Winter is the busiest time of the year for the NHS and it is reminding patients in Oxfordshire to only use emergency departments in an emergency.

The NHS are urging people to use alternative options in non-emergency situations.

Dr Ed Capo-Bianco, GP and urgent care lead, said: "We would urge people to attend Emergency Departments in an emergency only – GPs, pharmacists, and minor injuries units can all provide support for several conditions and injuries. NHS 111 can also put people in touch with medical professionals and signpost people to the most appropriate support.

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"We are working hard with our health and social care system colleagues to deliver a 'home first' approach, and help patients leave hospital and receive care closer to home – allowing staff to care for patients who genuinely need to be in hospital."

The NHS is suggesting patients in non-emergency situations use, self care, local pharmacies, NHS 111, minor injuries units and the local GP.

Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer at Oxford University Hospitals, said: "Winter is always a time of high pressure for Emergency Departments nationally, and our hospitals are no different .The increased acuity of patients coming to our Emergency Departments at the John Radcliffe and Horton General hospitals is reflected in the increased number of ED patients being admitted to hospital for treatment. On average, 300 – 400 patients are coming to our Emergency Departments every day this winter."