University Hospitals Sussex (UHSussex) services are under extreme pressure over the holiday period.
We are seeing unprecedented numbers of people coming into our Accident & Emergency (A&E) units.
And delays in discharging patients who are well enough to leave our care are limiting the number of beds we have available for those we need to admit.
Other NHS services, such as GPs and ambulances, are also facing huge pressures.
So the local NHS has today declared a critical incident to reflect the difficulty of the situation we face and enable us to take additional steps to help.
These include re-arranging scheduled, non-emergency procedures and appointments and cancelling leave for many staff over the New Year weekend and bank holiday.
But we also need our communities to do their bit to help reduce pressure on services and make sure everyone can get the care they need as quickly as possible:
Only come into A&E if you have a life- or limb-threatening injury or illness.
Call NHS 111 if you need urgent medical help. They can direct you to the right place and help you get treated sooner.
You can also contact your local pharmacist or GP, or visit an urgent treatment or walk-in centre.
If you have a loved one or family member in hospital, help us get them home as soon as they are well enough to leave our care.
People recover faster and more fully at home, and our discharge teams will make sure they have all the support they need to do so.
We can then make space on our wards to care for the growing number of people waiting to be admitted, either in an emergency or for a planned operation.
Please speak to ward staff about how you can help.
Thank you for helping and for treating our staff with the respect they deserve.