Free NHS Lung Health Checks get off to a flying start in Hastings and St Leonards with over 400 scans completed

More than 400 people from the Hastings and St Leonards area have already taken up the offer to have a free NHS lung health check.

Local GP practices have been contacting registered patients aged 55-74 by text about the checks, which take a look at the person’s lung health. This is followed by a letter, which arrives in a yellow envelope from the NHS and InHealth, who are supporting the NHS to deliver the checks. The checks are only for people who currently smoke or have smoked in the past, so people can let InHealth know using the contact details in the letter if this does not apply to them.

People are offered a telephone conversation and may then be invited to see a nurse and have a lung scan. The scanner is based in the Asda car park in St Leonards, so many people may have seen it there recently. The first batch of scans took place from 10-18 July, and the scanner unit will return to do more from 1-17 August.

Taking checks like these out to our communities brings care closer to home for local people, helping them to be seen and diagnosed more quickly, which is a priority for NHS Sussex and its health and care partners across the county.

While most people will find that their lungs are working fine, the scans can pick up where others may benefit from further tests and treatment, either from their GP or hospital doctors. When it comes to lung health, spotting problems early can make a huge difference because it widens treatment options and improves outcomes.

Further information is available on the Sussex NHS Lung Health Checks website.

Get back to a healthier you with the newly re-launched One You East Sussex Service

By Darrell Gale, Director of Public Health, East Sussex County Council.

Almost everyone knows what a healthy lifestyle looks like. However, our busy lives and the environments in which we live, work, and play often make it hard for us to lead and sustain a healthy lifestyle, whether this be moving more, eating well, drinking less, or giving up smoking.

Obesity is a complex problem with many different but often interlinked causes. Along with smoking, obesity is among the leading risk factors for poor health. It is associated with a range of conditions, including cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal conditions, respiratory disease, diabetes, and many cancers. The NHS spends over £6 billion each year on treating overweight and diabetes related ill health.

Smoking remains the biggest cause of cancer and death, and uses a considerable amount of NHS resource. Data by Cancer Research UK has revealed that ending smoking could free up to 75,000 GP appointments each month in England.

To help local people achieve their goals to become healthier, East Sussex County Council and its Public Health department funds the One You East Sussex service. The service has recently been relaunched. Continue reading

Our newsletter survey – what you told us

Thank you to everyone who took part in our recent survey on our newsletter, Health and Social Care News East Sussex, and congratulations to our three prize draw winners!

The survey asked what you thought was working well with the newsletter and what could improve. We received lots of helpful feedback and suggestions. In this article you can read about what we heard, and what we’ll do next. Continue reading

Introducing the Mr Hastings and St Leonards project

Research shows that life expectancy for men in Hastings and St Leonards is significantly lower than the national average. There have been many great initiatives across the borough that have made a real difference to individual men’s health and wellbeing. However, this hasn’t changed the bigger picture around men’s life expectancy locally.

To help address this, an innovative project has started working alongside local men in Hastings and St Leonards. The Mr Hastings and St Leonards project aims to: Continue reading

Spring Covid-19 boosters are coming soon to help those most at risk stay protected

This spring, people who are at highest risk of severe illness are being offered the chance to top up their immunity with a spring COVID-19 booster vaccination.

Like some other vaccines, levels of protection may decline over time. Boosters are offered to help you maintain strong protection from becoming seriously ill or needing to go to hospital if you catch COVID-19.

The spring booster will be offered to everyone aged 75 years and over, residents in care homes for older adults and people aged 6 months and over who are immunosuppressed. Eligible individuals will be offered the vaccine around 6 months after their previous dose.

The spring COVID-19 booster vaccinations are due to start from early April, with older adult care homes and house bound patients followed by other eligible cohorts as set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

You will be invited for your booster, your GP may offer you the vaccine or you can book using the NHS app or the national booking system from mid-April.

The vaccination will be available through a mixture of walk-in and booked appointments at pharmacies and GP practices.

Measles – are you and your child protected?

About measles

Measles is an infection that spreads very easily and can cause serious problems in some people, and as you may have seen in the news, cases are rising in England. Having the MMR vaccine is the best way to prevent it.

Measles usually starts with cold-like symptoms, followed by a rash a few days later. Some people may also get small spots in their mouth. Measles symptoms to be aware of include:

  • high fever
  • sore, red, watery eyes
  • coughing
  • aching and feeling generally unwell
  • a blotchy red brown rash, which usually appears after the initial symptoms

If you or your child has these symptoms and haven’t been vaccinated, stay at home and phone your GP or NHS 111, rather than visiting the GP or A&E.

Making sure you’re protected

The MMR vaccine is a safe and effective combined vaccine.

We urge you to check that your children are vaccinated, and that you are too. Your GP practice should be able to check whether you’ve had both doses. You may also be able to access your vaccination record online through GP online services.

Some people worry that vaccinations aren’t safe, and years ago there were stories suggesting a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. But all medical authorities worldwide agree that this is not true, and that there is no risk or link. But there IS a risk of not vaccinating.

For more information on measles you can visit the NHS website,  or watch the following videos:

How to get help with your mental health

Get help today

If you feel like you can’t cope and are at breaking point, you can get same-day or next day help for your mental health by:

  • Calling NHS 111 and selecting the mental health option (available 24/7)
  • Calling the Samaritans on 116 123 (available 24/7)
  • Texting the word SUSSEX to 85258 (available 24/7)
  • Visiting a Staying Well service (available in Eastbourne and Hastings, evenings and weekends).  Visit Southdown Staying Well Space or phone 0800 023 6475 for queries or to discuss a referral.

If your life – or someone else’s life – is in immediate danger, please call 999.

Make an appointment

If you’re worried about your mental health, e.g., you are feeling anxious or depressed or there are things going on in your life that are affecting your mental wellbeing, please make an appointment with your GP.

If you’d like to get treatment for symptoms of anxiety or depression, you can refer yourself to your local Talking Therapies service (previously known as IAPT). In East Sussex this service is called Health in Mind: visit the Health in Mind website.

Other ways to get help with your mental health

For a full list of mental health services and support in East Sussex, visit the East Sussex Mental Health Directory.


Are you over 50 and looking for something new to do?

If you’re over 50 and looking for something new to do, then joining your nearest older people’s forum could be for you. There are forums across the county and they’re a great way to find out about local events, socials, and activities. They’re also a way to learn more about health and social care, as well as helping to influence the work of the local NHS and East Sussex County Council. Even better, they’re free, easy to join, and you can choose how much to get involved! Continue reading

Get inspired to get active in 2024

Being more physically active has been compared to a wonder drug because of the huge range of benefits it offers to everyone, no matter your age, state of health, or disability. Getting more active can help to control weight, reduce the risk of serious diseases like cardiac problems and diabetes, and improve your mood and sleep.

That’s why the Public Health team at East Sussex County Council, in partnership with Active Sussex and other partners across the county, have launched the #GettingEastSussexMoving social media campaign. The campaign highlights and celebrates a range of support to get active, as well as the wonderful locations to get moving across our county.

The campaign began in September 2023 and is running for a year. Each month has a different theme to encourage and motivate you to try different activities and inspire you to get moving more.

Themes so far have included: Continue reading

What’s the latest advice from the NHS on COVID-19?

COVID-19 is still circulating in our communities, so it’s still important to take steps to protect yourself, to know the symptoms to look out for, what to do if you get unwell, and the services available if you have longer term symptoms.

It’s a good idea to take a look at all the latest information on COVID-19 on the NHS website, but here’s an overview on some of the key advice: Continue reading