People are being urged to only use casualty departments for genuine emergencies this Christmas.
North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary and the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, says Christmas puts increasing pressure on hospitals so unnecessary visits to A&E should be avoided.
Pharmacists can provide instant, confidential advice and treatment for minor illnesses,without the need to make an appointment.
NHS England is also encouraging people to ensure that their medicine cabinet and first aid kits are well stocked before the festive period and that repeat prescriptions are collected well before Christmas and New Year.
Anyone who needs medical advice or guidance can call NHS 111 where they will be directed to the right type of service, including CHOC – Cumbria’s out of hours doctor service.