News on our Hospital Trust during the current crisis

January 21, 2021


On Wednesday 19th January senior managers from Healthwatch East Sussex met with Joe Chadwick-Bell, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Steve Pheonix, Chair East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust Board.

The Trust continue to treat high numbers of COVID-19 positive patients across all sites, however they are hopeful of improvements on the horizon as community rates are slowly falling and the vaccination roll out programme is gathering pace.

On behalf of the Trust we were asked to share these important messages with local people:

1. If you absolutely need to come to hospital, please do so
2. If you are asked to come in, please do come in
3. If you have an appointment booked…please attend
4. We may ask you to go somewhere else for treatment, normally within Sussex, if so, we will discuss transport with you

It was reassuring to also hear, how well the system across Sussex is working together to get through this crisis, however a huge challenge for the Trust at the moment is staffing levels, especially at Eastbourne. All staff have been offered their first dose of vaccine, which is helping the Trust get through this truly horrible time. The vaccine hubs at Eastbourne and Conquest sites are working hard to provide local health and social care workers with the vaccine and the Trust are working across Sussex and with the local council to make sure that is done it a managed way.

We are also talking to Trust about some potential shared Volunteer Opportunities, building on our successful Hospital Discharge Well-being check service, where our volunteers followed up telephone interviews with almost 1800 patients from August to November; about how our experienced volunteers can continue to support the Hospital Discharge process by temporarily  joining the Trust’s volunteer team. We aim to publish the hospital discharge project findings as soon as we can.

It is critically important that we at Healthwatch East Sussex continue to hear your experiences either as an inpatient, outpatient or as a carer; we are particularly interested in your experiences of the Hospital Discharge process and you can contact us about this or any other experience using the details below.

We appreciated the time taken by both Joe and Steve to meet with Healthwatch East Sussex during these very difficult times and expressed our thanks and gratitude to them and all the staff on behalf of East Sussex Residents.

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