Only attend A&E if you have a 'life-threatening injury or illness', health bosses warn
The county's A&E departments are under "extreme pressure" according to health bosses, who say people should only attend if they have a "life-threatening injury or illness".
Dr Nick White, Chief Medical Officer for NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, has warned both A&Es at Shrewsbury and Telford are "experiencing extremely high levels of demand".
He said people are being urged to ‘think which service’ and choose the right one for their needs to help reduce the pressure on health services.
People are being encouraged to consider whether they need urgent help, or there are alternatives, and have been warned that they may face a "very long wait" at A&E.
Dr White said: “Our health and care system is experiencing extremely high levels of demand which is hitting our A&E departments the hardest. This is exacerbated by limited bed availability due to delays in discharging patients who are well enough to leave hospital.
“We are taking additional steps to increase capacity and to ensure that patients who need our help continue to get the support they need as quickly as possible. Please only attend A&E in cases of a genuine life-threatening emergency. This way we can keep A&E free for those people who are critically ill or injured.
“If you have a minor injury or illness, you are likely to face a very long wait if you come to A&E, please consider alternative ways to get help.”
A statement from the county's health services said: "People should only go to an emergency department if they have a life-threatening injury or illness. Residents should attend appointments as booked and access the care as appropriate. There is no need to call and check if an appointment is going ahead. If an appointment is cancelled, those people affected will be contacted directly.
"For help finding the right help fast, visit www.thinkwhichservice.co.uk."
Bosses have also published a list of where to get help.
* Visit NHS 111 online or call 111 if you need urgent medical help. They can direct you to the right place and help you get treated sooner.
* Use your local pharmacist for minor ailments such as upset stomachs, earache, skin rashes and for relief of coughs and colds. § Consider using your local Minor Injury Unit in Bridgnorth, Ludlow, Oswestry and Whitchurch. These can provide rapid treatment for injuries and illnesses that don’t require emergency hospital care.
* You can also contact your local GP if you have persistent or sudden symptoms
* If you have a loved one or family member in hospital, please help us get them home as soon as they are well enough to leave our care.