A HEALTH chief at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust is urging the public to only come to A&E only if their condition is life threatening.

Dr Rod Harpin, medical director, says that pressure has increased because of the impact of the coronavirus.

He said: “It is really important that the public do their bit to help us.

“For health conditions that are not life threatening please visit your GP, pharmacist or call 111.

"Health professionals are on hand on 111 every day of the week, 24 hours a day and can make sure you get the most appropriate help in a timely way.”

“We need to act now, if cases continue to increase then we will need to make some very difficult decisions to make sure that we have space and staff to treat our patients.”

“We are also reminding the general public that visiting remains suspended across all of our sites, please do not attend to visit any patients unless there are exceptional circumstances which are set out on our website.

“We urge people to follow the guidance we know this virus can be deadly."