North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust remains busy caring for coronaviruRod-Harpin-Board-of-Directors-300x300.pngs patients despite the number of infections falling in the community. 

Dr Rod Harpin, Medical Director at the Trust said, “We are still caring for large numbers of patients in our hospitals with coronavirus, similar to the numbers we saw in the peak of the first wave. This is largely due to the length of time that it takes for the virus to run its course, and the fact that in this wave patients that do require hospital care tend to be sicker. Our intensive care units are still exceptionally busy.  

“We have continued to run urgent and emergency services and we are starting to make plans for some routine services to resume next month.  However our ability to do this depends on how quickly the number of patients with covid reduces. We all have a part to play in that reduction of community spread by following the advice during lockdown.”

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust is reminding the local community that routine services are still suspended. 

Rod adds, “Suspending our routine services was not a decision that was made lightly but it was necessary in order for us to be able to treat the volume of patients with COVID-19 who need our support.  We have had to change how we work to care for coronavirus patients and staff from our routine services have been redeployed.  While we do this, we can’t deliver routine services to you, your family and friends.” 

The Trust is also reminding the community that visiting to our inpatient units is temporarily suspended. This includes the Cumberland Infirmary, West Cumberland Hospital and all of our community hospitals.   There are exceptions to this and they can be viewed on our website

Rod adds: “Whilst we’ve had to make difficult decisions to postpone some services which are not clinically urgent,  we continue to provide care to all patients who require urgent or emergency care.  If you have been invited for an appointment, please attend as this means your case will have been assessed and we would like to see you. It’s important that you come to your appointment on your own, unless you need assistance, as we need to maintain social distancing in our waiting areas and assessment rooms.”

The NHS is still here for you, but please choose the service most appropriate for your needs.

This includes:

  • 111 or 111.nhs.uk  – this service provides 24 hour professional advice on any healthcare need
  • Pharmacy – think pharmacy first where there are trained professionals who can prescribe medicines and give advice
  • GP – for ongoing or persistent medical issues
  • Minor injuries and Urgent Treatment centres – for urgent but not life-threatening issues
  • A&E - for life-threatening and serious emergencies only.
  • Maternity guidance - If you have any worries regarding your maternity care, your points of contact have not changed. Your midwife is here for you and will be able to discuss your queries.

The Trust has strict infection prevention measures in place for your safety in the hospital, please wear a mask or face covering, available at the main entrances if you do not have one, use hand sanitisers on entry and exit, stick to the marked one way systems and stay 2m away from others.