Major incident stood down at north Cumbria hospitals

Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle Image copyright North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
Image caption The Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle was one of the hospitals affected

A major incident which was declared at two hospitals in north Cumbria due to a shortage of beds has been stood down.

Non-emergency operations at Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary and the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven were halted by health bosses on Thursday.

They blamed "consistently high" admissions and problems arranging social care for elderly patients.

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said services were now running safely following the "major strain".

Emergency patients were transferred to hospitals in Newcastle, Hexham and Morecambe Bay during the crisis.

Dr Jeremy Rushmer, medical director at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said: "The pressures seen in recent weeks are a reflection of the scale and nature of much wider challenges across the entire health and social care system in north Cumbria.

"We continue to work collectively to ensure that any patients waiting unnecessarily in an acute hospital bed, are moved to the right care setting sooner rather than later."

When a hospital declares a major incident it indicates the pressure on services has forced special measures to be introduced.

The declaration allowed hospital bosses to call in extra staff to help.

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