People in Coventry and Warwickshire urged to choose the right care

People are being urged to use health services wisely as all hospitals across Coventry and Warwickshire are extremely busy.

Local hospitals are seeing large numbers of people who are attending Accident and Emergency departments with minor illnesses when they could be treated elsewhere.

As many as one in four people who go to A&E could care for themselves or use alternative treatment. A&E should only be used for critical or life-threatening situations requiring medical attention, such as loss of consciousness, heavy blood loss, suspected broken bones, persistent chest pain, difficulty breathing, overdoses, ingestion or poisoning. People with minor injuries and ailments should not attend at the A&E department and are warned they will face longer waits than normal as more serious cases are prioritised.

People who have booked appointments or operations should continue to attend as planned, unless they have been contacted directly and advised not to attend.

People are being urged to use alternative NHS services where appropriate such as NHS 111, local pharmacies, and to make an appointment with their GP in the normal way. A&E departments will provide the best possible care for life-threatening illness and injury, but people should only go there in a real emergency. Those with minor injuries such as cuts or sprains have the option of attending minor injury units and walk-in centres. Details of all the services in your area can be found at:

People can also watch a video where Dr Charles Ashton at South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust shares how people can get the right care at

NHS staff are continuing to do all they can to ensure that everyone coming into hospital who needs help can get the care they need.

People can also help themselves and their families to stay healthy by getting the flu jab. Talk to your GP or local pharmacist for more information, or visit the NHS Choices website.