BOSSES at Russells Hall hospital have issued an urgent appeal asking people to stay away from the A&E department unless their condition is life threatening.

Staff are currently experiencing unprecedented pressure on emergency services and people are being advised to visit a GP, walk-in centre or pharmacist unless they are suffering a genuine emergency.

Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust chief executive, Paula Clark, said: “We are at level four capacity which means we have extreme pressure on our services, and so patients who come to our A&E department will have a very long wait, we would urge patients to think twice before using the emergency services at Russells Hall Hospital.”