Our A&E departments and urgent treatment centres in north Cumbria are now publicising live waiting times. 

The data covers such details as current occupancy and how many patients have arrived in the past hour.

We hope that by sharing this information it will keep people better informed and help reduce frustrations when waiting.

No matter how busy our A&E departments are, the most seriously ill and injured patients will always be seen first and as quickly as possible.

The information is available to view for A&E departments in Carlisle and Whitehaven, as well as our Urgent Treatment Centres in Keswick and Penrith. 

The initiative aims to manage patient expectations and promote the often lower waiting times at Urgent Treatment Centres, suitable facilities for non-life-threatening cases.

A parent who recently had to visit A&E at WCH twice with her son who had two accidents on his push bike.

She said: “The first was fairly minor requiring wound cleaning, dressings and antibiotics, a tetanus injection and home.

“Just under two weeks later, my son came off his bike at speed a fell. This involved Paramedic attendance, an ambulance and another trip to A&E. Again, excellent care from start to finish.

“I met the ambulance outside A&E and was immediately reassured by a lovely crew, (they are usually based at Keswick), I was shaking with fear before the ambulance arrived. The crew were so kind to me and reassuring.

“In A&E more cleaning and patching up, X-rays and more antibiotics. Lovely caring professional staff.

“The following day, my son needed some attention to his dressings not wanting to overstretch staff in A&E, I contacted the Urgent Treatment Centre in Keswick, who advised me to bring him through. Seen promptly, all new dressing applied and appointment arranged for review in a couple of days. We were seen promptly and the care was excellent. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in his care at A&E at WCH. The service really is first class.

“I also want to praise the Urgent Treatment Centre at Keswick. What a fantastic resource. I can highly recommend it, what a lovely little unit.”

For emergencies, dial 999, and for non-emergencies refer to 111.nhs.uk, a UTC, your GP, or a pharmacy.

Live waiting times can be found on our website just go to our home page www.ncic.nhs.uk and look for the red emergency care hub – direct link https://www.ncic.nhs.uk/locations/emergency-care-hub

Are you feeling unwell? Choose the right place to go:

NHS 111
Call 111 if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do.
If you think you need medical help right now, 111 online can tell you what to do next. 111 online will not give you a diagnosis, but we will direct you to the best place to get help for your symptoms.

Emergency Departments | A&E | 999
A&E departments deal with life-threatening emergencies such as: stroke, heart attack, major trauma such as a road traffic accident, loss of consciousness, acute confused state, fits that are not stopping, chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding that cannot be stopped, severe allergic reactions, severe burns or scalds. If you or someone you know have any of these call 999 immediately.

Urgent Treatment Centres
This is the best place to go if you need urgent medical attention and it’s not life-threatening such as: sprains and strains, cuts and grazes, obvious broken bones (fractures), bites and stings, infected wounds, minor burns, head injury (if there has been no loss of consciousness), eye problems (such as minor eye infections, scratches or something that is stuck in your eye).

We have a range of healthcare professionals that work in the UTCs such as healthcare assistants, nurses and medical practitioners. You will be triaged and we will ensure that you will see the most appropriate clinician to treat you.

X-ray service is available at the UTC's at the following times:

Penrith: Monday - Friday 8.30-4.30pm

Keswick: Monday - Friday 9.30-12.30pm

GP Surgery
This is the best place to go if you have an have an illness or injury that will not go away or if you notice changes in your body that are not normal. This includes changes with moles, new lumps, coughs, aches or pains that do not go away, blood in your pee or poo and concerns about your mental wellbeing.

Pharmacists can help you with minor health concerns such as: coughs, colds and sore throats, flu, earache, cystitis, skin rashes, red eye, tummy trouble, indigestion and heartburn, aches and pains, teething, emergency contraception, weight management. You can find your closest pharmacy online: Find a pharmacy - NHS (www.nhs.uk) 

Self Care

Most common illnesses and problems will get better without the need to visit a doctor and can be treated at home. Click on the links for advice on how to manage your symptoms: back paincoldsconstipationcoughseczemaflufever in childrenheadacheindigestion and heartburnmigrainesleep problemsurinary tract infections (UTI)

You can also visit nhs.uk/live-well for self-care tips and tools and nhs.uk/staywell for advice on how to look after yourself.