Healthwatch East Sussex sees increased demand for emergency health services across East Sussex

January 4, 2018

Hospitals serving East Sussex appear to be coping so far with increased demand this winter, although there are reductions in some routine surgery to increase bed space. Ambulance services are also reporting increased demand across the county.

Healthwatch East Sussex are monitoring the impact on patients that winter pressures are bringing and we encourage the public to contact us if they have been affected:

Tel: 0333 101 4007


We have some concerns that when the public do not have access to out of hours GPs or pharmacies that this increases pressure on emergency services.  

Adrian Bull, Chief Executive East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said: “Like many other Trusts, we are seeing a greater demand for our services over the winter period. We’ve seen an 11% increase in attendances at our emergency departments and we are seeing patients with more severe symptoms”

“Our winter plans are helping us manage this increase in our demand. Our plans include a reduction in some routine surgery, to increase bed space. We are prioritising the assessment and treatment of patients according to clinical need which means that all cancer and urgent cases are planned to go ahead”

“We expect the pressure to remain over the next few days, however our focus remains on providing the highest quality service for our patients”

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust stated: “We remain extremely busy and are continuing to prioritise life-threatening and serious calls. We may take longer to reach patients who are not in a serious condition. We are asking the public to help us by only calling 999 in the event of a life-threatening or serious emergency and make use of all alternatives such as NHS 111, booking a GP appointment or speaking to a pharmacist”

Angela Stevenson, Chief Operating Officer Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust told us: “We are currently experiencing a high number of attendances to our emergency department. We’ve been working closely with our colleagues in the community and social care. We have minimised routine elective work. We are continuing to schedule those patients that are clinically very urgent, but we are reviewing this daily.”

Dr Peter Maskell, Medical Director at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust shared with us: “This is a busy time of year for our emergency departments and hospitals as a whole. We can all help by using the most appropriate health services for our ailments including our GPs and pharmacies and help keep A&E for emergencies.”

The Healthwatch East Sussex website can help you find your nearest GP or pharmacy, as well as provide you with important information such as contact details.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up to our mailing listKeep up-to-date with Healthwatch East Sussex and receive regular information on our activities and how you can have your say on local health and social care services

For detail on how we use your data please view our privacy policy here.