Local Health Network News: August 2021

Stay safe this summer

It’s summertime and we hope the weather cheers up again soon so we can all get out and about and enjoy West Sussex in the sunshine.

Even though restrictions have been lifted coronavirus is still with us and it’s important that we protect ourselves and others.

Remember to take regular coronavirus tests (you can order them free online), wear a face covering in crowded places, give each other space and get out into the fresh air if possible.

You can see the latest Covid-19 figures for West Sussex here.

Find out more

One job – get the jab

If you’ve got young friends or family members aged 18 to 25 who haven’t been vaccinated – then please encourage them to get the jab – it’s their passport to enjoying life to the full again after missing out on so much.

Book or call to receive first and second jabs or attend a walk-in vaccination clinic taking place across West Sussex throughout the summer – no booking needed.

Up to last Monday (2 August), 640,061 people in West Sussex have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccination, which is 85.5% of the county’s estimated over 18 population.

If you’ve had your jabs then get your NHS COVID pass. It shows you’ve had your vaccinations and may be required to attend events, venues and when travelling abroad.

Find out all the latest data on vaccination take up in your area on the link below.

Find out more

Beach ready? Check the App!

If you are heading for the coast and looking to avoid crowded beaches then download a free app: Beach Check UK. It allows visitors to check the state of a number of participating West Sussex beaches before they set out.

Simple to use, the app follows a traffic light system; red means crowded and best avoided, amber less crowded but busy, and green means uncongested beaches.

Currently in West Sussex, beaches featured on the app include West Wittering, Worthing (Main, West & East), Goring, Lancing and Widewater.

Download it from Google Play and the Apple App store (with no in-app purchases necessary).

Experience West Sussex, our tourism partnership, is also working to keep our county safe this summer. Check out the new safety and environmental guides which ensure everyone enjoys their day out, short break or holiday.

Free holiday club spaces

Free holiday club spaces are available across West Sussex for eligible children and young people.

If your child receives Free School Meals (means tested) then they could take part in our Holiday Activity and Food Programme, running now, free of charge.

Football and other sports clubs are being held, or they can learn about healthy eating or explore farm and forest schools, there’s something for every young person to enjoy.

Search all of the Activity and Food events near you via the link below. Please note there are currently a number of free places for eligible families, but these are limited and may book up.

What next? Advice after exam results

A-level and GCSE students will be opening their results two days apart next week after completing another hugely disrupted academic year. We wish all West Sussex students the best of luck.

Results day for A levels and other vocational courses is next Tuesday (10 August) with GCSE results due out on Thursday (12 August).

Exams were cancelled for a second year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, so students will be awarded teacher-assessed grades.

Our Careers Team will be on hand to help with what happens next, and can give advice on carrying on in education, training, an apprenticeship or a job.

If you need advice please call 0330 222 2700. There’s also a live chat facility between 10am and 4pm each weekday or you can email the team at careersadvice@westsussex.gov.uk.

Emotional wellbeing support is also available for children and young people experiencing mental health difficulties. The Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust website has a dedicated area with information for children and young people.

Any old cars?

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is appealing for donations of old, unwanted vehicles.

The service relies on donations of used vehicles from members of the public for firefighters to use for training.

This allows them to prepare for rescuing people who have become trapped in their vehicles following a road traffic collision.

Collection and removal of vehicles is free to any address within West Sussex.

To donate a car call 0330 2228377, or email frsmedia@westsussex.gov.uk with the following details: your name, contact phone number, make, model and registration of the vehicle, whether it is taxed or SORNd plus the full address, including a postcode, of where the vehicle is parked.

Small steps – big difference

Are you interested in finding out about climate change and the environment in West Sussex and how you can take small steps to reduce your carbon footprint and be kinder to the planet?

If so, why not subscribe to our Environment and Climate Change eNewsletter here?

Our monthly email contains local climate news and county council project updates, as well as information and quick-links to organisations, funding grants and local activities.
Find out more

It’s summertime and the walking is easy!

If you fancy a gentle stroll in West Sussex then we have devised 14 easy countryside trails.

The walks, which can be downloaded, are for everyone to enjoy, including wheelchair users, families with pushchairs, those wanting a gentler walk and walkers who are less mobile.

Find out more

Local Health Network News: July 2021

Covid-19 update

As the number of positive Covid-19 cases continues to rise across the county it remains important that we all continue to follow the Government guidance and help prevent the spread of the virus.

Washing hands, physically distancing, wearing face coverings, letting fresh air in, vaccinations and testing are still relevant in combating coronavirus. You can remind yourself of the current rules and restrictions on the GOV.UK website.

Regular testing can identify Covid-19 where symptoms are not present and help protect yourself and others. Visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/communitytesting to order packs of free rapid lateral flow test kits.

Anyone with symptoms should self-isolate immediately and book a free PCR test here or call 119

Full newsletter below


website www.westsussex.gov.uk
Facebook www.facebook.com/West-Sussex-Matters

Local Health Network News: June 2021

Covid-19 update

We are seeing an increase in the number of positive Covid-19 cases across the county in most age groups and all local areas. Variations in rates are to be expected and measures are in place to respond to specific incidents as they are identified.

You can check infection rates in your area through our Data Dashboard and if you use the postcode tool under the ‘cases in your local area’ section, more detail about cases in that area will appear. Please help share the link to other people who may not receive this eNewsletter so they can check rates in their local area too, or you can see our daily dashboard updates on our social media.

Everyone should continue to follow the sensible measures in place to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, such as handwashing, physically distancing, wearing face coverings, fresh air, getting regularly tested, and vaccinations.

Do you test regularly for Covid-19?

You should take a regular test if you:

  • leave home to work, volunteer or provide care
  • have children attending school
  • are visiting someone or attending an appointment in a hospital setting
  • if you’re meeting up with friends outdoors, for a drink, a picnic, a walk, or to exercise.

We’re asking all residents to take part in a survey to understand how you feel about asymptomatic testing and to find out how often you’re using symptom-free tests. Take part here and give us your valuable feedback.

Please remember, it’s important to get tested regularly if you don’t have symptoms. Anyone without symptoms of coronavirus should visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/communitytesting where free packs of rapid lateral flow test kits can be ordered and delivered direct to your home.

Anyone with symptoms should self-isolate immediately and book a free PCR test here or call 119.

Remember to book and attend your vaccination appointment as soon as you are eligible and follow the guidance even after you’ve had your vaccination.

West Sussex County Council’s Public Health team is working closely with health service colleagues and partners, such as District and Borough Councils, across the county to provide support to their local communities to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and save lives. This includes reviewing Covid-19 data daily, providing infection prevention and control advice, and implementing additional prevention measures where required.

It is important that we all keep doing our part to prevent the spread of this virus and help #KeepWestSussexSafe.

Find out more

Vaccination update

The NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme has now started inviting remaining adults for their Covid-19 jabs.

The last group of adults have begun to be called forward, with around three million people across the country aged between 25 and 29 getting invited to book their first dose. Read more here.

In West Sussex, services are being extended to increase the places where people under 40 can go for their vaccination. The vaccination service at Chichester’s Westgate Leisure Centre is being extended so that it can offer the Pfizer vaccine (which is recommended for people aged under 40) as well as the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. Appointments are expected to be made available from next week and will be through the national booking service either online or by calling 119.

NHS England has now also confirmed that appointments for a second vaccine will be brought forward from 12 to 8 weeks for the remaining people in the top nine priority groups who have yet to receive their second dose. This includes those aged 50 and over, those clinically vulnerable and unpaid carers. Read more here.

Everyone is encouraged to come forward for their second vaccination when they have an appointment. Both doses give you the maximum protection against the virus.

A dedicated ‘Quiet Covid-19 Vaccination Session’ for people in West Sussex requiring their first dose Covid-19 vaccination is now available.

The session is taking place on Sunday 27 June, 9am – 2pm at the Hindu Temple, Apple Tree Centre, Crawley, RH11 0LF.

This ‘Quiet Session’ is being offered to people living in Sussex who are currently eligible for the vaccine who may need more time for their appointment, or who have extra access needs where a quieter and calmer environment would help support them to receive their vaccination.

People can also book their carer in at the same time if they need their first vaccination dose too.

Information on how to book, together with useful easy read documents, and how to access free transport if required, can all be found here.

Please don’t forget to follow government guidance around ‘hands, face, space and fresh air’ once you’ve had your vaccination.

For more information about the Sussex vaccination programme visit their website via the link below.

Find out more

Sussex Day: safely celebrating our county’s past, present and future

The past, present and future of our county are once again being celebrated next week on Sussex Day – 16 June.

Here are some ways you can celebrate the Day:

Remember to celebrate Sussex Day safely by following the hands, face, space and fresh air guidance, as well as current national restrictions.

For more information on Sussex Day please click on the link below.
Find out more

Talk with Us – meet your local county councillor

‘Talk With Us’ sessions are running this month and next, giving you the opportunity to meet your local county councillors and ask any questions you have on county council-related matters.

The sessions will be run virtually from 8pm to 8.30pm on the following days:

  • Monday 14 June: Crawley
  • Thursday 17 June: Chichester district
  • Monday 21 June: Arun
  • Tuesday 22 June: Mid Sussex
  • Tuesday 29 June: Adur and Worthing
  • Thursday 1 July: Horsham district.

Email talkwithus@westsussex.gov.uk if you would like to attend your local session and you will be sent the joining details.

If you would like to ask a question please email it to the same email address at least two days before the planned session. If you attend the session you can then put the question in person as well as hearing other questions and how they are answered.

Having the questions in advance will help ensure they can be fully answered in the meeting. If you’re unable to attend the sessions, but would still like to ask a question, email it in to the same address and officers will ensure you get a response.

Find out more

Introducing your new county council

Following the elections last month, you can now see who your local county councillor is, along with their contact details, their photo and the area of West Sussex they represent on our website.

You can also use the search function to find your local county councillor, local district and borough council, and town or parish council.

Find out more

Keep calm – get an alarm!

Last year West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service attended over 300 house fires.

Therefore, during Home Safety Week, which runs from 14 – 20 June, the service is urging all residents to make sure they have working smoke alarms fitted in their homes, and to ensure their loved ones have them too.

This also coincides with the service’s #KeepCalmGetAnAlarm campaign, which was created as a sad result of the service attending three fatal fires in a two-week period, where smoke alarms were not present.

Find out more

Local Health Network News: May 2021

Covid-19 update

Message of support for India

News stories of how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting India are a stark reminder that the response to the virus requires a global effort.

West Sussex County Council Chief Executive Becky Shaw (pictured left) and Director of Public Health Alison Challenger (right) have issued a statement of support to communities in India and around the world.

Read their message in full and what you can do to help.

Care home visits

Care home residents can now leave to spend time outdoors without the need to isolate on their return. The change came into effect on Tuesday this week (4 May).

Some conditions apply. Residents must be accompanied by:

  • a member of care home staff
  • one or both of their nominated visitors
  • their essential care provider (where applicable)

Further information can be found by visiting gov.uk

Next steps on the roadmap

We’re due to hear from the government next week (Monday 10 May) whether or not we will move to the next step on the roadmap out of lockdown.

Moving to step three (which is due to come in on or after Monday 17 May) will mean:

  • restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted
  • the rule of six people or two households will apply when meeting indoors and will remain under review as to whether this is safe to increase.

There were 130 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in West Sussex in the seven days to Saturday 1 May, the number rising compared with the previous week.

Visit our data dashboard to keep up-to-date with infection rates where you live and remember to continue to follow the hands, face, space and fresh air guidance to help take the next step safely.

Test regularly

Symptom-free Covid-19 test kits that can be used at home are available and its recommended that you test regularly. Order free packs of rapid lateral flow test kits to be delivered direct to your home at www.westsussex.gov.uk/communitytesting

Remember, if you test negative this does not completely rule out infection with Covid-19. To protect yourself and others, you must continue to follow the current restrictions in place and remember hands, space, face, and fresh air.

Check-in for test and trace to keep yourself, friends and family safe as lockdown restrictions ease.

It is a legal requirement for all over the age of 16 to check in to venues such as hairdressers, pubs, cafes, gyms when they visit. Checking in is easy; simply give your name and contact details or check in using the Covid-19 app.

  • Download the app
  • Check in
  • Protect each other.

Please share our Covid-19 update  with friends, family and people in your community who might not otherwise see it.

Thank you for your support and let’s continue to do all we can. Stop the spread of coronavirus. Act like you have it. #KeepWestSussexSafe

Latest news on Covid-19 vaccinations

This week our NHS teams are focused on making sure that those who are due their second dose can receive their vaccination, as well as beginning to offer first doses to people in the recently eligible group – those aged 40 and over.

To date, more than 9 out of 10 people aged 50 and over, with a long term health condition or a carer have received their first dose, and of those aged 70 and over, more than 8 out of ten have now also had their second dose.

Our local NHS is also on track to offer a first dose to all adults by the end of July subject to vaccine supply.

If you are in the eligible groups and you are yet to have your vaccination, please join the thousands of others locally who are helping to protect themselves and others. You can book your vaccination now by using the online service, by calling 119 or wait to receive an invitation from your GP-led local vaccination service.

Please don’t forget to follow government guidance around ‘hands, face, space and fresh air’ once you’ve had your vaccination.
For more information, please read the latest newsletter about the Sussex vaccination programme.

Natural ways to look after your mental health

If your mental health has been hit by the impact of Covid-19, then getting out and about in our stunning county could help boost your wellbeing.

Next week (10 -17 May) is Mental Health Awareness Week and this year’s theme is nature, as research has shown connecting with nature is extremely beneficial to our mental wellbeing.

Read our news story to find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week and the support available to you. You can also visit Experience West Sussex for some fantastic ideas of places to visit across the county to help boost your mental health.

Last chance to have your say!

The ten-week consultation looking at options to redesign the Early Help service will end at midnight on 17 May 2021.

Over 1,100 people have already shared their views and completed the consultation.

Early Help is an important part of our work to support children, young people and families. We want to hear from everyone who would like to share their thoughts and ideas on our proposals. If you are yet to complete the consultation and would like to take part, please do this by 17 May 2021.

In response to feedback an additional online briefing event will take place on Wednesday 12 May from 4pm – 6pm. This event is open to everyone, providing an opportunity to hear directly from senior staff and for participants to ask any questions they have. If you would like to take part you can register here

We are keen to hear views from children and young people on our proposals. To support this, we have set up a drop-in meeting for anyone aged 13-25 on Thursday 13 May at 6.00pm. If you would like to take part you can register here

You can read details and watch videos explaining the proposals, book a place on the online events and take part on our Early Help Service Consultation Page.

If you are unable to access the consultation online, please contact 01243 777807 and we will be happy to send you a paper copy to complete.

Is now the right time for you to foster?

Foster Care Fortnight starts on Monday and we’re celebrating all of our wonderful foster carers who provide secure and loving homes to children throughout West Sussex.

The pandemic has shone a light on how a caring society can bring the best out of people and tackle challenges with compassion and kindness. This has inspired lots more people to become foster carers with West Sussex County Council over the past year – but we still need many more.

So, if you have a spare room and you’re thinking about becoming a Foster Carer get in touch with our friendly fostering team and we’ll tell you everything you need to know. You can call us on 033 022 27775 or visit our website for more information.

For inspiring stories about fostering follow us on Facebook @wsccfostering and Twitter @FosterWSCC

Supporting Dying Matters Awareness Week

Residents are being encouraged to talk about death, dying, bereavement and loss as part of Dying Matters Week 2021 which runs from 10 – 16 May.

The theme of the week is the importance of being in a good place to die – physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually and digitally. There is no right or wrong place to die; it will be different for everyone. But it is important for families to think about it, to talk about it and to plan for it. To mark this national awareness week a range of events and seminars are being held including free webinars such as:

  • Freeman Brothers introduces the funeral industry – Tuesday 11 May 11am-12pm Book here and Thursday 13 May 11am-12pm Book here
  • Funeral costs and other practical tips for people dealing with bereavement, from Citizens Advice in West Sussex – available on demand. Access from Citizens Advice website from Friday 14 May.

We have partnered with other local organisations to form Compassionate Communities West Sussex. This network of organisations is working together to support people through death, dying, bereavement and loss.

Local Health Network News: April 2021

COVID-19 update

From this coming Monday (29 March) we will be able to meet outdoors again as gatherings of six people or two households will be allowed, along with the return of some outdoor sports activities, as part of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown

However, the message remains to ‘act like you have it’ to help keep numbers down and ensure we can progress lockdown further.

COVID-19 hasn’t gone away and increased social contact means more opportunities for the virus to spread. Remember that some restrictions remain in place and we should try to avoid busy areas wherever possible when meeting friends and family.

Keep West Sussex Safe Podcast – Clare Lehman

Care homes are now open for visitors but there are steps you need to take to protect yourself and those around you.

Listen to our latest podcast with Dr Claire Lehman, Consultant in Public Health at WSCC, to find out how to visit your loved ones safely.

Listen to the podcast on Soundcloud

Infection Rates

In the seven days to Saturday 20 March there were 271 new cases. In cases among those aged 60+ there were 39 new cases.

You can get information on the infection rates in your area by visiting our West Sussex COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

Remember, if you think you may have any coronavirus symptoms, isolate immediately and book a test by visiting our website, or by calling 119 to get an appointment to visit a test site.

Community testing for people without symptoms of coronavirus.

If you can’t work from home during coronavirus restrictions, it’s a good idea to have a regular test. The Symptom-free Community Testing programme in Sussex is available to everyone living and working across Brighton & Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex.

It aims to rapidly identify people who have COVID-19 but no symptoms who could be passing it on to others without knowing. Identifying people early will help break the chains of transmission, and so return life to normal as quickly as possible.

Anyone who is eligible is encouraged to book a test twice a week, with three days between tests. For details on how to book a test visit our website

Businesses: Don’t miss the deadline to register for the government’s testing scheme. The cut-off is next Wednesday (31 March). More details can be found on our website.

Help us to spread the message

Could you help us spread the message? We have shared the images we use for the Keep West Sussex Safe campaign on our website. Please feel free to download and share them with your friends, family and people in your community who might not otherwise see these important messages.

Thank you for your support and let’s continue to do all we can. Stop the spread of coronavirus. Act like you have it. #KeepWestSussexSafe

COVID-19 vaccinations

More than 880,000 COVID-19 vaccinations have been given to people across Sussex so far – but the NHS is appealing to people in the priority groups who haven’t had theirs to book an appointment as soon as possible.

You can book a vaccine appointment now if you are aged 50 or over, if you are at high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable) or moderate risk (clinically vulnerable) from coronavirus, if you have a learning disability, live or work in a care home, or are an unpaid carer.

You can book your vaccination appointment at one of the NHS centres by going online or by calling 119.

You can also have your vaccine at your GP led local vaccination service, and you will be contacted by their team to arrange an appointment or you can contact the them now directly.

There are now around 120,000 people across the whole of Sussex in the priority groups who are yet to have their vaccination and the NHS is keen to reach as many of those as possible to make sure they receive this vital protection.

This also covers health and social care staff, and we are encouraging any employed staff who are eligible to come forward for your vaccination as soon as possible if you are yet to receive your first dose. Please speak to your employer or visit the Sussex Health & Care Partnership website to find out more.

Second dose

Vaccination services are also now starting to contact people who are due for their second dose.

People have to return to the place where they received their first dose; this is for patient safety and to ensure people receive the same type of vaccine for the second dose.

If you received your first dose at a GP led local vaccination service, you will be contacted by the team to arrange your appointment for 12 weeks from your first vaccination.

If you had your first dose at one of the pharmacy led services, such as in Midhurst or a vaccination centre such as Chichester, you should have been given a date for your second appointment at the time of booking your first vaccination.

It is really important to receive both doses and ensure you get the maximum protection from these vaccinations.

Check Before You Share

This week a new campaign has also started to counter false information about the COVID-19 vaccine.

When false information is shared, it can take on a life of its own and have serious consequences.

The new campaign from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport aims to tackle this and encourage people to think twice about the information they are sharing. It provides simple tips to help to empower communities with the resources they need to help stop the spread of misinformation.

Help us to share the message – there are videos, animations and quotes encouraging people to fact-check information before sharing online.

The NHS is the best source of info about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Continue to follow government guidance after vaccination

Whilst having the full course of the vaccine will reduce the chance of people suffering from COVID-19, they may still be at risk of catching it and spreading it to other people. Therefore, it is important that everyone is reminded to continue to follow current government guidance to stay safe.

You can find out more information about the local vaccination programme by visiting the Sussex Health & Care Partnership website.

A Day to Reflect and Remember

This week Councillor Paul Marshall, leader of West Sussex County Council, shared his own personal message expressing his condolences to those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 and thanking frontline workers who have kept essential services running.

Cllr Marshall joined those across the county who paused for a minute’s silence on the National Day of Reflection on Tuesday 23 March, which marked one year since the introduction of coronavirus restrictions.

He said: “Amid the sadness we have seen so many instances of compassion and kindness. Across the country and our county, we’ve worked together, while we have had to stay apart, to protect the vulnerable and prevent the spread of the virus.”

You can read the leader’s full message on our website.>

Register now to vote in May

Local elections will take place on 6 May for West Sussex County Councillors and the next Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner. In some areas, district and borough councillors and town and parish councillors are also being elected.

Residents must be registered to vote several weeks ahead of election day on Thursday 6 May.  For anyone not already on the electoral register, the deadline to apply to register to vote is midnight on Monday 19 April.

Registering is easy and takes just five minutes online. It is particularly important for anyone who has recently turned 18 or has moved home to act to ensure they are registered to vote.

We will make sure that polling stations are safe to use and that you can be confident in the arrangements for voting in person, but, as part of the county council’s current drive to help Keep West Sussex Safe, residents are being encouraged to consider postal voting, rather than travelling to attend polling stations, to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Residents can apply for a postal vote by visiting the Electoral Commission website to download, print and fill in the postal vote application form. The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on Tuesday 20 April. Postal votes can be temporary for these elections only and will be sent out in the run up to election day, with clear instructions on how to return them.

Have your say on important proposals

Our new Your Voice consultation site is now up and running and we want to hear your views on key projects and proposals.

1. Early Help Redesign

Early Help services provide support to children and families facing any number of challenging circumstances, working to ensure every child has a safe environment in which to thrive. A series of changes are being proposed to the service, with a consultation running until 17th May. More information on the proposals, including video explanations and details of how you can take part, are on the Early Help Redesign project webpage.

2. Post-16 Transport Policy Statement 2021/22

Calling all sixth-form age students, your families and friends! We want to hear your views on a transport policy that outlines the support available to help sixth-form age students and those aged 19 and over who have an Education Health and Care Plan to get to school or college. Have your say on the Post-16 Transport Policy Statement for 2021/22 before it is finalised later this year. The closing date for the consultation is Sunday 25th April 2021.

3. Shoreham-By-Sea

We’d like to hear your views on ideas to improve the walking, cycling and transport networks around Shoreham. The proposals are part of the government’s Active Travel Fund. They focus on Upper Shoreham Road, Middle Road and Eastern Avenue and include things like segregated cycleways, discouraging rat-run traffic and signalised crossing. Take part in this pre-consultation engagement, which is being extended to Sunday 28 March to allow for any last-minute comments.

‘Book to Recycle’ trial starts Monday

From Monday 29 March anyone wishing to visit our Bognor Regis, Crawley, Horsham, Littlehampton, Shoreham-By-Sea or Worthing Household Waste Recycling Sites will need to book a slot in advance.

So if you’re thinking of visiting one of these sites over the Easter Weekend now is the time to secure your slot.

Slots can be booked up to 14 days in advance but must be booked the day before you plan to visit.

You can make one trip each week (Monday-Sunday) per household and we would ask that you continue using a site local to you rather than traveling further afield.

The scheme is designed to allow you to safely dispose of your recycling and waste without enduring long waiting times, and will also reduce disruption to local residents, businesses and the highway network.

Find the opening dates and times of your local site. You can book your slot or find out more below.

Keep the kids entertained over Easter

Are you wondering what you’re going to do with the kids over the Easter holidays?

Fear not, as West Sussex Libraries, teaming up with UK Harvest, will bring you a wealth of interactive activities to keep your children (and you) amused over the break.

The focus of the activities are all around food and there are four themes:

  • Growing – Tuesday 6 April
  • Fun with food – Thursday 8 April
  • Fit & Strong – Tuesday 13 April
  • Cooking and ingredients – Thursday 15 April

All the activities are being done virtually and are available online and on the Family Corner Facebook page.

For anyone who doesn’t have access to a computer, local libraries will have all the activities available, bagged-up and ready to collect from the door.

Families can also share themselves getting involved by tagging West Sussex Libraries on Facebook and Twitter and using #WSHealthyHolidays.

Act F.A.S.T. when stroke strikes

The ‘Act F.A.S.T.’ stroke campaign uses an acronym to highlight the key signs of stroke:

  • Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
  • Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there?
  • Speech – is their speech slurred?
  • Time to call 999 if you see any single one of these signs of a stroke

By recognising these signs and acting F.A.S.T. should any single one of these signs occur, lives can be saved and stroke sufferers can be given their best chance at recovery as well as a likely reduction in permanent disability.

The NHS has put in place a range of measures to ensure that people can be treated safely during the pandemic. So, if you see any single sign of a stroke, don’t hesitate – just call 999.

Find out more on the NHS website.

We can all act to help prevent a stroke by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding smoking and drinking too much alcohol. If you know you have high blood pressure, have been found to have an irregular pulse or need treatment for cholesterol, please follow the advice you have been given by your GP practice to manage these risk factors.

Wellbeing advisors, based in the local Wellbeing teams, can help to address these lifestyle issues.

Local Health Network News: March 2021

COVID-19 update

Although plans to ease lockdown restrictions have been announced, people in West Sussex should continue to follow national lockdown rules. This means you must stay at home as much as possible. You can find a full list of what you can and cannot do on the Gov.uk website.

You can also find all the latest information and advice about coronavirus in West Sussex on the County Council webpages. Information includes:

All the latest national advice and guidance is available on the Gov.uk website.

Keep up to date with the latest on the COVID-19 vaccination programme

The NHS in Sussex continues to make good progress with the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. The total number of vaccinations given across Sussex is now over 530,000.

Healthwatch West Sussex would like to hear your views and personal experiences of the COVID-19 vaccination and you can do this by completing a short survey. The survey will close at midnight on Wednesday 31 March.

All of the most up to date information including a list of all the GP vaccination sites in West Sussex is available by visiting the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website where you can also read daily briefings for West Sussex.

Remember your medication this Easter

Local GP practices will be closed over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend – on Friday 2 April and Monday 5 April – so remember to order your repeat prescriptions well in advance.

If you need regular, routine medicines take action now by checking what you need and requesting a prescription from your GP Practice. By doing this it will help the local out of hours services that are available over the bank holiday weekend to deal with urgent medical help.

Follow these three simple steps to make sure you have the right medicines
over Easter:

  1. Check your medicines cabinet – do you have enough prescription and over the counter medicine to cover you for the Easter holiday;
  2. Order any repeat prescriptions from your GP surgery if you are running low or expect to run out completely;
  3. Talk to your pharmacist – they can advise on medications and repeat prescriptions if you are unsure or require any more information.

Non emergency transport

The local NHS is reassuring those who rely on Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service (NEPTS) that all their needs will still be met through a high quality, patient-centred and responsive service, after the tender process for a new provider was paused. The Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service provides transport for eligible patients to and from their home.

Sussex NHS Commissioners had planned to go out to tender for NEPTS this year, however, the continuing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted upon this planned timetable.

An extension to the existing service is being sought with the current provider, South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS), whose contract was due to expire on 31 March 2022. Subject to agreement, SCAS will continue to provide the service for an additional 6 months, with the possibility of extending for a further 6 months until 31 March 2023.

The priority for Sussex commissioners is to have a safe, effective service in place for those who need it.

Show your support for this months health campaigns

There are a range of national health campaigns and awareness days happening in March that you may want to get involved with or show your support for. Here is a selection:

1 – 31 March | Ovarian cancer awareness month | To find out more information or ways to raise awareness such as completing the step challenge visit Ovarian Cancer Action.

1 – 7 March | Eating disorders awareness week | The aim of this international campaign is to fight the myths and misunderstandings that surround eating disorders. Beat, the UKs eating disorder charity, have a number of ways you can get involved.

10 March | No smoking day | Help is available from your local Wellbeing teams who can offer tailored advice and support via the telephone. Contact your local Wellbeing team to book a telephone appointment with a stop smoking advisor.

A call to care
On 9 February, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) launched a new approach to provide a much needed short-term boost to the social care workforce.

Jobseekers, volunteers and those on furlough can register their interest for short-term opportunities. This might be by providing wellbeing support, collecting and delivering supplies, personal care or cooking and cleaning – exact roles will be based on an applicant’s experience and the local need.

If you would like to make a real difference to someone’s life and can work well with others, this may be the opportunity for you.

Read the latest news from our partner organisations…

Small bites

  • The next meeting of the Primary Care Commissioning Committee in common takes place on Tuesday 16 March between 10.00am and12.40pm.
  • Healthwatch West Sussex are asking people to share letters they have received from the NHS which may have been confusing. This is part of their #ConfusingComms campaign.

We want to make sure these bulletins cover the information you want to hear about.

Please tell us what you think or if you have any ideas of what you would like to see in future issues.

For all other news stories please visit the West Sussex CCG website.

If you would like to receive this newsletter directly and are currently not a member please join the West Sussex Local Health Network.

Local Health Network News: January 2021

COVID-19 update

People in West Sussex should now follow national lockdown rules. This means you must stay at home. You can find a full list of what you can and cannot do on the Gov.uk website.

You can also find all the latest information and advice about coronavirus in West Sussex on the County Council webpages. Information includes:

The West Sussex  Community Hub which is open 8.00am – 8.00pm, seven days a week is focused on helping the most vulnerable people in the county by providing support, information and guidance.NHS Volunteer Responders are also still providing vital support to people vulnerable to COVID-19 and this will continue until at least March 2021. The scheme continues to accept new referrals, and volunteers are ready to provide vital support to those who meet the criteria. You can contact the NHS Volunteer Responder Service online or call on 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm seven days a week).Could you donate plasma to help treat coronavirus patients? NHS Blood and Transplant is asking for people who have had COVID-19 to consider donating blood plasma which could be used to treat others. You can register your interest online and there is a donation centre in West Sussex..All the latest national advice and guidance is available on the Gov.uk website.

Keep up to date with the latest on the COVID-19 vaccination

The NHS in Sussex continues to make good progress with the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

We are working to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible. This is the largest vaccination programme ever undertaken by the NHS and it will take time to get it to everyone. The pace of progress depends to a large extent on the availability and supply of the vaccine.

As the vaccine is rolled out there are three important messages for the public:

  • The NHS will contact you when it’s your turn. Services are very busy providing care and rolling out the vaccine, so please wait to be contacted.
  • Please act on your invite when it comes.
  • The vaccine is one of our best defences against COVID-19 but for now it is essential that we do all we can to stop the spread of the virus. Adhering to the current restrictions and remembering hands, face and space will save lives and help the NHS.

You can find all of the most up to date information including a list of all the GP vaccination sites in West Sussex by visiting the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website.

We are aware that some people have received fraudulent calls and text messages offering the COVID-19 vaccine. Please be alert to these types of scams and remember the vaccination is free of charge and the NHS will never ask for your bank details.

The new Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is being rolled out to General Practice led vaccination services in Sussex making it easier to protect care home residents and other vulnerable people against COVID-19.

Dry January

Dry January is an annual campaign which encourages people to give up alcohol for the month of January. It is run by the charity Alcohol Change UK. Taking part in Dry January has some real benefits including

  • reducing your waistline
  • boosting your energy levels
  • saving you money

Not to mention it will do your body a lot of good. It is also a way to reset your relationship with alcohol and drink more healthily all year-round.

People who sign up for Dry January, whether online or via the free app are TWICE as likely to make it through the whole month alcohol-free compared to those who go it alone.

The West Sussex Wellbeing website is a great source of trusted information and advice to help people improve their health and wellbeing all year round. The website has more information about local support available, support for anyone affected by someone else’s drinking, and alcohol advice during COVID-19.

Shielding of Clinically Extremely Vulnerable

Shielding advice for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) people has been reintroduced.

People within this category will be eligible for support to stay at home including free delivery of medicines (where friends, family, or local volunteers are unable to provide help) and statutory sick pay where people are unable to work from home.

The Government will once again be writing to all CEV individuals in England to inform them of the advice and support available.

We know that this may be a difficult and worrying time for people and we anticipate that patients may have questions about the advice they should follow. We are very grateful for your continued efforts in supporting those at highest risk from COVID-19 during the pandemic and will provide further updates as necessary.

Update to maternity services

Due to the current unprecedented situation with an increase in cases of COVID-19 across Sussex, immediate changes are being made to maternity services to ensure that all births can take place as safely as possible.

The safety of births is our priority, so across Sussex the decision has been made to suspend planned homebirths and births at stand-alone midwife led units at this time.

Our teams are working to ensure that our maternity services are as accommodating as possible. There are many ways you can be supported to ensure your birth is a positive experience, as close as possible to the experience you were expecting. The home birthing teams and midwife-led unit midwives will be available to continue to provide care if you were planning a home birth or a midwife-led unit birth.

Sussex Carers Partnership Project

Three Sussex Carers Centres including Carer Support West Sussex are inviting unpaid, family and friend carers across Sussex to a series of discussion workshops this month. The workshops will explore carers’ experiences of using healthcare services in order to make specific recommendations which will be shared with local NHS and care organisations..

There are three virtual sessions which will focus on the following topics:

  • Carers and Coronavirus: Planning for Recovery | Tuesday 26 January | 10:30 – 11:30am
  • Caring Doesn’t Come with A ‘How To’ Manual: Exploring Carers’ Experiences of Navigating Healthcare Systems | Wednesday 27 January | 2:00 – 3:00pm
  • The Invisible Army: Making Carers Visible | Wednesday 27 January | 6:00 – 7:00pm

All of the sessions will be hosted on Zoom – an online conference platform – and you can find out more or  register online at Carers Support West Sussex.

Read the latest news from our partner organisations…

Small bites

  • The next meeting of the CCGs Governing Body takes place on Tuesday 9 February between 9.30am and midday.
  • Meeting papers for the next Primary Care Commissioning Committees in Common are available to read. The meeting will take place on Tuesday 19 January from 10am – 12.40pm

Read an open letter on behalf of the Clinical Chairs of Sussex CCGs.

Vaccination Champions Promotion

Do you want to make a difference? Would you like to promote the health of the Sussex population?

We are seeking volunteers to become Vaccination Champions to help the NHS in Sussex raise awareness of the COVID-19 vaccination.

Vaccination Champions are part of an exciting new way of helping the NHS in Sussex communicate about the COVID-19 vaccine and dispel myths on the vaccine.

We would particularly welcome applications from:

  • Ethnically diverse communities, including Gypsies, Roma and Travellers
  • Faith groups and communities
  • Older people
  • People with physical and sensory disabilities
  • People living in rural communities
  • Carers and parent carers
  • People who live in Bognor Regis, Crawley, Eastbourne, Hastings, Hangleton, Littlehampton, Moulsecoomb, Newhaven, Peacehaven & Whitehawk.

Vaccination Champions receive expenses and will be offered a £20 Amazon Voucher on completion of training and tasks as agreed.

Vaccination Champions will be asked to attend one 2.5 hour session on either the following dates:

  • Wednesday 13 January 2021 at 11 am – 1.30 pm
  • Tuesday 19 January 2021 at 5.30 pm – 8 pm
  • Monday 25 January 2021 at 5.30 pm – 8 pm

We are very happy to share more with you about this opportunity. If you would like to find out more, please contact us today using the details below.

Applications to become a Vaccination Champion can be made in written form and by telephone supported by the CCGs’ Public Involvement team. Please submit your application by Monday 4 January 2021.
Contact us today and sign up to be involved in something great for your local community and for yourself:
For further information, please review the:

  • Vaccination Champions Volunteer Profile
  • Vaccination Champions Application Form

WRITE TO: NHS West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group, Wicker House, High Street, Worthing BN11 1DJ
website covid-19-vaccination-champions
phone 0792 024 4988 or 07881 501 356
email sxccg.involvement@nhs.net

NHS Volunteer Responders

Your NHS needs you! Join our team today.

NHS Volunteers Responders

NHS Volunteer Responders has been set up to support the NHS during the COVID-19 outbreak. To do this we need an ‘army’ of volunteers who can support the 1.5m people in England who are at most risk from the virus to stay well. Our doctors, nurses and other professionals will be able to refer people in to NHS Volunteer Responders and be confident that they have been matched with a reliable, named volunteer.

You can help by signing up for one or more of the tasks listed below. Once you have registered and checks are complete you will be provided a log-in to the GoodSAM Responder app. Switch the app to ‘on duty’, and you’ll see live and local volunteer tasks to pick from nearby.

This programme enables volunteers to provide care or to help a vulnerable person, which is permitted under the new rules announced by the Government on 23rd March 2020. Volunteers may be asked to show the active task they are responding to if asked.

Your NHS needs you! Join our team today.

Volunteers must be 18 or over, and fit and well with no symptoms. Those in higher-risk groups (including those over 70, those who are pregnant or with underlying medical conditions) will be able to offer support by telephone.

Your safety is our priority. The majority of tasks can be undertaken while social distancing and volunteers will receive guidance through our ‘getting started pack’. If you do become ill you can pause your volunteering.

Patient transport drivers will require an enhanced DBS check and will receive guidance to do this role safely, also included within the ‘getting started pack’.

Join Us Today