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.

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