Help the NHS by knowing which service to use

The NHS in Sussex is calling on local people to use services wisely this festive season in a bid to Keep Sussex Safe.

The demand for all NHS services across Sussex is rising. All our hospitals are very busy, and it is important that our emergency services can care for the sickest patients as quickly as possible.

GP Practices and community services are also extremely busy, with the additional pressure of supporting the considerable efforts needed to vaccinate as many local people as we can over the coming weeks.

Across Sussex health and care partners are continuing to work together to provide support where needed so that our teams can care for those who need our help. However, knowing the right place for medical help over the Christmas holidays can help you get the treatment you need faster, and help the NHS.

Dr Victoria Beattie, GP and Clinical Director for Integrated Urgent Care Sussex said:

“It is really important that people use the right services over the coming weeks, as we will likely see a further increase in demand for our services following the increase of Omicron cases. Not only will you save time waiting, but you will be treated by the most appropriate healthcare professional when you get here. You will also be doing your bit to help the NHS through another challenging period”.

How you can help:

  • Making sure you have all your repeat prescriptions ordered in advance of any Christmas closures and making sure your medicine cabinet contains the basic items required to help you deal with any minor health issues at home.
  • Use your pharmacist – they can do so much more than complete your prescription. Pharmacists can give you expert clinical advice for minor health concerns and help with many common illnesses like sore throats, coughs, colds, tummy troubles and aches and pains. They can advise you on the safe use of prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
  • NHS 111 – online or by calling the free NHS 111 number when you need help urgently. Available 24/7, 365 days the 111 service can offer advice and guidance if you have an urgent healthcare need that is not an emergency.
  • Urgent Treatment Centres (UTCs), walk-in centres or Minor Injuries Units (MIUs), offer treatment for most injuries or illnesses that are urgent but not life threatening. People are urged to use NHS 111 who can arrange an arrival time at the nearest UTC or MIU service to you.
  • If you have a serious or life-threatening emergency call 999 or attend your local A&E department. We’re still here for you when you need us.
  • Booking your Covid-19 Booster – the number of appointments available for local people across Sussex are being significantly increased, with sites opening for longer and on additional days and new services are being made available in key areas. You can book your booster via the national booking system

Visit the dedicated ‘Know Your Services’ web page for more details and information about what services to use, as well as self-care advice and booking your vaccinations.