People are being asked to help their local emergency services by using A&E wisely following a sudden surge in demand.
The A&E department at Royal Lancaster Infirmary has experienced a large increase in patients attending, putting extra pressure on services.
A spokesman said: “We are experiencing increased pressure on our A&E services and we are calling on the public to help us.
“For several months now, the hospital Trust has been able to meet its four hour A&E target; however, it does occasionally experience sudden increases in attendance which is impacting on the time for patients to be seen, treated and either discharged or admitted.
“While we will see and treat all patients who attend, there are those who could be better treated elsewhere.
“Please help us make sure our staff are free to treat those most in need, such as those who have a serious illness or injury.
“If someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, then 999 should be called. An emergency is a critical or life-threatening situation, such as a suspected heart attack, acute confused state and fits that are not stopping, loss of consciousness, breathing difficulties, chest pain, head injuries or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.
“However, coughs, colds, sore throats and other minor ailments such as sprains, do not necessarily require a trip to A&E. Please ring the NHS advice line on 111 if you are unsure.
“If you have a minor illness or injury that needs attention, visit your nearest pharmacist or speak to your GP.
“We are continuing to work in collaboration with our partners across health and social care - to ensure that patients are discharged appropriately, and in a timely fashion, and that those
people who need the services we provide are treated as quickly as possible.”
Details of pharmacy opening times, as well as advice on caring for yourself and your family at home, are available here: