Eastbourne DGH wards are ‘absolutely overcrowded’ at the moment.

Joe Chadwick-Bell, chief executive of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT), which runs both hospitals, said: “We have been experiencing really significant pressures, as I think we have discussed before. 

“I think it is probably important to talk about the things we are trying to do. What we are trying to do is push more primary care presentations through our GPs and our emergency nurse practitioners. 

“We are just working up an extended model and workforce model that would support us to be able to do that, because we have been struggling to get enough of that primary care type workforce to manage the level of demand.

“Secondly, we are absolutely overcrowded at the moment in terms of all of our wards. We have been up to 99 per cent occupancy. 

“So what that means at the moment is we are struggling to get patients out of hospital and therefore if the beds are all full on the wards it is very difficult to move somebody out of A&E. Which means you get a lot of patients in A&E and therefore we don’t necessarily have space to see everyone in a timely way.”