DOCTORS are urging Stafford, Stone and Rugeley residents to dial 111 if they need non-urgent health services over Easter.
The numbers of patients going into A&E departments tend to go up during bank holiday periods.
But Stafford and Surrounds Clinical Commissioning Group is asking people to think before going to hospital this weekend and call the non-emergency number to get advice.
Stafford GP Dr Sue Knight, clinical leader for Stafford and Surrounds CCG, said: “Members of the public who call 111 will be assessed by highly-trained call handlers and clinical staff who can direct them to the nearest and most appropriate health services for treatment.
“Those call handlers can also make all the arrangements necessary if they assess the caller as being in need of emergency care.
“People often turn up at A&E or call 999 with illnesses and injuries that could be treated faster and more efficiently elsewhere and in doing so put extra pressure on emergency services at periods that are already busier than usual.”
Members of the public with smartphones can download the Choose Well mobile phone app, which gives information about the help available. It is available for free download, for Android users from Google Play Store and iTunes App Store for iPhone and iPad users.