The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn.

Health leaders in Norfolk are asking people to only use A&E for serious emergencies – and to call 111 or visit their local pharmacy or GP first for everything else.

The “urgent plea” is aimed at raising awareness of alternative services available for people needing urgent medical advice and treatment.

Melanie Craig, chief executive of NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The message is clear, please do not go to A&E if it’s not a serious emergency.

“Alternative treatment options are available and finding the right service for you may be quicker and closer to home.

“A&E is there to deal with genuine life-threatening emergencies.”

The best way to get the medical help you need is to phone NHS 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk for anything that feels urgent, or if you are unsure what to do. In life-threatening emergencies  dial 999.