An elderly lady sat home in front of her fire
A HEALTH watchdog is advising the public to stay warm in the cold weather and worry about paying the bills later.
David Liley is chairman of Healthwatch Brighton and Hove, an organisation which fights to make health and social care services work better.
He said the Royal Sussex Coounty Hospital in Brighton and other hospitals are under extreme pressure as winter progresses.
But he has warned that keeping the heating off and being cold isn’t the answer for hard-up residents.
Mr Liley said: “At this time of year some people will be worried about their heating bills.
“But I urge them to stay warm and worry about the money later. It is vital everyone keeps warm.”
He urged people only to use A&E if absolutely necessary.
He said: “The NHS 111 line is excellent and if possible you should seek help from there.”
Meanwhile, the NHS in Coastal West Sussex is working to make sure patients spend no longer than they need to in hospital.
The Let’s Get You Home initiative will support people to return home quickly and safely, or if this is not possible, to move to a care home or supported housing once treatment in hospital is complete.
This will help Worthing Hospital and St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester have beds available for people who need them, especially through the winter when more people are ill or have accidents.
It will involve staff having earlier conversations with patients – usually within 24 hours of being admitted – about how they will leave and being given clear information about the choices available.
Hospital staff and local council adult services teams will be working more closely with each other to ensure patients have the care and support they need to return home or go into a home.
Source: The Argus