PRESSURE on accident and emergency services, due to a rise in the number of elderly patients, has led Isle of Wight health bosses to urge people to seek advice before going to hospital.
Isle of Wight NHS said it was under a great deal of pressure due to a rise in the number of elderly patients being admitted in the last week.
Director of nursing and workforce Alan Sheward called on those with minor conditions to seek help from a pharmacy, GP or the 111 phone service, rather than visit the Beacon Centre.
Figures revealed that the number of people across the south heading to emergency departments, calling 999 and visiting GPS had continued to rise and that a small percentage of these visits did not need medical intervention.
Mr Sheward added that if the condition was something that could wait for a doctors appointment a GP would have a full medical history for the patient and be better placed to treat them.
NHS Isle of Wight Trust urged patients to ensure they have sufficient supplies of any medicines they need and said to contact a doctor if a condition was not going away, getting worse or recurring and affecting day to day life.
Common complaints that can be treated at a pharmacy included mild eczema, colds, minor cuts and bruises, hayfever, aches and pains and diarrhoea, a spokesman said.
The 24-hour 111 service should be used for those who need medical help fast, but when it was not a 999 emergency.