HEALTH workers are urging people to seek medical advice early if they feel unwell or a member of their family becomes ill.

This is particularly important for those who are very young, elderly, frail or people who have existing health problems.

NHS staff says seeking medical intervention early can help ensure you get prompt treatment for any ailments and avoid situations where emergency treatment is needed – helping ease pressure on local emergency departments (A&E).

Local GP and member of NHS Dorset CCG Dr Patrick Seal said: “Time is important in helping prevent your condition from getting worse. If it’s not an emergency consider services such as 111 or your GP during the day.

“When it is a genuine emergency do not hesitate to call 999”.

Dr Rachel Wharton, clinical director and consultant in emergency medicine at Dorset County Hospital, said: "It is better to seek medical attention earlier in an illness or after an injury as to leave things too late can risk the condition getting worse and possibly becoming more difficult to treat or cure.

“Local pharmacies are a good source of advice or the practise nurse or GP during the normal working week.

“Out of hours there will still be pharmacies open and there is always the 111 number to support you in making the right choice about your care.

“Your local emergency department is always open but should really be reserved for those emergencies which cannot be dealt with by another healthcare provider.”

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