Advice to patients with planned operations or outpatient appointments

Wednesday 3rd January, 2018

cartoon person with stethoscope

The local NHS is still experiencing higher than normal levels of patients visiting A&E, and patients might have heard today in the national media that the NHS may need to cancel appointments in order to cope with this emergency pressure.

Dr George Findlay, Chief Medical Officer at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“Worthing and St Richard’s Hospitals remain extremely busy and following the busiest Christmas and New Year period our staff have ever experienced.

“I am extraordinarily proud of our outstanding teams that have been going above and beyond for weeks now to care for so many very ill people.

“Unfortunately, to enable us to continue to provide safe, high quality care to those most in need, it is necessary for us to postpone some planned operations and clinics so our clinicians can focus on where the need is greatest.

“If your treatment is affected, we are very sorry and will contact you directly by telephone. Please, do not call the hospital – if you do not hear from us, you should attend as planned. Thank you.

“I would also like to thank everyone who has been assisting us – from those only using A&E when absolutely necessary, to families helping loved ones leave hospital in a timely way to release beds for others in need.

“I must stress, if you need urgent care, our highly skilled staff are here all day and all night, but there are other more appropriate alternatives, from NHS 111 to pharmacies, for common ailments and other illnesses.”

  • Staff at Worthing Hospital and St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester cared for more people than ever this Christmas and New Year.
  • More than 4,100 people attended the two Accident & Emergency departments over the holiday period – an 8.8% increase on a year ago – while the number of patients admitted to wards was also up 6%.
  • The hospitals opened 85 extra beds on Tuesday 2 January and many staff worked additional shifts or longer hours to make sure that patients were treated safely and as quickly as possible.

It comes as the local NHS also runs its #HelpMyNHS campaign this winter to provide information about where you can access NHS help and advice over the festive season. It also offers help and tips on how everyone can #HelpMyGP and #HelpMyA&E and use services appropriately and take steps to stay well.