Posted June 13, 2024



Health and Social Care News East Sussex – your monthly update

Protect yourself and your baby against whooping cough

If you're pregnant, getting vaccinated gives your child the best protection against whooping cough. Speak to your midwife or GP practice.

Whooping cough (pertussis) cases are currently high and the disease can be life threatening for babies. If you’re pregnant, it’s important to take up the pertussis vaccine when it’s offered to you as it helps to protect your baby in their first few weeks of life. It’s also important for babies and children to get vaccinated against it.

Vaccination is the best defence against whooping cough. The whooping cough vaccine is routinely given as part of young children’s vaccination programme and is also offered to people who are pregnant between 16 and 32 weeks. Getting vaccinated is quick and easy.

Visit the NHS website to find out more about whooping cough, how to spot the signs, and protecting yourself. If you are worried your baby may have whooping cough, contact your doctor immediately.

Measuring your blood pressure could save your life

A blood pressure monitor on a white surface.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects one in four people in England. It often has no symptoms and the first sign could be as serious as a heart attack or stroke. Taking just five minutes to measure your blood pressure could save your life.

Monitoring your blood pressure is easy and can be done at home, at your local pharmacy or by a practice nurse at your GP surgery. Local community pharmacies that are signed up to the NHS Blood Pressure Check Service are offering free checks to adults aged over 40 with no history of high blood pressure and those aged 30-39 with a family history of high blood pressure.

Read more about the importance of getting checked.

Float to Live with these simple steps from the RNLI

A close up image of waves on the sea.

Would you know what to do if you found yourself in difficulty in the water? The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is sharing five simple steps that could save your life in their ‘Float to Live’ campaign.

However you end up in the water, if you get into trouble, remember to Float to Live. The best way to float is to tilt your head back with your ears submerged. Try to relax and breathe normally. You can gently move your hands to help you stay afloat if you need to. Spread your arms and legs out to improve stability – and it’s OK if your legs sink, we all float differently. Once your breathing is under control, call for help or swim to safety.

Visit the RNLI website for more advice on Float to Live.

A huge thank you to all our incredible volunteers

Thank you to volunteers in East Sussex.

Last week was the 40th anniversary of Volunteers Week, and health and care organisations across the county said a huge thank you to all our brilliant volunteers. Your time, energy and commitment makes a huge difference in our county, thank you for everything you do.

As well as giving back to your local community, volunteering can be extremely rewarding and give your own wellbeing and self-esteem a boost. It’s a great way to meet people, learn new skills, get involved in your community, and make a difference.

Local volunteers do all sorts of wonderful things, from meeting and greeting in hospitals to growing trees, volunteering in libraries, getting young people involved in the arts, being a refugee buddy, helping shape health and care services – and much more! If you’re interested in giving it a go, find out about local volunteering opportunities using the Tribe app, or on local NHS and council websites.

Get help and advice from the Sussex Dental Helpline

Sussex Dental Helpline, 0300 123 1663, open Monday to Friday between 8am and 4pm.

The Sussex Dental Helpline is available to help people access the dental care they need, as quickly and conveniently as possible.

If you, or people you support, need an NHS Dentist, you can search for one on the NHS Find a Dentist website or call the Sussex Dental Helpline. When you call the helpline you’ll speak to a trained professional who can help you find a dentist taking on NHS patients or refer you for urgent care.

Call Sussex Dental Helpline on 0300 123 1663 between 8am and 4pm, Monday to Friday, for free help and advice, or email:

How to find out if you’re at risk from Type 2 diabetes

A person testing their blood sugar levels.

Type 2 diabetes is on the rise and is affecting millions of people. It can lead to serious health complications such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney problems. Fortunately, Type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed through lifestyle changes and early intervention.

Locally, the Healthier You programme identifies people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and refers them onto a nine-month, evidence-based lifestyle change programme.

To find out if you’re at risk:

  • Use the ‘Know Your Risk’ tool at
  • If you’re aged 40-74, get a free NHS Health Check
  • Ask your GP Practice to check if you are at risk.

Find out more about Healthier You.

Celebrating carers in East Sussex this Carers Week

Carers Week logo.

Do you look after someone who couldn’t manage without your help, or know someone who does? Caring for a relative, friend or neighbour, unpaid, is often referred to as being a carer.

This week is Carers Week (10-16 June), an annual local and national campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities where we live. The theme this year is ‘Putting Carers on the Map’.

Across the week there are lots of events being held locally to give carers a voice, help you to access support and to celebrate everything you do. You can find out more at or contact Care for the Carers, our local carers charity.

If you look after someone who couldn’t manage without your support, and would like to know what help is available, you can contact Care for the Carers on 01323 738390 or email

Where to find out more…

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Get advice on symptoms and treatments and find your nearest services, including pharmacies, dentists, GPs, A&E and urgent care.

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Want to stay living at home but finding it difficult to cope or look after someone who couldn’t cope without you? Find out how Adult Social Care can help.

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Learn about the mental health services on offer or search for local care, support and wellbeing services on the 1Space directory. You can also find a range of resources linked with rises in the cost of living on the cost of living web pages.

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