Health bosses are reminding people across Northumberland to use the most appropriate services for the severity of their symptoms.
Following changes in emergency care which took place in June, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has launched a public awareness campaign in the run-up to Christmas to ensure people understand where they should go for help and support from their local NHS.
The campaign will remind people that the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington is for serious or life-threatening emergencies only – most of which arrive by emergency blue light ambulance or via emergency GP admission.
People with less serious problems who need urgent medical attention for non-life threatening conditions, are being reminded about 24-hour urgent care centres where they can walk in and be seen promptly without having to wait behind more serious emergency cases.
Dr Chris Biggin, clinical director of emergency care at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We always see more people needing help from the NHS during winter and it is really important that people think about how they are using services and know where to go for help.
“We would urge people who have less serious problems to use our 24 walk-in centres.”