East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is urging local people to keep safe, follow Covid guidelines and ensure the Trust’s Emergency Departments (A&E) are kept free for only those people who really need it.

Local people should call NHS 111 first or go to 111.nhs.uk if they have an urgent medical problem and they’re not sure what to do. Depending on the situation 111 will:

•              find out what local service can help them

•              connect them to a nurse, emergency dentist, pharmacist or GP

•              get them a face-to-face appointment if they need one

•            give them an arrival time if they need to go to A&E – this might mean spending less time in A&E

•              tell them how to get any medicine they need

•              give them self-care advice

It is vital that patients remember Emergency Departments (A&E) are for serious or life-threatening situations, including:

•              Severe chest pain

•              Suspected heart attack or stroke

•              Suspected meningitis

•              Injuries such as fractures or major burns

•              Breathing difficulties

•              Unconsciousness

•              Heavy or uncontrolled bleeding 

•              Suspected drug overdose

•              Sudden and severe headaches

•              Severe head injuries.

Over 10,000 patients a month come to the Trust’s two Emergency Departments, some of those with complaints that should be treated by another part of the health service. The most common reasons in addition to minor illness, are bites and stings, dental problems and back pain which can all be treated by alternative services.

Amy Collis Head of Nursing for Urgent Care said: “It’s really important, especially over Easter weekend, that local people help us to keep Emergency Department free for those people who require emergency treatment. Call NHS 111 first or go to 111.nhs.uk if you have an urgent medical problem. Our Emergency Department doctors and nurses will continue to prioritise those patients who urgently require our help and work with those patients who come to the department with minor illnesses to find the most appropriate service.”