Join the NHS Volunteer Responders

The NHS Volunteer Responders scheme is seeking new members in parts of Hastings, Eastbourne, Brighton and Hove.

The volunteers support people who are vulnerable because of COVID-19, and anyone who needs to self-isolate as a result of the virus, through a range of roles:

  • Community Response Volunteer: volunteers to collect and deliver shopping, medication or other essential supplies.
  • Community Response Plus Volunteer: volunteers to collect and deliver shopping, medication or other essential supplies for patients with cognitive impairments and or significant vulnerabilities who are shielding.
  • Patient Transport Volunteer: Providing transport to patients who are medically fit to attend routine medical appointments.
  • NHS Transport Volunteer: volunteers to transport equipment, supplies and/or medication between NHS services and sites. It may also involve assisting pharmacies with medication delivery. This role can also help Local Resilience Networks with transportation and delivery of items such as food parcels.
  • Check In and Chat Volunteer: volunteers to provide telephone support to individuals who are at risk of loneliness.
  • Check In and Chat Plus Volunteer: this is a peer-support role, provided by responders who are shielding themselves. Regular telephone support and a ‘listening ear’ is offered to clients who are also shielding or experiencing challenges as a result of COVID-19

For more information and to sign up visit: NHS Volunteer Responders website.

To arrange support for yourself or someone you know call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm seven days a week).

Talking about drinking: public conversation opens about alcohol in East Sussex

People in East Sussex are being asked to have their say about the impact of alcohol in the county.

A public consultation, which opened on Thursday 13 August, asks for views on the effects of drinking on everyday life and whether these have increased because of the coronavirus pandemic.

To open the discussion, four East Sussex residents have shared their personal stories about their lives with, and without, alcohol.

They include Sophia, from St Leonards who despite a loving family background and a good education found herself in prison for drink-driving and separated from her four-year-old daughter. Now three years sober, Sophia has her daughter back and a life which, in her own words “just keeps getting better day by day.”

The consultation recognises that drinking is a complex issue. On the one hand a part of many people’s social lives and a healthy industry which sustains jobs across the county, alcohol also harms many people and consumes millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money spent managing its effects. Often the harm is greatest for the poorest.

The consultation, which is completely anonymous and can be taken online in less than 10 minutes, asks people to say more about how, why and when they drink.

Its findings will help shape a public health strategy to reduce the harms of alcohol over the next five years.

Darrell Gale, Director of Public Health said: “Alcoholism doesn’t discriminate between gender, age, heritage, social status or intelligence.

“While many people enjoy a drink as part of their week, to unwind with friends or enjoy an event, there can also be a downside to drinking alcohol, when it starts to cause harm to the person drinking and the people around them.

“People have told us that one of our most important public health issues is reducing harm associated with alcohol and we want to keep that conversation going. “

The consultation is open until 31st August, take part on the East Sussex County Council website.



Time for Better Health

COVID-19 has affected the whole country and, for almost everyone, life has had to fundamentally change. But it’s also prompted many people to reflect and think more seriously about their health. What’s more, people have been surprised by how able they’ve been to change their behaviour, with lockdown showing many that they are able to make and sustain changes to their lives. Continue reading

Don’t wait to seek support for your mental health

Health in Mind is the free NHS Talking Therapies service for people experiencing emotional stress and symptoms of anxiety or low mood.

We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health, and struggling from time to time is common and perfectly normal.

Worries about coronavirus, family members or money, as well as the impact of isolation have affected many people in our community and might be having an impact for you.

We know that at mild levels, symptoms can be hard to spot. Here are few examples of reasons a referral to Health in Mind could make a huge difference: Continue reading

Hearing from our minority communities

As data is emerging about the disproportionate effect of Covid-19 for our minority communities, a Sussex wide programme has been created with the aims to:

  • better understand the experiences and challenges faced by local minority communities during Covid-19 and
  • use that information to inform and challenge our services to better support and protect you during the pandemic and beyond.

To make a positive impact on our minority communities, we need to understand peoples experiences of health care services within the last two years, how the pandemic has affected people individually and in their household, and consider best ways to support individuals and their community as we learn to live with Covid-19.

We have co-designed a survey with Trust of Developing Communities and partners and have published it on our new interactive website: visit the website to take part. The survey will close on Monday 24th August and the responses will be included in a final report drawing in experiences from people across Sussex with a set of recommendations to have a positive impact on health inequalities.

If you need the survey in an alternative language please email FAO Antonia Bennett.

Consultation into the future of Eastbourne Station Health Centre to restart

NHS East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is restarting its consultation into the future of Eastbourne Station Health Centre from Monday 3 August 2020.

In February this year, local people were asked to have their say on proposals, which included closing the walk-in service at Eastbourne Station Health Centre. The consultation was planned to run from 3 February to 30 April but was paused due to the Covid-19 pandemic, in line with government guidance and to ensure the health and safety of the public and CCG staff.

After careful consideration, the governing body of NHS East Sussex CCG endorsed the restart of the consultation at its virtual public meeting on 29 July. The consultation will run from Monday 3 August 2020 until Monday 14 September 2020. Continue reading

Big Health and Care (Socially Distanced) Conversation

The Sussex Health and Care Partnership is made up of local NHS organisations and councils working together to provide the best health and care services for the people of Sussex.

Residents are at the heart of what we do. We strongly believe that involving the public in planning NHS and social care services is key to ensuring that they meet the needs of the population that we serve, which is why we are holding the Big Health and Care (socially distancing) Conversation across Sussex. Continue reading

Exploring the impact of COVID-19 on people living with obesity

A new study being undertaken by University College London (UCL) and University of Leeds is exploring perceptions, attitudes and actions of people living with obesity to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The researchers, led by Dr Adrian Brown of UCL & Dr Stuart Flint of University of Leeds, are conducting these surveys due to the unprecedented and rapidly changing impact that the COVID-19 outbreak is having on the way people live.

There are two surveys; one for children and young people, which looks at overweight and obesity; and another for adults (18+) which focuses on obesity.  If you are unsure of your weight category you can find it out using the NHS BMI calculator.

More information about the research and links to the surveys can be found through the links below:

Adult Survey (any adult aged 18+) deadline for completion – 9th July

Children and Young People Survey (any young person aged 16 or 17 years, or a parent/carer on behalf of a child aged 4 to 15 years) deadline for completion – 31st July

All responses will remain anonymous.

Be part of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust’s first virtual Annual Meeting on 7 July!

You’re invited to be part of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust’s (ESHT) first virtual annual general meeting (AGM). To adhere to social distancing rules, ESHT will be holding this year’s meeting virtually. You will be able to submit questions in advance, join ESHT and take part in the meeting live or watch a recording of the session.

The meeting will be held on 7 July from 2pm until 4pm. If you would like to join live use the following link from 1:45pm on the 7 July: You will also be able to watch a recording of the session using the same link after the event has taken place.

You can submit a question in advance by emailing or phoning 0300 131 4692.