People are being urged to use the right NHS service for their needs, as local health services have been put under increased pressure due to high demand across the county.
Leaders from the Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) are asking people to do what they can to prevent themselves becoming unwell and make sensible decisions when it comes to choosing the right NHS service if they need help.
They recommend in a non-emergency or life-threatening situation people take action at the first signs of symptoms of winter illness such as colds, coughs, sore throat, small cuts or grazes, by resting at home or using over-the-counter medicines.
Pharmacist are best for advice and treating illnesses like diarrhoea, earache, painful cough, sticky eye, teething and rashes. Managing health conditions effectively is a good thing, but you must seek medical advice if you are unsure, calling NHS 111 or using 111.nhs.uk is best if you are feeling unwell, or if you need health advice and guidance in a non-life-threatening emergency.
The NHS and local authorities in the region are working together to manage demand to ensure people continue to receive safe and effective care in the area.
People can help to reduce pressure on health services by using the most appropriate NHS service for their needs or by helping a relative in hospital to return home when they are fit for discharge.
Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin STP’s Clinical Lead, Dr Jane Povey, said: "Our healthcare system has been incredibly busy, with a particularly high number of attendances and admissions into our A&E departments.
"We have well-rehearsed plans in place to manage this demand, but we expect the pressures to continue - and we're asking the public to help us by using the right services for their needs.
"The public can help NHS staff by talking to a pharmacist for expert advice about winter bugs before they get worse, getting their flu jab if they’re eligible, or using the NHS 111 phone or online service if they need medical help fast but aren’t sure what to do.
"If you need help urgently but aren't sure where to go, you can also contact NHS 111 for immediate advice and guidance.
"We're also asking people who have a loved one in hospital to support them to return home as soon as they are able."
Choosing the right NHS service will help the public get the best advice quicker and will help reduce pressure on both A&E and GP services, freeing them up to help those who need them most.