NHS urges public to use the right service for their needs this Easter

The NHS in Sussex is urging people to support them this Easter and only use emergency services in a true emergency amid rising demand on services and high COVID-19 rates.

All health services in Sussex are extremely busy and there continues to be a steady rise in people being admitted to hospital and those attending emergency departments.

Hospitals are also seeing an increase in people coming into hospital with non-COVID-19 conditions but, when tested, are shown to have it. This, combined with rising numbers of staff who are off work ill with the virus, is causing pressure in the system.

Staff across health and care continue to work extremely hard to provide the best possible care for those who need NHS help but they are asking for the public’s help in continuing to do that.

Capacity is needed to deal with life threatening emergencies and to provide urgent help for people who may have become seriously ill, for example a stroke or a heart attack.

That’s why, ahead of Easter Bank Holiday weekend the NHS is issuing an urgent plea to the public to help them help those who need it most by following some simple guidance:

  • Use the right services for your needs at the right time
  • Please only use A&E if it is an emergency – save A&E for saving lives
  • Use 111 in the first instance – they can advise, support and direct to the most appropriate service
  • Be patient with health and care staff, they are trying to keep people safe

Hospitals are also focusing on keeping beds free for those who really need care. Relatives and carers are asked to support health staff in helping their loved one be discharged quickly to help free up beds for those who need them.

Allison Cannon, Chief Nursing Officer for Sussex CCGs, said:

“As we continue to see a rise in demand across all health services we are expecting a challenging time in Sussex over the long Easter bank holiday weekend.

“That’s why we are urging the public to use the right services for their needs at the right time. This will free up capacity in emergency departments to deal with life threatening emergencies and to provide urgent help for people who may have become seriously ill.”

There are services to help people who do need medical attention, across Sussex, walk-in and minor injury services are available:

  • Brighton walk in service open 8am-8pm every day
  • Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead, Minor Injury Unit open 8am-8pm every day
  • Crowborough Minor Injury Unit open 8am-8pm every day
  • Uckfield Minor Injury Unit open 8am-8pm every day
  • Lewes Urgent Treatment Centre open 8am-8pm every day
  • Bognor Regis War Memorial Hospital MIU – Good Friday and Easter Monday 9-5 and then resumes next week Monday to Friday
  • Crawley Hospital UTC open 24/7