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.

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