Sick people shouldn’t bother calling the 111 phone line and should check their symptoms online instead, a top doctor has urged.
Those with minor complaints are able to find most of the information they need on the NHS website according to Welsh Chief Medical Officer Dr Sir Frank Atherton.
He said that call centres are being overwhelmed as a result of a spate in Covid and flu cases.
Dr Sir Frank told the BBC: “What we are advising people to do is go to the website first - the 111 website - where they can access a lot of information that can steer them in the best way to manage their condition.”
His warning comes amid a prediction from doctors that this winter will be the worst on record for waiting times in A&E departments.
The Royal College of Emergency Medicine president Dr Adrian Boyle said: “The gallows joke about this is now that 24 hours in A&E is not a documentary, it’s a way of life.
“These long delays are harmful for people - they are sick and need hospital but are waiting in the corridor of an emergency department.