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If you’re ill over Christmas, A&E might not be the best place for you – that’s the message from Havering GPs.

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The borough’s Clinical Commissioning Group is urging residents to be aware of the full range of health services available – including walk-in and urgent care centres, which treat injuries that are urgent but not life-threatening, and pharmacies.

For coughs and colds, your local pharmacy might be a better bet – and if you need advice on where to head, there’s always NHS 111, open 24/7.

Dr Atul Aggarwal, the group’s chair, said: “Choosing alternatives to A&E can help you to get the treatment and advice you need quickly and closer to home. It also allows A&E departments to concentrate their efforts on those in real need of emergency care.”

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