Health and Social Care News East Sussex - your monthly update

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A female carer and older woman talking

15 May, 2020

Welcome to the latest issue of Health and Social Care News East Sussex.

New national coronavirus guidance

Coronavirus - stay alert to stay safe, go to

The government has issued new coronavirus guidance and rules on what you can and cannot do, which you can find in full on 

The new advice includes the importance of staying alert, controlling the virus, and in doing so protecting the NHS and saving lives. This means you must:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus.

Read more about the new guidance on the website, including the government's advice to use face coverings in some circumstances.

Mental health resources and support

the words 'mental health' are spelt out on wooden scrabble tiles

Knowing where to get mental health support during the COVID-19 pandemic is really important.

Many people will want to know how to maintain good mental health, or be worried about their own mental health or the mental health of someone close to them.

Fortunately, there is a range of support you can access to support mental wellbeing.

Read about available support on the website.

Accessing healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic

NHS logo

There's growing evidence showing that people are ignoring health concerns and putting off coming into hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic, even if they need urgent or emergency help. East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) have released a message to residents to reassure people that the NHS is still here for those who need it. Watch this video from Dr David Walker, ESHT Medical Director, for more information.

GP surgeries in East Sussex have also transformed how they're working during the pandemic, and have created new, dedicated sites so people with COVID-19 symptoms can be seen safely. 

Other changes made in response to the pandemic include the introduction of SignLive in every GP surgery in East Sussex. This means people who are d/Deaf can contact their GP surgery through the free to use SignLive app. Find out how it works.

If you're unwell and need medical help:

  • For help from a GP – use your GP surgery’s website, use an online service or  app, or call the surgery. Don't go to the practice in person unless you're told to do so after an initial assessment.
  • For urgent medical help – use the NHS 111 online service, or call 111 if you’re unable to get help online.
  • For life-threatening emergencies – call 999 for an ambulance.
  • If you’re advised to go to hospital, it’s important to go. 

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.

Getting medicine and picking up prescriptions

a picture of a medicine bottle against a pale blue background

It’s important that people who are shielding or self-isolating at home during the COVID-19 pandemic can still access their medicines and prescriptions.

People should, in the first instance, ask friends, relatives, and neighbours to collect medicines for them. But, if you don't have anyone to help you, there is support available.

Find out what to do if you need help.

Advice for young people and parents during lockdown

young person looking at a laptop

We’ve rounded up a range of information and support sources for young people and parents who may be struggling during lockdown.

Visit the website for information on the new STAY social media campaign, a new e-wellbeing service for young people, support for young carers and advice for parents. 

Send a message to a loved one

send a message to a loved one

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) are supporting family and friends to share messages with their loved ones who are in hospital while visiting to hospitals is being restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Patients at Bexhill Irvine Unit, Conquest Hospital, Eastbourne DGH and Rye, Winchelsea and District Memorial Hospital can now receive messages of support from their loved ones in new ways – by virtual post box or by 'comfort pebble'.

How to send a message.

Have your say on life under lockdown

Healthwatch East Sussex

Healthwatch East Sussex (HWES), the local independent health and care watchdog, has launched a COVID-19 Survey to ask residents of East Sussex about their experiences of health, care and wellbeing services during lockdown.

The survey is open until the 31st May and all responses will be in confidence.

Take part in the survey.

Eastbourne Station Health Centre consultation update

speech bubble

Following a thorough assessment of the situation, and in line with government guidance, the NHS East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group have decided to pause the Eastbourne Station Health Centre consultation for another month. 

This will be reviewed again at the end of May, and people will be kept informed of next steps.

People can continue to participate in the consultation online, and all the feedback received will be retained and considered before a final decision is made, after the remainder of the public consultation concludes later in the year.

Keeping up to date...

If you are unwell or worried about contracting coronavirus follow the latest NHS advice, found on the NHS website. For the latest government advice and guidance visit

To keep up to date locally, for example latest news, information about services, support and volunteering, you can also visit our partners' websites:

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