Doctors and nurses at Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust have urged caution during the holidays, following record numbers of patients in A&E last year.

According to Epsom and St Helier, the festive period last year saw high numbers of patients visiting emergency departments, including 326 people on Christmas day.

Joint medical director Dr James Marsh said: “As always, our staff are on hand to care for people who need us and we have put extra steps in place to deal with the number of people who need hospital treatment this festive period.

“But I would like to strongly urge everyone to take precautions to try prevent any unnecessary visits to A&E.”

To help prevent celebrations being cut short, doctors and nurses at Epsom and St Helier came up with a list of tips to stay safe this Christmas.​

Picking up your prescriptions before the holidays is one way to stay safe, as is stocking up on paracetamol, decongestants, antihistamines, heartburn and anti-diarrhoea medicine and antiseptic cream.

Epsom and St Helier also recommends giving yourself enough time to cook, keeping children out of the kitchen and wiping any kitchen spills as soon as they occur.

According to Epsom and St Helier, it’s also advisable to avoid alcohol until you've finished cooking and never leave food cooking or open flames unattended.

Epsom and St Helier also said to “keep clutter to a minimum and make sure stairs are well-lit and free from obstacles as falls are quite a common accident around the holidays”.

Don’t forget to limit how much alcohol you drink and try to alternate with water or non-alcoholic drinks.

Finally, all candles should be placed away from curtains on steady, non-flammable surfaces and tea lights inside appropriate containers.

Dr Marsh added: “We hope everyone has a safe and happy Christmas.