The NHS asks people to choose services wisely

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is asking members of the public to access emergency services with care as the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle has seen an increased number of patients today (Thursday 30 May). In addition to the incident at Cummersdale Print Works earlier today; the hospital has also seen an increase in attendances unrelated to the incident.

Visiting A&E or calling 999 is only appropriate for serious health emergencies such as breathing problems, severe chest pain, unconsciousness, suspected stroke, severe blood loss and broken bones. By choosing the right service for non-emergency problems, you will be helping the hospital teams focus on providing emergency care to patients who need it the most. There are other options available including calling 111 where there are health advisors 24 hour a day to ensure you get the right care for your needs. Many common health issues can be treated at home with over-the-counter medicines or with advice from a pharmacist. Community pharmacists are trained medical professionals who can provide confidential advice with no appointment necessary.

Mandy Nagra, executive chief operating officer at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

“As always, our dedicated staff are working extremely hard to ensure they see all patients in timely manner, prioritising those who need emergency care and treatment. I would ask everyone to help us during this busy period by considering their treatment options more widely in less serious situations. By using the right service, you are helping our NHS and it is likely you will have a shorter wait.”

Following the fire earlier today Cumbria police has confirmed that there is no risk to people outside the cordon and we would like to reiterate that the majority of people are unlikely to experience any health effects following exposure to smoke from a fire, however because any smoke is an irritant, it can make people’s eyes and throat sore. 

People with asthma or other respiratory conditions, and older people, should carry and use their medication (such as inhalers) as usual. They should avoid strenuous physical activity and follow their doctor's usual advice about exercising and managing their condition.