Health and Social Care News East Sussex - your monthly update

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5 February 2024

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Photo by James Fisher


Welcome to our first issue of 2024, where we're kicking off with stories on a range of ways you can help to protect your health - including making sure you're protected from measles, getting inspired to be more physically active, and details of HIV Testing Week. 

We're also bringing you news on some of the latest service developments, from urgent care for children at Eastbourne District General Hospital, to outreach support for the homeless community in Hastings, and the latest on construction of a new mental health hospital in Bexhill.

Finally, our feature this month celebrates 10 years of the Joint Community Rehabilitation Team, who have been looking back over all the service has achieved since it formed a decade ago.

From the newsroom...


Measles is on the rise, make sure you're protected

Be measles aware, do you know the symptoms?

Measles cases are rising in England, so it's important to make sure you know the symptoms, what to do if you have it, and how to help stop it spreading. It can have serious and sometimes fatal consequences, and anyone who isn't vaccinated can catch it.

Make sure your family is protected from becoming seriously unwell from measles by ensuring you and your child are up to date with your MMR vaccinations. The MMR vaccine is a safe and effective combined vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella.

Visit the NHS website to learn about measles and the MMR vaccine, and ask your GP practice about catch up jabs if needed.


Improvements to urgent care for children at EDGH

The entrance to Eastbourne District General Hospital.

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has shared an update for parents and carers on improvements to urgent care for children at Eastbourne District General Hospital.

The improvements within the emergency department and urgent treatment centre, with increased paediatric expertise, will ensure children are seen sooner, with earlier paediatric intervention and will reduce waiting times.

Read about the improvements here.


Get inspired to get more active in our county this year

Getting East Sussex Moving

Being more physically active has been compared to a wonder drug because of the huge range of benefits it offers to everyone, no matter your age, state of health, or disability. Getting more active can help to control weight, reduce the risk of serious diseases like cardiac problems and diabetes, and improve your mood and sleep.

That’s why the Public Health team at East Sussex County Council, in partnership with Active Sussex and other partners across the county, have launched the #GettingEastSussexMoving social media campaign. The campaign highlights and celebrates a range of support to get active, as well as the wonderful locations to get moving across our county.

Get involved and get the benefits.


Get tested for HIV in National HIV Testing Week 2024 

I test. HIV testing lets me live my life, whatever the result.

National HIV Testing Week starts from today. Sexually active people across East Sussex are encouraged to test for HIV, particularly if they have had new sexual partners.  

Testing is free and confidential and is the only way to know if you have HIV. You can use a discreet at-home self-test kit, or attend a sexual health clinic or GP practice. The sooner you know your HIV status, the sooner you can get free, highly effective treatment to stay healthy and avoid passing the virus on.

Visit the East Sussex Sexual Health website for more information about sexual health services.


What's the latest advice from the NHS on COVID-19? 

Person washing their hands with a bar of soap.

COVID-19 is still circulating in our communities, so it’s still important to take steps to protect yourself. Make sure you know the symptoms to look out for, what to do if you get unwell, and when to seek medical help.

Take a look at the website for an overview on protecting yourself, symptoms, testing, medical help and recovery - including local services for people with long COVID.

Visit the Health and Social Care News website.


Outreach support for the homeless community in Hastings

The word 'support' written in scrabble tiles.

After many years supporting Hastings’ homeless community with their health and care needs, St John Ambulance (SJA) brought their outreach services to a close in January and their teams are thanked for all of their hard work to support people in and around the town.

Outreach support for the homeless community in Hastings will transfer to Integrated Care 24 (IC24), which already runs Hastings Primary Care Hub at Station Plaza Health Centre in the town. IC24 will continue to support the homeless community with a GP and nurse-led service that builds on the valuable work of SJA, ensuring that some of the most vulnerable members of the local community continue to receive the care that they need.

Find out how people can access the service.


Breaking ground for new mental health hospital in Bexhill

Staff from SPFT and Kier Construction at the ground breaking ceremony

A ground breaking ceremony took place on Tuesday 30 January on the site of a new mental health hospital in Bexhill, marking a major milestone for local NHS services. The 54-bed hospital on Mount View Street, Bexhill, was officially named Combe Valley – a name chosen by staff and service users.

Combe Valley Hospital has been developed by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SPFT) alongside NHS Sussex, the Integrated Care Board for Sussex, supported by significant input from local service users and staff. Opening its doors during 2025, the new hospital will provide modern, high-quality care for people who may be experiencing serious mental health problems, emotional crisis, or severe distress which can't be treated in the community.

Read more about the new hospital.


Using data to tackle health inequalities across Sussex

Graphs on a piece of paper.

New ways of accessing information about the local population is helping health and care leaders in Sussex make improvements for the future.

Improving how health and care services use digital technology and information is one of the key priorities for this year in Sussex, and a new system is helping leaders gain a better understanding of where improvements may be needed.

Read about the improvements.



Integrated service celebrates 10 years of supporting local people’s independence


The Joint Community Rehabilitation team (JCR) has been celebrating their 10-year anniversary and taking a look back over what the service has achieved since it formed a decade ago.

This integrated service brings together NHS staff from East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and adult social care staff from East Sussex County Council into three teams across the county. They support adults who need short term support to regain their independence while remaining at home, for example by improving their strength and mobility or relearning skills after a hospital stay or illness.

The teams include a wide range of professionals, like occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, social care workers, and rehabilitation support workers.

Learn more about their work.


Silver candles in the number 10


Where to find out more...

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Get advice on symptoms and treatments and find your nearest services, including pharmacies, dentists, GPs, A&E and urgent care.

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Want to stay living at home but finding it difficult to cope or look after someone who couldn’t cope without you? Find out how Adult Social Care can help.

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Learn about the mental health services on offer or search for local care, support and wellbeing services on the 1Space directory. You can also find a range of resources linked with rises in the cost of living on the cost of living web pages.

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