The NHS in Sussex is urging those who need urgent medical care that’s not an emergency to support the NHS by using the right services for their needs over the planned industrial action by Junior Doctors next week.
It has been several weeks since previous industrial action but next week it is expected that Junior Doctors will take strike action for 72 hours from 7:00am on Wednesday 14 June until 7:00am on Saturday 17 June.
This will affect hospital services, community health services and services at GP practices.
There will be fewer staff available and so to ensure that the NHS can support those who need it most – people are being asked to use the most appropriate service for their needs.
NHS Sussex Chief Medical Officer, Dr Dinesh Sinha, said: “Patient safety is our absolute priority. The local NHS has plans in place to limit the disruption to services as much as possible during the industrial action, however the public also need to play their part.
“We need people to use services appropriately and in particular to save emergency services for saving lives. A&E is for life-saving emergencies and to provide urgent help for people who may have become seriously ill, for example a stroke or a heart attack.
“If you need urgent health care, that isn’t a life saving emergency, there are a range of services available including minor injury units, urgent treatment centres, and NHS 111 – please help us help you.”
Anyone who needs urgent medical support that is not a life-threatening illness or injury is being urged to use NHS111 first by dialling 111 or going online to www.111.nhs.uk.
NHS111 is available 24 hours a day and can provide help and support online or over the phone, including connecting callers to pharmacists and out of hours GPs, as well as helping those in need get to the most appropriate service if they do need to see someone face to face.
For those who do need help for urgent care that’s not an emergency, there are alternatives to visiting A&E across Sussex. There are several walk-in and minor injury services and urgent treatment centres available to help with illness and injury which are urgent but not life threatening:
- Brighton Health Centre walk in service, Brighton Station open 8am-8pm every day
- Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead, Minor Injury Unit open 8am-8pm every day
- Crowborough Minor Injury Unit open 8am-8pm every day
- Uckfield Minor Injury Unit open 8am-8pm every day
- Lewes Urgent Treatment Centre open 8am-8pm every day
- Bognor Regis War Memorial Hospital MIU 9am-5pm Monday to Friday
- Crawley Hospital UTC open 24/7
- Worthing Hospital Urgent Treatment Centre
- St Richard’s Hospital Urgent Treatment Centre
- See the full list of open services.
A pharmacist can also help with advice on minor illness and ailments, offering treatment advice and recommend remedies, and give guidance on giving medicines to children. No appointment is necessary to see a local pharmacist and most have private consultation areas. They can also offer advice about keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home, which helps everyone to be prepared for common health problems.
Health and care organisations in Sussex are working together to maintain patient safety during the planned industrial action, and NHS teams will contact patients directly if a planned appointment will be affected, and they will be rearranged as soon as possible. Patients also do not need to contact their NHS service or team in advance, the team will contact them directly if an appointment needs to be rescheduled.