Staffing levels at the Eastbourne DGH currently ‘present a huge challenge’ according to health officials.

On Wednesday, senior managers from Healthwatch East Sussex met with Joe Chadwick-Bell, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Steve Pheonix, Chair East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust Board.

The Healthwatch report says: “It was reassuring to hear how well the system across Sussex is working together to get through this crisis.

“However, a huge challenge for the Trust at the moment is staffing levels, especially at Eastbourne.

“All staff have been offered their first dose of vaccine, which is helping the Trust get through this truly horrible time.

“The vaccine hubs at Eastbourne and Conquest sites are working hard to provide local health and social care workers with the vaccine and the Trust are working across Sussex and with the local council to make sure that is done it a managed way.

“We are also talking to the Trust about some potential shared Volunteer Opportunities, building on our successful Hospital Discharge Well-being check service, where our volunteers followed up telephone interviews with almost 1800 patients from August to November; about how our experienced volunteers can continue to support the Hospital Discharge process by temporarily  joining the Trust’s volunteer team.

“We aim to publish the hospital discharge project findings as soon as we can.”