THE Western NSW Local Health District says hospitals across the region have boosted staff numbers and put additional measures in place as the traditionally testing winter period begins.
Winter is a busy time for any hospital and the extra staff help ensure patients are seen as quickly as possible, according to a health district spokesman.
The spokesman said the Western NSW Local Health District experienced a significant rise in demand during the 2017 winter period.
From July to September alone, 33,859 people presented to emergency departments across the health district - an increase of nearly 3400 people or 11 per cent on the previous year.
And while the emergency department is always available, the spokesman reminded the community that they should visit their GP for treatment of less serious illnesses to leave emergency department beds available for those who really need them.
Western NSW Local Health District has strongly encouraged its own staff to get their flu shots and so far more than 3600 staff have been vaccinated.
Getting an annual vaccination is said to be the best protection against the flu.