A sharp rise in temperatures saw the busiest day of the year at A&E departments in Worthing and Chichester last weekend.
Staff in the emergency departments at Worthing Hospital and St Richard’s in Chichester treated around 500 people in 24 hours on Sunday July 17.
The figure marked a 32 per cent from the average daily demand for accident and emergency at the hospitals, and the intense pressure has lead to calls to reiterate the need to save A&E for saving lives.
Dr George Findlay, Medical Director at Western Sussex Hospitals, said: “Our A&E departments are extremely busy – but not everyone who attends our units in Worthing and Chichester has come to the right place to receive the right care for them.
“If you’re not a real emergency you could get quicker treatment closer to home by calling 111 or visiting your local pharmacist.
“Across the country, one in four people who go to A&E could receive effective care and treatment from other NHS services.
“By choosing not to go to A&E when you could receive effective care by another service, our highly skilled A&E teams are able to focus on people suffering from strokes, heart attacks and other life-threatening injuries and illnesses.”
Doctors stress that anyone with very serious injuries or urgent conditions should not refrain from visiting emergency departments, but that A&E stands for accident and emergency only.
For advice on what to do, call NHS 111 for free health advice and assistance, or visit www.nhs.uk.
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