PEOPLE have been urged to use the right health care facilities as the borough prepares for a tough winter.

Royal Bolton Hospital has seen a high number of patients coming through the doors this week – with some people needing treatment that could be given out via NHS 111, a pharmacy, or a GP.

Dr Francis Andrews, medical director at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, urged people to only come to A&E if they really needed to.

He said: “It’s really important that we save our emergency care for people who really need it. We're experiencing high demand for our emergency services and in some cases, people are coming in with issues that could be seen elsewhere.

“Our staff are doing an amazing job of caring for the most unwell people and making sure that everyone gets the help they need, as quickly as possible. Please help them by making sure you only come into hospital if you have an appointment or if you need urgent help.”

As covid-19 infections rise, and the hospital prepares for the usual winter pressures faced by flu and seasonal illnesses, it's more important than ever to leave A&E for the most serious cases.

Call 111 to ask for advice if you're unsure where to seek help.