THE hospitals trust covering Barrow has revealed that they are facing a ‘significant increase in demand’ in recent weeks at Furness General Hospital.

They have echoed the North West Ambulance Service’s calls to the public only to seek emergency medical treatment when there is a significant risk to life.

Kate Maynard, Chief Operating Officer, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Like our partner Trusts in Lancashire and South Cumbria and across the country, our Emergency Departments (EDs) at Furness General Hospital (FGH) and the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) have been seeing a significant increase in attendances over the past few weeks.

“Our teams are working extremely hard to see and treat patients as quickly as possible when they attend the ED, but the increasing number of people needing their help means that at times, this can take longer than anyone would like.

“As always, the public can help by seeking appropriate alternatives to the ED wherever possible.

“Unless you’re very ill or seriously injured, hospital is not the best place to receive your care, and you may experience a long wait. If in doubt, please visit where you can get advice on the right service for your specific needs.

“If you do need help that only a hospital can provide, please be assured that our doors are always open. However, we do ask that you are kind and patient with our teams who are doing their best under incredible pressure to see patients in order of clinical need.”


HOSPITAL: Furness General Hospital, Barrow

HOSPITAL: Furness General Hospital, Barrow


This comes after queues of ambulances were spotted outside the Barrow-based hospital at the beginning of last week.

Steve Hynes, Deputy Director of Operations for North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), said: “The health service as a whole is currently dealing with a high number of patients. During these busy periods, hospital handover waits can become a challenge.

“We work closely with our hospital colleagues across the region to help enable emergency crews to clear quickly and respond to other patients, and we have dedicated officers that visit hospitals to help manage the flow of patients and ambulances.

“Any patients waiting longer than we would like are monitored with the emergency department clinical team informed of any changes in their condition to prioritise them correctly.

“As always, the public can assist by only calling 999 in life-threatening emergencies and considering other options including NHS 111 online, GPs and pharmacies for less urgent issues.”