Please view our cookie policy that explains what cookies are and how they are used on our website. This also provides you with a guide on how to disable cookies, but please be aware that parts of the site will not function correctly if you disable them.

By closing this message, you consent to our use of cookies on this device in accordance with our cookie policy unless you have disabled them.

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


Home > News > Public asked to play their part to help ease pressure on busy hospitals

Public asked to play their part to help ease pressure on busy hospitals

Posted on Friday 26th February 2016
A and E entrance

Public asked to play their part to help ease pressure on busy hospitals

The Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle saw a third more people in its Accident & Emergency department yesterday (Thursday 25 February) than would be expected and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven is also seeing higher numbers of attendances.

NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group and North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust are asking members of the public to help ease the pressure on busy hospitals to assist in reducing waiting times for patients and pressures on bed availability.

Helen Ray, chief operating officer for North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “In line with many hospitals across the country this winter, both of our hospitals are currently very busy and this is resulting in significant pressure across hospital sites. Our staff are continuing to work extremely hard to ensure patients are seen as quickly as possible and we are working closely with teams in primary, community and social care to ensure we are able to manage the demand across all areas.

“The public can help us to manage this difficult situation by only using our A&E services for real emergencies. For all non-emergencies, we urge people to use their local pharmacies and GPs as their first point of contact. This will help to make sure that when patients need emergency care they are seen quickly by our experienced teams of staff. Please also remember that 999 service should be used only for serious and life-threatening health emergencies only including breathing problems, severe chest pain, unconsciousness, suspected stroke, severe blood loss and broken bones.”

Dr David Rogers, Medical Director for NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group and lead for the North Cumbria System Resilience Group said: “We know all our hospitals are under pressure at the moment. We would like the public’s help to ensure everyone uses the right service for their needs - A&E is for serious and life-threatening injuries and conditions only. There are long waits and if you feel unwell it is worth using other services such as your local pharmacist for advice. If you aren’t sure if your ailment is an emergency you can get free and quick advice online through or call NHS 111.”

For more information and advice, please visit