Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH) is urging the public to think before going to A&E this winter.
With a range of local NHS healthcare services available, minor conditions, such as coughs, colds and other common illnesses are able to be managed safely and effectively at home or with advice from a pharmacist.
If members of the public do not have a life threatening illness or injury an appointment should be made with their GP. If their GP practice is closed, they can call NHS 111 for free, 24 hours a day.
Michael Wilson CBE, chief executive at SASH who run East Surrey Hospital, said: “A&E is for serious or life threatening emergencies only – hospitals are very busy places all year round, especially in winter, with A&E staff dealing with critically ill people and emergencies, like strokes and heart attacks.
“If you do become ill over the winter, rather than just going straight to A&E, I would urge you to think about which local health service is right for you. Help us to ensure everyone gets the care they need.”
Download alternatives to A&E leaflet here