Before you visit A&E, remember what it’s there for.  It provides vital care for life threatening emergencies, such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attacks, breathing difficulties, or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.   If you have a cold, flu or sore throat, ask yourself, do I want to spend 4 hours in A&E or should I call NHS 111, look-up the NHS website or could I ask the pharmacist first? 

Dr John Howarth, Director of Service Improvement at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust:

 “With the rising pressures on health services locally t is important that people understand what they can first do for themselves before accessing health services.

Most people are very capable of looking after themselves most of the time, self-treating when it’s safe and knowing where and when to seek help when they need it.  However, there are 3.7m visits to A&E for self-treatable conditions such as flu, colic and sprains which adds to pressure in the health system.”