Posted on 24/12/2018 by
NHS bodies in Surrey and Hampshire are advising we call the 111 helpline if we feel ill over Christmas unless it is an emergency.
Local Clinical Commissioning Groups say serious or life-threatening conditions are considered emergencies - and only these should be seen in A&E.
They also advise people make sure they have enough medication to last over the Christmas period to avoid running out on bank holidays.
The advice echoes recent guidance from South East Coast Ambulance Service, who ask the public to dial 999 only for serious or life-threatening conditions.
Both groups advise people to use options other than A&E and 999 services over the festive season wherever possible, to will ease pressure on emergency services over Christmas and into the New Year.
Non-emergency options open over the holiday period include minor injuries units, pharmacist services and Out-Of-Hours GP services.
NHS 111 is available by phone or online 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be used to get health advice and to make an Out-Of-Hours GP appointment.
You can find details of NHS services near you on the NHS website.
Advice about how to stay well this winter is also available from the NHS online.