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NHS issue advice for Easter weekend

Credit: PA

Ahead of this Easter weekend, the NHS in Cumbria has asked the public to plan their healthcare to help ease the pressure on hospital services.

Advice includes keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet, and visiting your pharmacist before visiting A&E.

“Easter is another time in the year that hospitals and Cumbria Health on Call Services (CHOC) can experience a high number of patients and we are again urging everyone to think before visiting A&E or calling CHOC.

“Your local pharmacy can be an excellent place in offering expert, confidential advice and treatment for many minor health problems and the best medicines to treat them, visiting the pharmacist can save you time in the waiting room and help you feel better fast."

– Dr David Rogers, Medical Director for NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group

The public have also been reminded of the following if they feel they need to visit an out of hours centre:

  • Ring first. Please do not walk into a busy out of hours centre as patients who have telephoned first and poorly patients will take priority.
  • Do not attend a centre if you have symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea. Always ring for advice first.
  • The GP out of hours service needs to be able to reach poorly patients quickly. If you can wait for advice from your own surgery then please do.
  • CHoC cannot offer a repeat prescription service. This must be arranged with your own surgery. If you do run out of important medicine please ring for advice but to prevent this happening try to ensure you have a good supply before the Bank Holiday.
  • Remember both Friday and Monday are bank holidays, be prepared, collect your repeat prescriptions well in advance. There is limited pharmacy opening time over the Easter period with only 1-2hours of opening in your area on Easter Sunday.
  • The GP out of hours service will be very busy, only telephone if you have urgent needs. There may be delays ringing back with advice and appointment times. Do not keep re-contacting the service unless your symptoms have become worse.

For health advice, you can visit the NHS Choices website at CHoC are available by calling 03000 247 247.

Meet the winners of the Young Poets Competition

The winners of the Wordsworth Young Poets Competition with Christopher Wordsworth Credit: ITV Border

The winners of the Wordsworth Young Poets Competition were announced yesterday at a ceremony to mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of the revised version of Wordsworth's "Daffodils".

Youngsters across Cumbria were asked to contribute their own poems to be judged by a panel made up of members of William Wordsworth's family.

13-year-old Jessica Dickinson, from Keswick School, took first place with the following entry:

I wandered into my childhood,

Reminiscing one autumn day…

My creased eyes saw with joy

Each defining moment that shaped my mind, my life,

What treasures did I discover anew?

Fireworks shining in my mum’s eyes,

A swing to carry me to the top of the world,

A witch’s hat; a twinkling pumpkin greeting us and our tricks,

Santa, vibrant red, and a kind smile,

Summer days to run free and wild,

Oh no; that clown, a puppet, evil smile

Put him AWAY

A perfumed hug, everything’s OK

Colouring shapes on rainy days

My foot traces patterns on a sandy beach,

Laughing with friends until I cry,

And now but now, all my days are Autumn,

Winter draws close

Gnarled knotty hands, gnarled knotty trees,

Time to hibernate?

But my memories, like a toasty heart-warming fire keeping me aglow

Childhood memories

The jigsaw of me.

Credit: ITV Border

Judges described her words as "taking the reader into herself, where the poet lives".

You can watch a collection of readings by some of the runners up in the competition below:

In order of appearance:

  • 10-year-old Amelie Tyson from Ambleside Church of England Primary School
  • 10-year-old Lydia Huby from Ambleside Church of England Primary School
  • 10-year-old Matthew Gorton, from Bewcastle Primary School


Prince Charles visits Cumbria

Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Prince Charles will be back in Cumbria today as part of a series of official visits.

He's been a regular visitor to the county over the last 15 years.

The Prince will be at the Rheged Centre near Penrith this morning, before heading to Crooklands and Staveley in South Cumbria.

Cumbria Constabulary launches scheme to tackle alcohol misuse

Credit: PA

Cumbria Constabulary will today launch the Alcohol Diversion Scheme, which aims to reduce the harm caused by alcohol misuse.

Instead of paying a £90 Fixed Penalty Notice, offenders will have the opportunity to attend and complete a two hour course at a cost of £45.

It's similar in principle to a speed awareness course, and offenders will be offered the alternative when charged with the following offences:

  • Drunk and Disorderly (Section 91 Criminal Justice Act 1967)
  • Section 5 Public Order Act where drinking was involved (Section 5 Public Order Act 1986)

Currently, approximately 50 fines are issued across the county per month.

Police in Cumbria are hopeful this new scheme will be an effective tool in tackling the problems caused by alcohol misuse.

"We hope this scheme will become a fundamental tool in helping to tackle alcohol harm within our communities.

“The principle is very similar to speed awareness courses, but those who are able to attend will have been involved in an alcohol related incident.

“The aim is to educate people who have been involved in an alcohol related incident, so that they don’t commit the same mistake again. We hope that this will then reduce the harm caused by alcohol in our communities.”

– Inspector Mo Kelly


Border Weather - Wednesday

Windy cloudscape at sunrise Credit: RICK FORD

Bright spells and further showers, mainly in southwest, wintry on high ground.

Drier with more sunshine towards The Borders after a cold start.

Strong northwesterly winds gradually easing through the day.

Less cold, showers less wintry into the afternoon. Highs 8°C

E-cigarette charger fire warning issued

Fire damaged e-cigarette charger Credit: Cumbria County Council

E-smokers are being urged to unplug chargers when their cigarettes are powered up following a fire at a flat in Kendal.

The fire, which started as a result of a charger being left in and switched on at the socket, caused significant burning to the charger, clothes and a chest of drawers.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service said it was only due to the prompt actions of the occupier that the fire was quickly extinguished.

It is estimated that over 100 fires started in the UK last year due to e-cigarette chargers.

“Chargers such as these burn out very easily and people need to remember to switch them off once their device is fully charged. If the flat had been unoccupied at the time of ignition the incident would have been far more serious.”

– Jim Onions, Chief Fire Officer, Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is urging e-cigarette smokers to take the following precautions.

  • Ensure they are using the correct USB charger or adaptor for the battery
  • Check there are specific instructions with the product to give guidance on recharging and how long to charge for.
  • Don’t leave electronic cigarette battery cells unattended whilst they are charging
  • Remove batteries from the charger immediately when the light turns green
  • Turn off and unplug electronic cigarette battery cells that are charging before you go to bed.
  • Always charge the battery on a fire retardant surface
  • Discontinue using if the battery or cables become damaged, or if the battery becomes hot or changes shape or begins to smell.
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