Rising Covid infection rates mean NHS services in Sussex are 'incredibly busy' - but still seek care if you need it

The sharp increase in COVID-19 infection rates across our communities in Sussex in recent weeks means that demand for NHS and care services across the county has risen significantly.

Promoted by Sussex NHS Commissioners
Wednesday, 13th January 2021, 4:06 pm
Hands, face, space

Staff across the NHS and local authorities are working tirelessly to ensure they continue to provide safe and consistent care.

Hospitals, community teams, mental health services, social care, GP practices and the NHS111 service are incredibly busy, but remain open and there for you.

Your GP practice is open and is continuing to provide online, phone and face-to-face appointments for all those who need them.

Keep Sussex Safe

NHS 111 can also be used 24/7 either by calling 111 or going online – 111.nhs.uk. You can access help, advice and even a time slot with the right health service for your needs.

The current demand on NHS services does mean that we have had to make some temporary changes to the way we work.

Our hospitals are continuing to provide cancer care and other urgent operations and are working hard to continue providing other non-COVID-related treatments where it is safe to do so.

However, some routine, planned operations may be delayed. These decisions are never taken lightly and we are sorry to anyone affected.

Use the 111 service

Planned home births and the midwife-led unit in Eastbourne have also been temporarily paused.

This is to ensure that births can continue in the safest way possible at this time.

The teams who have been supporting through pregnancy will continue to provide care in hospitals.

We are also having to focus on how people are supported to leave hospital when they are medically ready.

You will be notified when it's your turn to be vaccinated

The current demand on services could mean some patients are discharged from hospitals into community settings which may not be their first choice.

Our teams are talking to all patients and their families who are affected by this to help and support them in the best way possible.

While services are extremely busy, it is still very important that people seek NHS care if they need it.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday, January 4 2021, the UK is now in a national lockdown. This means you should stay at home and only go out for essential reasons.

Attending medical appointments and travel to them is classed as essential, and we urge you to keep appointments unless you feel unwell, have suspected coronavirus symptoms or have been contacted directly by the NHS to rearrange your appointment time.

The full list of what you can and can’t do is available at www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home.

We would encourage people to use the range of services available to them to check out any symptoms of concern, including www.nhs.uk, their local pharmacy, GP practice and NHS111.

People who think they may be having a heart attack, stroke or other emergency should dial 999 or go to A&E.

Vaccination information

The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine. It’s important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.

Please do act on your invite when it comes and make sure you attend your appointments. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Sussex, including a list of vaccination sites as they go live, please visit www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussex-covid-19-vaccination-programme

To protect yourself, your family, friends and the NHS, everyone needs to do their bit to keep Sussex safe

Hands – wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds.

Face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.

Space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings).

If you or someone in your household show symptoms of the virus, or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace, please self-isolate straight away. If you have symptoms of coronavirus you can book a test by calling 119.