As the number of people seeking emergency care rises over the weekend, NHS staff are asking the public to choose wisely if they need help for less serious injuries and aliments.

A Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust spokesperson said: "Please help us help you by making sure you use the service that's most appropriate for your needs. Making the right choice will let our hospitals, the emergency department and ambulance service focus on those who are most seriously injured or unwell."

It comes just days after people were urged to collect loved ones from hospital as soon as they were discharged, with almost 300 beds being 'blocked' on one day alone this week.

READ MORE: 'Please pick up your loved ones!' Near 300 hospital beds tied up on one day alone

Here's how the trust says you can help:

• Visit your pharmacy for expert help with things like bites and stings, a cough or a sore throat, sunburn and hayfever, and even urinary infections

• Download the free NHS HandiApp which provides advice about common childhood conditions. Most fevers, and coughs can be treated with Calpol, drinking water, and will improve within a week.

• For things that aren’t urgent, like sick notes, prescription requests, medical records and GP letters – go to your surgery website and use eConsult.

• Make sure you have enough regular medication and don’t leave repeat prescription requests until you have run out. Talk to your pharmacist to arrange an urgent supply of medication if you do run out.

• Call your own GP – even if you’re on holiday. Many consultations can be carried out over the phone or video call, saving you a trip to the surgery and keeping face to face appointments free for those who need it most. You will always be asked to come in if a GP or nurse needs to examine you but you may need to wait for an appointment in these busy times.

• If you’re concerned about your own or someone else’s mental health call 0800 038 5300, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or search mental health crisis Cornwall.

• Go online to NHS 111 if you need medical help, or think you need to visit a minor injury unit.

• Do not visit the emergency department unless you have a serious or life-threatening condition such as a stroke, breathing difficulties, or a heart attack.

• Only call 999 if you have a genuine, life-threatening emergency such as serious illness or injury, major blood loss, chest pain or loss of consciousness. If you call for an ambulance, do not call back for an arrival time.

• Take relatives home when they are ready for discharge from hospital. Financial support is available in the form of a one-off discharge grant for people who are ready to leave hospital but need a bit of extra care and support to return home. To date 27 grants have been paid to help people to return home.

• Grab a Covid jab for the th best protection against Covid-19. They are available for everyone aged 16 or over. Call 119 or visit to book your appointment, or visit one of the walk-in centres.