The latest from Healthwatch.
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We are sharing an update on behalf of NHS Sussex Commissioners
This update relates to:
1. Update on winter challenges in local healthcare system
2. Update on COVID-19 vaccination programme in Sussex
Winter challenges in local healthcare system
“The NHS in Sussex is calling on residents to remember simple steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as demand for services rises in the region.
The demand for all NHS services across Sussex has risen significantly due to the higher infection rates of COVID-19 in the community in recent weeks. Staff across the NHS are working tirelessly to ensure they continue to provide safe consistent care. Hospitals, community teams, mental health services and GP practices are very busy but remain open to provide care.
You can still travel to medical appointments in and out of Tier 4, and the NHS is urging you to keep appointments unless you feel unwell or have suspected COVID-19 symptoms.
The pressure will stay on the NHS as long as the infection rates stay high. To protect yourself, family and friends and help the NHS everyone needs to do their bit to keep Sussex safe.
We all need to follow the guidance– to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Remember – Hands, face, space, working from home where you can, and all of the requirements of the Tiers where you live (Brighton and Hove is currently in Tier 2 – “High Alert”).
The NHS is also calling on anyone in need of healthcare, which is urgent but not an emergency, to use NHS 111 first online at NHS.uk or by calling 111. The 111 service should also be called before attending one the NHS services that patients would usually walk into without an appointment.”
Resources and further information:
Healthwatch guide to services over Christmas and New Year, and tips for staying well this winter
Healthwatch information on NHS 111
Information explaining how you may need to access services in a different way to stay safe
Sussex NHS Commissioners has produced a guide to support you to access NHS services that are still here for you during COVID-19, which includes helpful information explaining how you may need to access services in a different way to stay safe. This guide is also available in different languages and British Sign Language (BSL) on request by contacting the Public Involvement team on 01903 708 411.
Government Guidance for Christmas
COVID-19 vaccination programme in Sussex
“It’s fantastic news that the NHS is able to have started delivering a safe, effective vaccine.
This is the biggest immunisation programme in NHS history – and we are delighted to see the progress across Sussex to protect local people. The NHS started vaccinating two weeks ago in our first hospital hub at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, and last week the NHS started the first vaccine services in the community led by GP practices.
In Sussex there are now eleven GP led sites – each supported by a GP practice or a number of GP practices working together. It is a phased roll out with more GP led sites going live over the coming weeks.
It will take time, but as more sites are approved, we’ll be able to get more GP led sites up and running, as well as hospital bubs. And, in time, we’ll be able to deliver it in care homes and in people’s own homes if they aren’t able to get to a vaccination centre.
This has been an incredible effort from GP practice teams all over Sussex and credit to them for all of their hard work, whilst they continue to provide day to day care for their patients.
The GP led sites are starting with the most vulnerable – people over the age of 80 – and we hope to have vaccinated people in the most vulnerable groups by the spring.
People are being contacted when it is your turn for the vaccine so please be patient.
The NHS will contact you when it is your turn to receive the vaccine. You will be contacted by the first NHS service that is able to offer you a vaccination.
And now that we have a vaccine, it does not mean that we can let our guard down.
It is just as important as ever that we all continue to wash our hands, cover our face and give each other space.”
Resources and further information:
Healthwatch Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page
Healthwatch COVID vaccine webpage and or answers to Frequently Asked Questions please click here
Healthwatch Bulletin – Health, Social Care and COVID-19 (21.12.20)
Council leader urges everyone in Brighton & Hove and across Sussex to do everything to protect their loved ones over the Christmas period and into the new year
Weekly statement by the Public Health team based on Covid-19 cases
Confirmed cases of COVID in the city
All the best
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