31 December 2021

Make a resolution to the use NHS services wisely this New Year

The NHS in Sussex is calling on local people to use health services wisely and help Keep Sussex Safe this New Year’s Eve.

As demand for all NHS services across Sussex continues to rise the NHS is urging people to celebrate safely so that emergency services can care for the sickest patients as quickly as possible.

GP Practices and community services are also extremely busy, with the additional pressure of vaccinating as many people as possible.

Across Sussex health and care partners are continuing to work together to provide support where needed so they can care for those who need help. However, knowing the right place for medical help over the Christmas holidays can help you get the treatment you need faster, and help the NHS.

David Walker, Medical Director for East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said: “We completely understand that people want to celebrate with their loved ones after what has been a really tough year but we’re urging them to do so as sensibly and safely as possible. With the onset of Omicron our hospitals, and all NHS services, are busier than ever. We need to protect those services for the people that need emergency care this New Year so please try and use the right services for you and only attend our emergency department for exactly that, an emergency.”

Maggie Davies, Chief Nurse for University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We know 2021 has been a really tough year and people rightly want to see in the new year with the people they care the most about. We urge people across Sussex to take steps to do this as safely as possible, including by wearing a face mask, taking a lateral flow test before meeting up, and keeping indoor spaces well ventilated.

“All NHS services are seeing continued increase in demand and we need all the public to help us keep those services running by using the right services for them. By getting to the right service first you will not only you save time waiting, but you will be treated by the most appropriate healthcare professional for your needs.”

How you can help:

  • Use your pharmacist – they can do so much more than complete your prescription. Pharmacists can give you expert clinical advice for minor health concerns and help with many common illnesses like sore throats, coughs, colds, tummy troubles and aches and pains. They can advise you on the safe use of prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
  • NHS 111 – online or by calling the free NHS 111 number when you need help urgently. Available 24/7, 365 days the 111 service can offer advice and guidance if you have an urgent healthcare need that is not an emergency.
  • Urgent Treatment Centres (UTCs), walk-in centres or Minor Injuries Units (MIUs), offer treatment for most injuries or illnesses that are urgent but not life threatening. People are urged to use NHS 111 who can arrange an arrival time at the nearest UTC or MIU service to you.
  • If you have a serious or life-threatening emergency call 999 or attend your local Emergency Department. We’re still here for you when you need us.
  • Booking your COVID-19 Booster – the number of appointments available for local people across Sussex are being significantly increased, with sites opening for longer and on additional days and new services are being made available in key areas. You can book your booster via the national booking system
  • Visit Know your services for more details and information about what services to use, as well as self-care advice and booking your vaccinations.