The health service in the Central Lakes area is provided by many different organisations.

The first thing we would always say is try and find some initial help online. NHS Choices gives a wealth of advice on what different illnesses are and how quickly they need to be seen. Simple remedies such as pain relief may tie you over until you get home. But we are here if you need to see someone.

The 111 service is next on the list – just call 111 from your phone for the NHS helpline.

Pharmacies in our villages don’t just dispense medicines. They can help you replace forgotten medicine, lost prescriptions, general medical advice on may areas such as stomach upsets, treat bites , provide contraception and many other items. They are generally open longer hours than most services and are open at weekends.

GP services are there for dealing with illnesses. In peak tourist times our services are stretched so you may need to have to wait to be seen. Our GP practices are not Walk in Centres so you must book an appointment.

Optometrists can deal with eye issues and lost or broken glasses.

Dentists deal with all things to do with teeth and the mouth. If you have a private dental plan then you may be able to be seen at a dentist locally whilst still covered.

111 is also  the telephone number for accessing services out of regular opening hours. They provide a triage service and try and direct you to the right service including pharmacies and the Cumbria Health On Call Service.

We do not have a minor injuries unit or accident and emergency unit in the Central Lakes. A minor injuries unit is available at Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal. The nearest Accident and Emergency Units are at Lancaster and Barrow. But they do what the name says – so please only go if its a genuine emergency.

Mountain Rescue and Air Ambulance services are for emergencies only. They are charities that provide vital services in our area. But need to be used wisely – if they are called out to deal with something trivial then it could stop them dealing with a genuine emergency. The Lakes is the place to be for outside activities but keep safe and plan well.