A NATIONAL campaign is encouraging the people of Cumbria to seek medical advice early and not store up health problems.

Health experts from NHS England are supporting ‘The earlier, the better’ public awareness campaign, which is aimed at nipping health problems in the bud and reducing unnecessary stays in hospital.

The campaign is particularly targeting people aged over 60 years old and the friends and family of older people.

The campaign follows NHS England’s national urgent and emergency care review, published in November last year, which highlighted the rising number of emergency admissions to hospital that could have been avoided.

The review also highlighted the need to improve care outside of hospital and to increase public understanding of the alternatives to A&E.

Mike Prentice, medical director for Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear area team for NHS England, said:

“If you deal with a problem when you first realise something is wrong you will give yourself the best possible chance of getting back to full health quickly. Leaving a problem to get worse can put your long term health at risk.

“This campaign highlights that there are many places where people can get quick medical advice easily. If you feel under the weather, why not pop into the local pharmacy, visit www.nhs.uk/asap or call NHS 111 for advice on what to do. If the symptoms do not go away, then go and see your GP. Of course if it’s an emergency then go to A&E.”

The awareness campaign will in particular encourage more use of the self-care information about minor ailments and illnesses on the website NHS Choices, as well as more use of the services available in community pharmacies.

Look at for posters on bill boards, bus stops, shopping centres and supermarkets, including places near pharmacies. Adverts will also feature in national newspapers, magazines and range of websites, as well as on commercial radio stations.