Dr Craig Melrose, GP clinical lead urgent & emergency care, North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust said,

“We are part of the huge effort underway within the NHS nationally mobilising to change the way that hospitals and GP practices run, freeing up tens of thousands of beds, bringing in more staff and ventilators, getting protective equipment to where it is needed and ramping up testing.”

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

Across the Trust we are pulling out all the stops.  We are caring for more people with coronavirus in our hospitals each day and we are preparing to see a lot more. 

We have developed plans to significantly increase our critical care capacity by postponing routine procedures.  This has enabled us to train theatre staff to deliver critical care and free up a large amount of beds.

We have developed plans to zone our hospitals so that there are clear pathways for patients with COVID symptoms. 

Yesterday we suspended visiting to our sites - this is a sensible step to help avoid unknown cases of Coronavirus in our hospitals and in our communities across North Cumbria. 

We understand that people will be disappointed by not being able to visit loved ones in hospital and we would appeal to keep in touch with loved ones via their phones, as we do have access the NHS Wifi on site. 

We have agreed that there will be small exceptions where visitors will be permitted, including:

  • For patients who are receiving end-of-life care
  • For birthing partners in maternity units
  • For parents or legal guardians in the children’s unit 

We have also changed many hospital appointments, either postponing them or delivering them in a different way.  Where we are making changes, we are contacting patients directly.  If you haven’t been contacted, please attend as normal and we would ask you to attend on your own if possible and not bring children or extended family members.

Our teams other essential workers are coming to work to save lives, please help us to help you - stay at home.  We all have a part to play in and out of work in our local communities.  Following the Governments advice around social distancing will help reduce the speed of the virus and help our hardworking NHS staff continue with their jobs.

Primary care:

Our healthcare teams in primary care are working really hard to support patients during the pandemic. General practice staff are still seeing patients but everyone is being triaged first, on the phone or on-line consultations.

GPs are still offering essential routine appointments for baby immunisations and essential blood tests, but everyone will have a conversation on the phone before being invited for their appointment which in some cases might not be at your usual surgery.

Cumbria Health On Call (CHOC) is working hard to support patients out of hours.

Community pharmacy:

You might have seen people queuing outside your community pharmacy – this is to keep the staff there safe so they can keep dispensing your medicines.

You don’t need to order more than usual of your prescriptions, but be mindful you need to social distance when queuing.

Our NHS teams across Cumbria are working really hard and need your patience and support to keep going.

Covid 19:

If you think you have symptoms of Covid-19 the advice is to

  • Stay at home,
  • Treat yourself by staying hydrated and taking paracetamol.
  • You only need to contact 111.nhs.uk or NHS 111 if you are getting worse and can’t cope.
  • NHS 111 will give you advice on the process if you need to see a health care professional

Don’t go to your pharmacy or into a GP Surgery if you have symptoms