Local people have been urged to protect themselves, their families and the NHS over the Christmas period as the Covid-19 variant continues to spread across Sussex.
The local NHS is urging everyone who is eligible not to delay getting their booster vaccinations and to use NHS services appropriately as the number of people being admitted to local hospitals with Omicron increases.
The booster vaccination is the best way to protect against Omicron and since Monday all adults are able to get their jab once they reach three months from the date of their second vaccine.
A record number of daily vaccinations have been delivered over the last week across Sussex and more appointments are being made available every day. However, a large number of additional appointments are not being booked and local health leaders are concerned people are not getting the life-saving protection they need at this crucial time.
Locally, the number of people infected with Omicron needing hospital care is increasing and this is expected to continue over the coming weeks. Local hospitals and GP surgeries are currently extremely busy and some routine and non-urgent appointments have needed to be rescheduled to the new year to allow the NHS to focus on caring for the sickest patients.
People are being advised to use all NHS services appropriately and only contact their GP with urgent and immediate issues and use emergency services only in an emergency. People should also phone 111 for 24/7 medical help and advice, use pharmacies who can offer expert advice on a range of common ailments and illnesses, and Urgent treatment centres in the communities for urgent issues.
Allison Cannon, Chief Nurse for Sussex NHS Commissioners, said:
“We are beginning to see the real affects of Omicron so this is a crucial time for everyone. The message to people who have not had their booster is simple – don’t delay. We know people are very busy at the moment getting ready for Christmas, but this really needs to be at the top of the to-do list. There is nothing more important people can do this Christmas than protecting themselves, their family and the NHS by getting their vaccination. It really is the best present you can give yourself and others.
“It is important that people know the NHS continues to be there for you if you need us. We need to make sure people do not delay in coming forward with health concerns, so if anyone has an urgent, persistent or worrying health concern please contact your GP practice in the normal way and they will ensure you receive the appropriate help. Additionally, it is important that our emergency services are able to care for our sickest patients as quickly as possible, so they should only be used in an emergency.”
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