Families across South Tyneside are being asked to help ease pressure on their local A&E department over the forthcoming Easter bank holiday weekend.
If you have a non-emergency health issue, you can contact 111 to make a GP appointment or visit your local pharmacy for advice.
There are a number of options available across the bank holiday weekend.
Chris Gray, medical director for NHS England Cumbria and the North East, said: “If people have a non-emergency health problem over the Easter weekend, they should please call 111 to make an appointment with a GP. By doing this, they will receive the most appropriate care and advice and, in most cases, will be seen quicker than if they go to an A&E department.
“Pharmacists can also provide instant, confidential advice and treatment for minor illnesses, without the need to make an appointment.
“This is a plea for people to use our NHS services responsibly to make sure that NHS staff, who work incredibly hard around the clock, can provide appropriate care to patients.
“Our A&E departments can get extremely busy over bank holidays and we want to ensure that patients who really need emergency care receive the quickest possible treatment they need, and that people who can be cared for elsewhere are not waiting in accident and emergency departments."
Many urgent care and walk-in centres will also be open. To find out which services are open and at what times, call 111.
If you need further information you can visit The NHS Choices website here, or download the NHS child health app from Google Play of the App Store.