29 December 2016

Please use our A&E departments sensibly

Our hospitals are very busy – please use our A&E departments sensibly

People across East Sussex are being asked to think twice before they attend one of our Emergency Departments (A&E) in Hastings or Eastbourne, and we are urging people to please only attend if they are seriously unwell or critically injured.

Both Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne DGH are very busy following the extended Christmas bank holiday weekend, and if it is not an emergency it is likely you will have to wait a long time in our A&E departments. If you are uncertain about how to access the best care for you please call NHS 111, your GP or visit your local pharmacist.

Joe Chadwick-Bell, Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are currently under severe operational pressure and I would urge people to avoid attending our A&E departments unless it is a genuine emergency.
“There is a range of NHS services available that can help you get the right support and help rather than automatically heading to A&E. These include self-care medicines, your local pharmacist, your GP, walk-in centres and ringing NHS 111.

“We would also ask people to bear with us while we deal with the current high level of demand and apologise to those patients affected and thank them for their understanding. We would also thank families and carers for their assistance while we find more appropriate care settings for their loved ones who no longer require a hospital bed, and ask them to continue to support us in making this happen in a timely way.

“I would also like to thank my colleagues in our hospitals and our health and social care partners for their continued support.”