Hospital chiefs have issued a statement after A&E in Bolton was overflowing with people.

The Bolton News reported this week that the Royal Bolton Hospital's casualty was struggling with numbers with four times more people attending that it has space for.

And waiting times have reached four hours in some cases.

Hospital bosses say there is immense pressure on the service - with waiting times remaining at four hours.

Jo Street, Director of Operations at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Right now in our A&E we have four times more people than we have space.

"Wait times are significantly more than four hours.

“We know it can be difficult to access the right healthcare service, but coming to A&E isn’t always the right choice.

“If you’ve had an emergency, an accident or something that is life-threatening, please come to us.

“If it’s not life-threatening or an emergency, please ring 111 or access 111 online, find a pharmacy or ring your GP.

“We are doing everything we can to treat people who need us most and to keep everyone safe and well whilst we are experiencing this busy period.”

Patients are being warned that are likely to have to stand because they are having more people attending A&E, who they can usually accomodate.

A spokesperson for the hospital said: "We understand it is difficult for patients and not everybody knows which service to pick.

"When we can see that A&E isn't the right option for you we will try and give some patient education and explain that.

"Things that probably would be better managed elsewhere would be minor ailments or conditions that you've had for a long time that haven't got acutely worse today, things like that you could see your pharmacist or GP."

People are being advised to only visit A&E if they have a life threatening injury or have a serious illness.