As has been widely reported in recent weeks, Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (BSUH) has been under exceptional pressure for bed space during the hot weather.
In July, over 7,800 individuals received care in A&E, and the Royal Sussex County Hospital experienced its busiest day ever on Tuesday 24th July when 315 people came through the doors for urgent medical care.
The hospital is still under exceptional pressure, which has meant that admissions from A&E into the wards have not been as rapid as usual.
“It’s important to emphasise that patients arriving at A&E are still being seen quickly by senior doctors,” says Dr George Findlay, Chief Medical Officer and Deputy CEO for the trust.
“We are receiving patients, assessing their needs and providing appropriate care exactly as normal. The trust plans for high demand situations and we have brought in more staff to ensure that we maintain levels of patient care.
“The difficulty we have at present is that our wards are at 98% capacity with patients who need our care. Some people are therefore waiting longer than we would like before being admitted to a ward.
“We are working with partners throughout the local healthcare system to ensure that patients are able to be discharged when appropriate to do so, either for community care or supported home-based care.”
Dehydration has proved to be a particular issue for many in the community over recent weeks, and the advice from the trust is clear.
“Drink more water and protect yourself from the sun,” Dr Findlay continues.
“Many of us know what we should do – but how many of us can truly say that we drink enough water, use enough sunscreen or always cover up in the hottest parts of the day?”
The local CCG has issued a range of guidance on staying well throughout the hot weather, and especially over the Pride weekend when temperatures look set to increase. This guidance can be found on their website.
For more minor ailments, pharmacists and walk-in clinics provide excellent levels of care. The national 111 advice line can also help anyone not feeling well to access the most appropriate care – which doesn’t always involve a trip to hospital.
For more information about accessing the best healthcare for your needs, please do consult the NHS Choices website.