The NHS across the country is currently experiencing significant pressures due to the high rates of Omicron, resulting in a number of people requiring hospital admission, and high and unpredictable sickness rates across the health and care workforce.
Allison Cannon, chief nurse for the Sussex NHS Commissioners, said, “We are now seeing the effects of Omicron across health and care system and this is a crucial time for everyone. We are taking action to make sure people get the best possible care and we need everyone to play their part.
“We need people to use services in the most appropriate way to allow us to be able to care for them as well as others. We also need people to protect themselves against Covid by having their vaccination.”
The NHS announced that some routine and non-urgent appointments and operations have needed to be rescheduled to focus on caring for the sickest patients.
A ‘surge plan’ is now in place that aims to ensure patients are cared for and staff are supported in the best possible way. This includes:
· Supporting patients with Covid to safely remain at home to prevent them needing to be admitted to hospital.
· Increasing the number of people who are discharged from hospital safely.
· Using all available space and beds within hospitals.
· Stepping up Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead as a cancer hub to continue to provide vital support and operations for cancer patients across the area.
· Providing support for mental health patients so they can be cared for in the most appropriate environment.
The actions are being taken alongside the ongoing vaccination programme, which continues to deliver potentially life-saving protection to thousands of people every day. So far, over one million people have received their booster vaccination across Sussex and those who have not received their jab are being urged to come forward to get theirs as soon as possible to prevent them becoming ill in the coming weeks.
The NHS is also asking residents to ‘Help Us Help You’ and ensure that the right services are used, emergency services are only used for emergencies, and to get the vaccine,