People are being urged to only go to the Accident and Emergency department at Macclesfield Hospital if absolutely necessary.
The hospital's A&E services have become very busy in recent days, partly due to a high volume of seasonal illnesses currently in circulation. As a result, East Cheshire NHS Trust is reminding people that A&E should only be used for major, life-threatening illnesses and injuries.
Generally, you should visit A&E or call 999 for emergencies, such as:
• Loss of consciousness
• Acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
• Persistent, severe chest pain
• Breathing difficulties
• Severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
For illnesses that are less urgent, people should first contact their local pharmacies, GP surgery or NHS 111. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can advise you on the best local service for the care you need.
East Cheshire NHS Trust's GP Out-of-Hours Service can also be used for assessment, advice and treatment as required for urgent healthcare problems that cannot safely wait until your GP surgery is open. The GP Out-of-Hours Service can be contacted by telephone via NHS 111.
Local pharmacies can also offer help, advice and treatment for lots of common conditions. A list of local pharmacies across Eastern Cheshire and their opening hours can be found here on East Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group's website.
Trust Chief Executive John Wilbraham said: "We are currently seeing a very high volume of patients attending our A&E department and this is creating significant challenges for our services.
"That is why it is vital that the only people coming in to A&E are those who really need to. We are asking people to save A&E for emergencies and instead consider options such as local pharmacies, GP surgeries and NHS 111 for less urgent health issues."