PEOPLE needing medical help over the May bank holiday are being urged to make sure they choose the right options for minor injuries and illnesses.
NHS England wants to make sure patients know the best place to go if they hurt themselves doing DIY or gardening, or during a barbecue cookout.
Choosing well will ensure patients receive the best possible treatment, while freeing up busy NHS services to help the people who need them most.
Dr Martin Lee of the NHS said: "Bank Holiday weekends are always a busy time for the NHS and particularly for A and E departments that are seen as the first port of call.
"People take advantage of the long weekend to participate in a range of sporting activities or catch up on jobs around the home by carrying out DIY which can lead to injury.
“Many patients end up with long waits in A and E when they suffer a minor illness, such as a stomach upset ,when they could be treated more quickly by seeking advice from their local pharmacist or even by themselves with basic first aid. NHS 111 can give fast, reliable telephone advice and arrange for patients see an out-of-hours GP if necessary.”
Patients are also encouraged to visit nhs.uk/Conditions/Pages/hub.aspx for advice on treating common conditions.