New Year plea from region’s NHS to use services wisely

Posted on Thu, 09/01/2020

At the start of 2020, the North East and North Cumbria’s NHS is reiterating its plea to the public to use services wisely amid extremely high numbers of people accessing emergency healthcare services.

Following a busy festive period for emergency teams, the first week of the New Year has seen demand soar with hospitals across the region and the ambulance service now under severe pressure.

While many people have been seriously ill and required an emergency ambulance and emergency admission to hospital, thousands of others have attended hospital Emergency Departments for minor problems when other, more appropriate services are available and should be used.

Examples from across the region include sort throats, cold sores, upset tummies and other common winter ailments which can effectively be managed by gaining advice from a pharmacy and over-the-counter medicines or, if required, a visit or phonecall with their GP.

In December 2019 alone, there were over 100,000 attendances across the region’s Emergency Departments and, despite the significant pressure that frontline teams are under, 81.7% of patients were still seen and treated within four hours or arrival.  This is above the national average for England which was 79.8%.

The public are again being urged to use NHS 111 which is available 24/7 for urgent medical advice before attending any frontline services. This can be done by either going online at or calling 111. 

Call us on 0191 482 0000

In emergencies dial 999 / Non-emergencies dial 111

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