People have been urged to only attend A&E departments if they are facing life or limb-threatening emergencies. 

Bradford Royal Infirmary and Airedale Hospital has seen a "severe reduction" in staffing levels as junior doctors take part in 72-hour industrial action. 

The strike action will run continuously until the day shift starts on Thursday morning (March 16).

It has sparked a warning from NHS leaders as significant pressure mounts on wards. 

Saj Azeb, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive at Braford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The junior doctors’ industrial action has severely reduced the number of doctors we have in our hospitals, and this is especially so in A&E. That’s why we have to prioritise the clinically most urgent patients.

“People can really help us during this time by only using A&E services when absolutely necessary. There are many other ways to get healthcare advice and treatment which will be quicker and will help us care for those who need us most.”

If people attend A&E with non-urgent or emergency conditions, waiting times will be significantly longer than usual.

Instead, people should visit or call 111, or contact their local GP or visit their pharmacist.

Leanne Cooper, Chief Operating Officer at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust added: “We need the public’s help to only come to A&E if it is a genuine life/limb-threatening emergency so we can care for our sickest patients.

“If you do come with a non-urgent problem your wait time will be significantly longer and you could have got help from NHS 111, your GP or local pharmacist in the meantime.”