THE trust which runs Basingstoke hospital has said its experiencing 'high levels of demand' and is urging people to 'think carefully' about the help they need.

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has taken to social media to express the plea.

Posting on Twitter, the team wrote: "We are currently experiencing high levels of demand across all our sites with long waits for non-urgent care.

"We are always here for you if you need us but please think about the best way to get the help you need. For instance, NHS 111 online or your local pharmacy."

It comes after other NHS leaders in Hampshire issued a plea last month, asking residents to 'choose well' when selecting the care they need, following increased demand on emergency services across the board, including "immense pressure" on the ambulance team.

Dr Derek Sandeman, chief medical officer at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System, said: ““The best way that people can continue to show support is by thinking carefully about the help they need and choosing well – not just to help the staff, but to help themselves get the right help, quickly.

"Emergency Departments will always be there for anyone facing a really serious or life-threatening emergency, but for everyone else there are excellent options which are quicker, and more convenient."

A Hampshire Hospitals spokesperson said: "We are experiencing high levels of demand across our hospitals, and our emergency departments (ED) continue to be particularly busy. Our staff are working incredibly hard to care for everyone who needs our help.

"Please help us by thinking about the best way to get the treatment you need; only come to ED if it’s an emergency, and visit to find the best service for your needs.

"We are always here for you, but patients who come to our emergency departments for non-urgent care may experience longer waits than normal. We are doing everything we can to care for patients as quickly as possible."