NHS bosses are asking for the public’s help as the health service in the county faces unprecedented pressure.
The service is buckling under the strain of dealing with a rise in Covid patients being admitted to hospital, coupled with the impact the current heatwave.
The Met Office has issued a red warning for Bedford for Monday and Tuesday – which means extreme heat could lead to “widespread impacts on people and infrastructure”.
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A statement from NHS bosses said: “The public is being urged to only call 999 for an ambulance or attend A&E in the event that they have a genuine emergency – that is where not to do so would put someone’s life at risk.
"If in doubt, think 111 first. Go online - NHS 111 – for advice, or call NHS 1111 for an assessment and instruction on where to get urgent medical help.
“The overall message is simple – keep emergency medical services available for real emergencies.
"Please think about alternative ways to seek help with any healthcare issues and if you are advised that you do need hospital care, please consider whether it is safe for you to make your own way there.”