A sharp rise in temperatures saw demand at A&E soar last weekend, prompting calls to reiterate the need to reserve the service for urgent cases.
Emergency departments in Worthing and Chichester reported the busiest day of the year on Saturday July 17, but doctors say many could have been treated elsewhere.
Staff treated around 500 people in 24 hours in A&E departments at Worthing Hospital and St Richard’s in Chichester, a 32 per cent from the average daily demand.
Dr George Findlay, Medical Director at Western Sussex Hospitals, said: “Our A&E departments are extremely busy – but not everyone who attends our units in Worthing and Chichester has come to the right place to receive the right care for them.
“If you’re not a real emergency you could get quicker treatment closer to home by calling 111 or visiting your local pharmacist.
“Across the country, one in four people who go to A&E could receive effective care and treatment from other NHS services.
“By choosing not to go to A&E when you could receive effective care by another service, our highly skilled A&E teams are able to focus on people suffering from strokes, heart attacks and other life-threatening injuries and illnesses.”
Doctors stress that anyone with very serious injuries or urgent conditions should not refrain from visiting emergency departments, but that A&E stands for accident and emergency only.
For advice on what to do, call NHS 111 for free health advice and assistance, or visit www.nhs.uk.
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