People are being urged to stay away from A&E.

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust has issued the advice ‘due to an exceptionally high surge in attendances at our A&E department’.

The public is being asked not to go to A&E with common winter illnesses unless they are advised to do so by a doctor or pharmacist or it is a genuine emergency.

The trust has advised that mergency cases will be seen and treated as usual and people will be seen in order of clinical priority.

Dr Rebecca Mallard Smith, clinical director for Urgent Care for the two Clinical Commissioning Groups in Bucks and a practising GP in Prestwood said: “The Accident and Emergency departments only have the capacity to treat people who have serious, life-threatening or dangerous conditions and ambulances should only be called in genuine emergencies.

“But we would like to reassure people that emergency cases will be seen and treated as usual, with priority given to those with greatest clinical need.

“Please do not attend hospitals with common winter illnesses, such as chest infections, coughs and colds, diarrhoea or vomiting.

“If you think you have the flu, the best remedy is usually to rest at home, keep warm and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

“You can take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower a high temperature and relieve aches if necessary.

“Stay off work or school until you’re feeling better. For most people, this will take about a week.

“Consult a doctor or pharmacist if symptoms persist or are severe, but there is no benefit in attending A&E unless you are advised to do so.”

The trust issued a plea on Twitter, and it comes just days after the Red cross branded the situation in our hospitals as a 'humanitarian crisis'.

Options for non-emergency situations include calling 111 for free medical advice, visiting your GP, going to your local pharmacist or consulting the Health Help Now app or website.

The Minor Illness and Injury Unit at Wycombe is also open 24 hours, seven days a week.

Always phone 999 or go to accident and emergency for life threatening conditions.

111 is free of charge for advice if you need urgent medical help and are not sure what to do. It is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.