PATIENTS are putting ‘significant pressure’ on Warwick Hospital’s A&E department by attending with minor injuries and illnesses.
Health bosses say one in four people who go to A&E do not need to be there, and could seek alternative treatment, or even care for themselves.
By using the emergency department they are putting increasing stress on the already overloaded healthcare system.
Nearby University Hospital in Coventry and George Eliot in Nuneaton have also reported a rise in demand – despite people being able to call NHS 111 for advice or visiting their GP or pharmacy.
Hospital chiefs have warned those with minor injuries or ailments will face a longer wait as more serious cases are prioritised.
They say A&E should only be used for life-threatening or critical situations such as loss of consciousness, heavy blood loss, suspected broken bones, persistent chest pain, overdoses or poisoning.
A hospital spokeswoman said: “Many winter illnesses and injuries can be treated at home with over the counter medicine and rest. If people feel they need help then it is important they make use of the most appropriate NHS services including visiting their GP or pharmacist.
“Staff are continuing to do all they can to ensure that everyone coming into hospital who need help gets the care they need but we are urging people to help them by only attending if they really need to.”