Help is on hand to navigate community health and social care

Health and Social Care Connect (HSCC) is the front door to adult community health and social care services in East Sussex. With a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips, the service can help connect people to local health and social care information and community support. It’s also a central point for local health and care professionals to make referrals to community health and social care services.

As of September, it’s been seven years since Health and Social Care Connect became a fully integrated service. To mark the anniversary, we’re bringing you an update on how the team continues to help thousands of people in the county every month, and to hear from staff working for the service.

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Prioritise your eye health this World Sight Day

To mark this year’s World Sight Day, the Sensory Impairment and Reablement Team is going to be out and about in the county talking about the importance of good eye care, and how the team can support people who are diagnosed with sight loss.

World Sight Day aims to highlight the importance of eye care and eye health across the globe, and this year’s theme is eye health in the workplace.

Looking after our eyes is really important, and sight problems can often be treated, or the progression slowed, if they’re diagnosed early.

To hear from the Sensory Team about eye care, and to find out how they can support those diagnosed with sight loss, why not pay them a visit:

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Book your winter jabs without delay

If you’re invited to get your free flu and COVID-19 vaccinations, please come forward to book as soon as possible to make sure you get maximum protection over the winter months.

Vulnerable adults are being offered the opportunity to get their annual vaccinations earlier than first expected, as the start date of this year’s winter vaccination programme has been brought forward from October.

The NHS has started to invite people in priority order of risk to book an appointment at a local vaccination service. Across Sussex there will be clinics held in GP practices, community venues, and in pop up venues. You can also now book your jabs directly through the NHS website, the NHS App or by calling 119.

NHS Sussex clinical lead, Dr Selma Stafford, said: “We are urging over 65s and other vulnerable adults to look out for their invitation to book their winter vaccinations. We’re asking people to wait till they get invited. Their invitation will come from their GP, and it will be in the form of a letter or a text, that will include instructions on how to book their winter vaccinations.

“Strengthening your immunity is crucial to staying healthy this winter. The vaccinations provide vital protection to the most vulnerable and their families, helping to also keep people out of hospitals during the winter months. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

Help us shape the future of your local drug and alcohol services

East Sussex County Council would like to hear from local people to help shape the future of drug and alcohol services in the county.

The contract East Sussex County Council has with the main drug and alcohol treatment service provider STAR (also known as Change Grow Live) is up for renewal in 2025.

In preparation for this, the Council is asking residents across the county to share your thoughts on what you think this service should look like in the future by completing a short survey.

If you’ve had direct experience with the service, know someone who has, or would just like to get involved, then please do so as we want to hear from you.

Take part in the survey and share your views:


Money help and advice if you’re feeling the pinch

Lots of us are feeling the impact of cost-of-living pressures right now, and we know for many of you this will be a worrying time. You might be particularly affected if you have a disability or long-term health condition, receive benefits, are a carer, or are unemployed.

If you’re struggling with money related issues, you’re not alone and there is support available. Visit the County Council’s Cost of living support pages for a range of advice and  resources in one place, like access to food, help getting benefits you’re entitled to, debt advice, or because money worries are impacting on your mental health and wellbeing.

It can feel overwhelming to know where to start, so in this article we’ll share some examples of the local and national support on offer, and where you can find more resources.

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Help on offer for people diagnosed with hearing or sight loss

Do you find yourself turning the TV up louder than other people, or have you been struggling to hear on the phone? Or perhaps you’ve noticed some changes to your sight recently? These could be some signs of hearing and sight loss, and you’re not alone. In East Sussex we have a growing population of people who have hearing or sight loss, and both are common.

While hearing and sight loss can affect people of any age, they become more common as we get older. Almost one in six people aged over 65 have sight loss which affects their day-to-day living, and the number of people with sight loss in East Sussex is expected to increase 26% by 2030. According to the charity East Sussex Hearing there are 116,000 hearing impaired people in the county and 40% of people over 50 have a hearing loss.

As more and more people experience hearing loss, sight loss, or both, it’s important you know where to turn to for support if you need it.

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Join in the Full of Life Festival to celebrate ageing

Members from the county’s seniors’ forums got together in County Hall during August to launch the new Full of Life Festival programme of events. The festival celebrates International Older People’s Day, held on 1 October, and features over 40 free and paid for activities open to the 50 plus age group.

The envelope filling event marked the launch of the festival booklet, which was then sent out to venues across the county. You can now pick up a copy from libraries, council buildings, leisure centres and other community venues.

You can view the full events programme and find out more information about activities taking place in your area at

The booklet also contains articles and adverts about the support and services on offer from the Council, NHS Sussex, and stakeholders from across the county, and a useful what’s-on guide that aims to link people with groups and organisations that provide one-off events or activities all year.

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Work begins on day surgery unit in Eastbourne

A ground-breaking ceremony was held at Eastbourne District General Hospital to mark the start of building works on a new Elective Care Hub.

The purpose-built day surgery unit will include a pre-assessment area, four theatres, admission, recovery and discharge space plus associated support facilities.

The new elective hub is due to open March 2025. Once open, residents from across Sussex will be able to have their day surgery procedure performed more quickly and in a purpose-built environment.

The new unit is expected to increase the amount of day surgery procedures that takes place across Sussex.

The hub will be open from 7am to 11pm, with procedures taking place from 8am to 6pm, initially five days a week, moving to six days in the future.

The project is a partnership between East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and partners at NHS Sussex and NHS England.

Find out more about the new hub: Ground broken for new Elective Care Hub at Eastbourne DGH.

What Matters To You: new adult social care strategy for East Sussex

A brand new adult social care strategy for East Sussex has just been launched: ‘What Matters To You: care, support and independence for adults in East Sussex’.

The title reflects the approach taken to developing the strategy: asking people who need care and support, their carers and families, what was important to them to live well. Around 700 local people responded to surveys or came along to focus groups and interviews to share their opinions and help develop the strategy.

The long-term plan sets out what people said, the six key priorities based on people’s feedback, and how those priorities will be taken forward by adult social care.

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The Healthwatch Listening Tour is coming to Rye

Healthwatch East Sussex, the local independent watchdog for health and social care services, is bringing their 2023 Listening Tour to Rye and surrounding villages from 10 to 24 September.

Healthwatch will be talking to as many people across the area as possible about their views and experiences of health and social care services. They would like to hear about people’s experiences of services like GPs, mental health services, outpatients, hospital stays, dentists, pharmacies, occupational therapists, district nurses, care in your home, residential care homes and any other services you have used. 

There’s a broad range of ways to take part, including:

  • Completing the survey
  • Heading along to a pop up stand – find where they’ll be on the Healthwatch East Sussex website
  • Joining a focus group
  • Joining in the conversation on social media – Facebook: healthwatchessusex, X: @healthwatchES, Instagram: healthwatcheastsussex

To keep up to date with the events and find out how you can get involved please visit the Healthwatch East Sussex website.

After the Listening Tour, Healthwatch will: 

  • Share what they hear with health and care commissioners and the local authority 
  • Make recommendations to local service providers to support positive change
  • Champion the view and experiences of local people 
  • Hold decision makers to account 

For more information on the Listening Tour or any of its activities, contact or call 0333 101 4007.