There is growing evidence showing that people are ignoring health concerns and putting off coming into hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic, even if they need urgent or emergency help.
East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) have released a message to residents to reassure people that the NHS is still here for those who need it. Watch this short video from Dr David Walker, ESHT Medical Director, about the steps ESHT are taking to keep people safe, and what to do if you need healthcare.
Eastbourne District General Hospital and Conquest Hospital in Hastings are open and are still providing safe, high quality, urgent and emergency care services for those people who need them.
Dr David Walker, ESHT Medical Director said: “Since the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic started, we have seen a drop off in urgent and emergency hospital attendances, for example new referrals for cancer, and people presenting with heart attacks and strokes. Some parents are not bringing their sick children to hospital and some pregnant women are not attending if they have concerns about their pregnancy.
“We know that many people are worried about putting extra pressure on the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak, but if you are seriously unwell, we still want to see you.
“We understand that this may feel like a scary time, but there is no need to be anxious about coming into our Emergency Departments. Your health is important to us and we have put in place a number of precautions within our departments to keep you safe.
“We are proud to provide safe and high quality care and we are happy to look after you at any of our hospitals, safely, and away from the risk of infection. We are here if you need us.
ESHT have put in place a number of precautions to keep patients safe:
- Separate streams in the Emergency Departments for possible Covid-19 patients and non Covid-19 patients, and separate wards for the non Covid-19 patients to prevent cross infection
- The location of some services has changed so that patients can access them directly without coming through the main hospital
- More and more outpatients appointments are taking place over the phone or via video call
- Drop in services have changed to appointment only (such as Xrays, hearing aids and blood tests)
- Members of staff are wearing appropriate protective equipment to reduce spread of infection
If you are feeling unwell, please contact NHS 111 for advice and they will tell you if you need to come to hospital for assessment. If you have a booked appointment with an ESHT service, please keep the appointment unless you are contacted by ESHT to have a phone consultation, or, of course, if you have symptoms of Covid-19.
If you are unwell or worried about contracting coronavirus follow the latest NHS advice www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.