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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Choose well before attending A&E this winter

Choose well before attending A&E this winter

Posted on Friday 2nd November 2012
mike walker

Mike Walker, Medical Director

Patients are being asked to ‘choose well’ and think twice before attending A&E or dialling 999 this winter.

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is appealing to people to remember that A&E and 999 services are for life-threatening and emergency conditions, in order to help them to provide the fastest possible treatment for people who need it most.

Every year around two million people who go to A&E could either self-care or could have been treated elsewhere in the community.

A&E is the best option for life-threatening and serious emergencies, such as serious accidents and burns, breathing problems, heart attacks and strokes. For other conditions and illnesses, a range of other NHS services are available, from online and telephone services such as NHS Direct and NHS Choices, to high street pharmacies, GP practices and walk-in centres at local community hospitals.

Mike Walker, Medical Director at North Cumbria University Hospitals, said: “I would like to encourage local people to make sure that they choose the right service and help our teams to cope over the winter months. Our A&E teams have to deal with many people who have life-threatening conditions such as heart attacks and strokes, plus those who have been involved in serious accidents. We need to make sure we can concentrate on helping these emergency cases.

“Before you come to A&E, take a moment to think carefully about whether you could be treated elsewhere. Your local high-street chemist can give expert, fast and confidential advice and treatment for many common complaints and can refer you on to other services if needed.”

Details of how to choose the right NHS services in your local area can be found at or by calling NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.