Tag Archives: NHS Sussex

Report highlights your views on accessing health and care services in East Sussex

Almost 500 of us have had our say on what we like, and sometimes found frustrating, about accessing health and social care services in East Sussex.

The thoughts and opinions of residents have been published in a report by Healthwatch East Sussex following its ‘2022 Listening Tour’ event in Eastbourne.

The report details everything you told Healthwatch during its first face-to-face ‘Listening Tour’ since 2019. It also sets out conclusions and recommendations to support positive change in our health and care services.

Healthwatch East Sussex worked with community groups to capture ‘every voice’ to better understand how health inequalities are impacting people in the county.

People gave their views through surveys, focus groups, one-to-one conversations and dedicated events last October.

Healthwatch East Sussex found that:

  • People’s appreciation of the NHS was clear, with positive examples of support, advice, treatment and procedures. We heard numerous examples of the expertise, professionalism and compassion of staff in the NHS and wider health and care services, as well as staff and volunteers in local community groups.
  • Common frustrations were waiting times, delays and poor communication. Nearly a third of 390 survey respondents were ‘Unsure’ and 7% were ‘Not Confident at all’ about accessing health and care services when they need them.
  • Some health and care services were not easily accessible to those with disabilities or impairments.
  • Specific user groups, such as the homeless or migrant communities, faced barriers when accessing health and care.
  • There’s a lack of understanding among the public about who provides care services locally and the responsibilities of different organisations in commissioning and delivering care.
  • The cost-of-living crisis is having an impact on people’s wellbeing, with just over half of survey respondents more anxious about the future and a third having less ‘good quality’ sleep than before.

Ask your pharmacy for advice about minor illnesses and ailments this winter

NHS Sussex is urging everyone to stay well this winter and take advantage of the wide range of health services now available at local pharmacies, including asking your pharmacist for advice for minor illnesses and ailments.

People have always been able to get prescription medicines, care and advice for common illnesses, lifestyle support and medicines advice to help manage long-term conditions at their pharmacy.

Now people can take advantage of services such as blood pressure checks for over 40 year olds and expanded support for people with Parkinson’s disease and osteoporosis, among other conditions.

So, remember to ask your pharmacist for:

  • Advice and treatment for minor illnesses such as coughs, colds and earache
  • A free blood pressure check (for over 40-year-olds with no history of high blood pressure or those aged 30-39 with a family history of high blood pressure)
  • Flu vaccinations
  • Advice on staying well and preventing disease – private consultations are offered
  • Support to maintain good sexual health
  • Help to quit smoking
  • Personalised support to get the most from your medicines

For more information visit NHS Sussex’s Help Us Help You webpages.

Podcast explains how you can help ease the pressure on the NHS this winter

As we move into the winter months, the latest NHS Sussex News podcast gives you insight into the service at one of its most challenging times of the year.

On the podcast, Allison Cannon, Chief Nursing Officer for NHS Sussex, outlines how you can play your part in easing the pressures on the service at this time of the year.

Allison’s advice covers the importance of eligible people receiving their COVID-19 and flu vaccines and some of the options available for accessing health care this winter.

Allison also talks about how winter pressures impact on the NHS workforce and explains what you can do to help ease those pressure at this busy time of the year.

The podcast can be heard on NHS Sussex’s website. 

It can also be found on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Deezer – just search for ‘NHS Sussex News’.

It’s also available to listen to on Alexa smart speakers – to verbally set the command, folk say ‘Alexa, enable NHS Sussex News’, then ‘Alexa, play NHS Sussex News’.

Podcast explains how digital technologies can support patients in their home

How NHS Sussex is embracing digital technology to support people’s health and wellbeing in the comfort of their own home is the topic of the latest NHS Sussex News podcast.

Lisa Emery, the organisation’s Chief Transformation, Innovation and Digital Officer, talks in easy-to-understand terms about the concept of ‘virtual wards’.

Virtual wards are an initiative being rolled out nationally to support patients who are awaiting surgery, recovering from hospitalisation or able to complete treatment outside of hospital to be regularly monitored by a clinical team in the place they call home, using a range of simple technologies.

Lisa also talks about the benefits of the free NHS App, and how it provides simple and secure access to a range of healthcare services from your smartphone, that might otherwise mean a call to your GP or NHS 111.

Available on all major podcast platforms such as Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts and Deezer, the NHS Sussex News podcast can be accessed via Alexa smart-speakers, on Twitter @NHSSussex or through the news page of the Sussex Health and Care website.


NHS campaign urges residents to ‘Help Us, Help You’ keep well this winter

Using the right services if you need help, getting your winter vaccinations, keeping active, and having a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home are some of the things that can help you stay well this winter.

Residents are also asked to keep in touch with older neighbours, relatives, and friends that may need a bit of extra help this winter.

To prepare for the expected increase in need for health and care services this winter, NHS Sussex will:

  • Help people get urgent and emergency care as quickly as possible when they need it
  • Increase the number of GP appointments available, and at more times of the day
  • Provide more support to frail people to help prevent them ending up in hospital for care
  • Provide more support to people considered at high-risk of becoming ill to prevent them from getting worse, particularly those with conditions that affect their breathing, heart and blood vessels
  • Prevent more people from ending up in hospital by providing more care at home, or their place of residence
  • Help more people leave hospital quicker when they are well enough to return to their place of residence or go to a more appropriate place to get care

Find out more about the ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign, along with information and advice about how to keep well this winter.

Proposals to improve East Sussex cardiology and ophthalmology services

Improvements to cardiology and ophthalmology services in East Sussex – including new cardiac response teams for both Hastings and Eastbourne to ensure people get the specialist care they need straight away, and one-stop ophthalmology clinics – are progressing.

The East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) Board considered summaries of the decision-making business cases (DMBCs) for both cardiology and ophthalmology at its meeting on 11 October, and subsequently endorsed the proposals.

Full DMBCs and all other supporting information will go to the NHS Sussex Integrated Care Board (ICB) on 2 November for its decision.  All the documents are now publicly available to read and specific documents can be downloaded at the cardiology and ophthalmology home pages.

The proposals, and the ICB decision, will then be reviewed by the East Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 15 December.


For ophthalmology, the proposal is to improve care by consolidating the services currently provided at Eastbourne District General Hospital, Bexhill Hospital and Conquest Hospital into two sites at Eastbourne District General Hospital and Bexhill Hospital.

This would enable patients to have quicker access to tests and treatment and more input from the most senior clinicians. It would also enable one-stop clinics, reducing the number of appointments patients need to attend.


For cardiology, the proposal is to improve care at both the Conquest Hospital, Hastings and Eastbourne District General Hospital (DGH) by creating new cardiac response teams at the front doors and in the emergency departments (EDs). This would ensure that people are assessed quicker, when they first come into the hospital, meaning they would start receiving specialist care straight away.

In addition, the proposal also includes concentrating the most highly specialised cardiac services, needed by just 3% of the cardiac patients our services see each year, at one or other hospital site.

Find out more about the proposals to improve cardiology and ophthalmology services in East Sussex.

‘Living Well in East Sussex’ survey to inform adult social care plans

Together with its residents and partners, East Sussex County Council is developing a long-term plan, its strategy, for adult social care.

This will set the direction of adult social care for everyone who has — or will have — care and support needs within the county, the projects and services that support them and their carers and families.

The ‘Living Well in East Sussex’ survey, which ran in August and September, was the starting point for the strategy, and almost 500 people completed it.

According to the survey, residents are concerned about the cost of living; isolation or connection with others; not having enough care, support or adaptations in their home; and accessible services, facilities, and information.

Key themes to residents living a ‘good life’, highlighted by the survey, are:

  • having enough money
  • connecting with friends, family and neighbours
  • their home
  • having hobbies or volunteering
  • being active and looking after themselves

The survey responses are being reviewed, and feedback will help organisers plan discussions at a range of focus group events during the next two months.

A big ‘thank you’ to everyone who completed the survey and all of the County Council’s partners who helped promote and share the news about it.

Talks with East Sussex Adult Social Care staff, independent sector care providers, NHS colleagues and wider stakeholders will follow in the new year, informed by what people have said are their priorities via the survey and the focus groups.

Listen to the latest NHS Sussex News podcasts

A series of podcasts by NHS Sussex are available by searching for ‘NHS Sussex News’ and freely subscribing or following it so you never miss the latest episode.

The NHS Sussex News podcast is available on all major podcast platforms: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Deezer. You can also hear the latest episode on your Alexa smart-speaker by saying: “Alexa, enable NHS Sussex News” and then in the future “Alexa, play NHS Sussex News”.

Recent podcasts include an interview with Bert Williams MBE who is President and co-founder of Brighton & Hove Black History Month.

Bert celebrates the contribution of ethnically diverse communities to our society – including within health and care services – as NHS Sussex celebrated and supported Black History Month in October.

There is also a chat with Sussex GP Ragu Rajan who explains about some of the things we can all do to help reduce the pressure on the NHS this winter, including using the 111 service or seeing your local pharmacist for advice and guidance.