AN A&E doctor has warned the public against misusing "extremely busy" emergency rooms. 

Calum Lightbody, a consultant at the emergency unit at University Hospital Hairmyres, made the plea in a video message posted to NHS Lanarkshire's Twitter account today. 

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He said: "Like many departments across the country, our A&E has been extremely busy in these last couple of weeks. Certainly as busy as at any time I can remember. 

"While we have had a number of seriously ill and critically ill patients in in that time, we've also had a number of patients with conditions that really would be better treated elsewhere."

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Long-term back pain, skin rashes and earache are just three of the problems with which patients have presented at the hospital, despite not needing urgent medical attention, Mr Lightbody said. 

He added: "If you're not sure of where to go to with a health care problem then please phone NHS 24 on 111. They are available to help at any time, day or night. 

"If you just need health care advice, then please use the NHS Inform website, which is at

"I can assure the public that while A&E departments are extremely busy, we're still very much open for business and if you have an emergency condition, the please continue to use A&E as usual."

He also urged people to make use of their GP and phlocal pharmacy.