NHS services across Cumbria are appealing for the public to use their NHS wisely as services are extremely busy.

Professor John Howarth, deputy chief executive of North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Trust said:

John Howarth.jpg“In line with the national picture our health services are currently extremely busy and we are appealing to members of the public to help us help you at this difficult time by choosing the most appropriate service for their needs.   

“We are doing all we can to ease the pressures and we also ask our local communities to help us by making sure they use their NHS responsibly and to help us share these messages in the local community.

“I cannot stress enough how important it is that the public help us by using the right service and by knowing the steps you can make to keep yourself safe.”

The NHS is made up of a range of services and it’s important that you choose the right service for your needs.

  • 111 – this service provides 24 hour 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

Prof Howarth explained that while we are under pressure people could wait longer than they would expect for some services:

“I am very sorry that the pressure we are under will lead to delays in some treatments and that A&E waits are longer than we would like. I sincerely thank the public for their understanding at this time and I guarantee that we are doing everything in our power to improve the flow through our hospitals. I hope that you can join me in thanking our staff across all services for the incredible work they are doing despite the pressures they see.”

There are a range of resources that community groups can share to help the public understand which service is best for their needs.