Keep Sussex Safe

On 19 July the Government announced restrictions relating to COVID-19 would be eased across England.

Risks related to COVID-19 have not gone away and there is still advice about how to live, work and socialise safely. The NHS and other health and care organisations in Sussex have teamed up to keep things simple.

We’ve set out the straightforward steps that you can take to keep yourself and others safe, get the care you need, and reduce your risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

We have written an open letter to the public asking for your help in continuing to Keep Sussex Safe.

How the rules changed on July 19

The government announced restrictions relating to COVID-19 would be eased across England.

Face masks in health and care settings

Everyone accessing or visiting healthcare settings across Sussex must continue to wear a face covering and follow social distancing rules.

Ahead of the lifting of most COVID-19 restrictions across the country on Monday 19 July, NHS England has confirmed that Public Health England’s infection prevention control guidelines and hospital visiting guidance will remain in place for all staff and visitors.

That means NHS visitor guidance will stay in place across all health services including hospitals, GP practices, dental practices, optometrists and pharmacies to ensure patients and staff are protected.

Staff, patients and visitors will also be expected to continue to follow social distancing rules when visiting any care setting as well as using face coverings, mask and other personal protection equipment.

A joint statement from the Chief Nurses and Chief Medical Officers of the NHS Trusts across Sussex, said:

“We have been so grateful to the public for the way everyone has helped play their part in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and protected the NHS to allow us to continue to provide the vital care for our patients. As restrictions are lifted across the country on Monday, it is vital that this continues so all our patients, including the most vulnerable, can be cared for by our hard working staff in the safest possible way.

“We know how keen everyone is to get back to normal but COVID-19 cases are rising and it is critical that we all continue to play our part in making sure our healthcare settings have the best possible infection control measures in place for the protection of patients, staff and visitors.”

Get your vaccine

COVID-19 has not gone away and it is really important that we protect ourselves as much as possible.

As all adults are now eligible for their vaccination, we have walk in clinics taking place across Sussex.

These are in addition to booked appointments made through the national booking system, by calling 119, or through your GP led vaccination service.

Clearly a key part of this response is our continued drive to get all adults in the city to have the vaccine and we continue to work hard to reach those who have not yet taken up the offer. We are urging anyone over 18 to have both doses of their vaccine as soon as possible.

Brighton and Hove announced as area for enhanced support

Brighton and Hove is receiving enhanced Government support following rising COVID cases in the city. This support includes:

  • Additional testing in the city, two symptom free walk-in PCR Mobile Testing Units:
    • one at the Peace Statue on Hove seafront
    • one in Jubilee Square, by Jubilee Library
  • Additional advertising and campaigning support and materials – to further promote both testing and vaccination, aimed at the highest risk groups.
  • An engagement team to supplement the work the city’s COVID Marshalls and other council teams are doing in bars and restaurants and heavy footfall areas to promote testing and vaccination.
  • The green light to ask all secondary schools and colleges with children and young people aged Year 7 or above, to reintroduce face coverings in classrooms and communal areas for staff and pupils.

Read more about the response in Brighton and Hove.

Get medical help if you need it

NHS services are currently extremely busy and demand continues to rise due to higher rates of COVID-19 in our communities.

Our hospitals continue to provide cancer and other urgent operations and we are doing everything possible to restore services to pre-Pandemic levels.

Please continue to attend all booked appointments unless you are contacted by the NHS and told otherwise. We urge you to keep appointments unless you feel unwell or have suspected COVID-19 symptoms.

Spotting problems early is vital, especially cancers. Please don’t wait, seek help early if you have any concerns.

  • If you need medical help from your GP, contact them online or by phone to be assessed.
  • For urgent medical help, contact NHS 111 online or by phone. Help is at hand from a team of highly trained experts and, if needed, you can be given a booked time slot at an urgent treatment centre or even an A&E department.
  • The Sussex Mental Healthline offers crisis care for people in urgent need of help with their mental health. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 0800 0309 500– we welcome Text Relay calls and New Generation Text calls from hearing and speech impaired callers, on 0300 5000 101.
  • Please only call 999 in the event of a medical emergency.

Community support

For more information on community support, help available and the impact of the national restrictions on local council services, please visit the following pages: