Tricia D’Orsi is the chief nurse at Castle Point and Rochford Clinical Commissioning Group.

Tricia has worked in a variety of care settings, but the majority of her career has been in General Practice, where she once credited as being one of the leading Practice Nurses in the country by the Royal College of Nursing.

In her role as Chief Nurse, Tricia sits on the board of the CCG Governing body, a role which carries a wide range of responsibilities including; protecting the interests of patients, working closely with senior healthcare professionals and management to offer advice about improvements to services, monitoring and evaluating the quality and safety of care provision locally and driving forward increased choices for patients.

Despite best efforts across the NHS, clinical commissioning groups in south Essex are warning that the average number of A&E attendances has once again, increased significantly this winter.

It is estimated that approximately 11 per cent of people who attend A&E are sent home requiring no treatment.

A further 38 per cent receive guidance or advice for minor ailments and conditions such as colds, flu, coughs, muscular pain, toothache or allergies, which could easily be managed safely and effectively at home, or with advice from a pharmacist.

Please remember that the local ambulance service and emergency departments are for emergencies only.

If people need medical help or advice urgently, NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Simply call NHS 111 from your landline or mobile to access advice or to make an appointment to see a local out-of-hours GP or nurse.

They can also help you to access other appropriate NHS services if needed.