you to access NHS services. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year and is free when you telephone 111. You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it is not a 999 emergency.
● GP Out of Hours service
If you need a doctor out of normal hours, dial NHS 111 to contact the GP Out of Hours service.