Help your NHS as it experiences high demand

Thursday 28th December, 2017

cartoon person with stethoscope

The NHS in Coastal West Sussex has faced one of its busiest Christmas’s and is calling for people to help their local NHS and choose the most appropriate service if you need healthcare this week.

Local hospitals have seen their highest number of patients attending A&E for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day in recent years, and they are still extremely busy.

However, GP practices are back open as usual today and tomorrow, and pharmacies are open all week and across the weekend.

Our hospitals have been treating high levels of people; many who need expert specialist help for example those with respiratory conditions made worse by the cold weather, but also some people who could be seen appropriately by a different NHS service.

Pharmacists can provide advice, support and treatment for a wide range of illness and common winter bugs. There are pharmacies across the region and many are open late, and some overnight. See a full list of opening hours here or call NHS 111 to find one closest to you.

In addition, GP practices are offering appointments with doctors and nurses today and tomorrow if you have concerns about your health or a long term condition. Please contact them in your normal way.

One of the important things people can do is check their repeat medication, and if you are running low, contact your GP practice today or tomorrow rather than wait until the weekend when there will be fewer services open. And if you do check at the weekend, and are running low, speak to a local pharmacist about whether they can help until your GP practice is open on Tuesday.

There are also high levels of norovirus in the community, with the winter bug spreading through families across the festive celebrations. Doctors say although the symptoms are not nice, people should stay at home, rest and stay hydrated. Symptoms normally last one to two days so take sufficient time to recover.

A&E departments should only be used for healthcare emergencies.