The busiest accident and emergency department in Sussex is going live on Twitter today (December 10) and tomorrow (December 11).

Staff at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton will be giving regular updates of comings and goings as they stage their firstr tweetathon.

The event is part of a wider campaign to help remind people that other local health services are available and cut down on the number of unnecessary visits to A&E.

Hospital figures show one in four people are being seen in the department who could have self-treated or been given help by another local health service like their GP or pharmacist.

Terece Walters, the hospital’s associate director of operations and medicine, said: “We are seeing more and more people attend A&E when they could have been treated elsewhere.

“This means the emergency staff are put under more pressure which can lead to delays in treatment for other emergency patients.

“A&E should only be used in an emergency for serious injuries or critical situations.

“It should not be used for minor injuries or mild illnesses. They can be treated by a number of other health services available.”

Major to minor

Tweets will not reveal any personal information about patients or go in to specific details about injuries or illnesses.

The aim is to give followers a feel for the type of problems doctors and nurses are treating and how busy the department is.

It could range from the department waiting for the victim of a car accident to come in to how a person who has come in with a minor problem might have been able to get help from a walk in centre or their GP instead.

Regular updates will be tweeted by @bsuh_nhs between 9am and 5pm on both days.

A link can also be found on The Argus website at

Alternative services to A&E include: NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or

Pharmacy: Your local pharmacist can give you expert advice about over-the-counter medicines without appointment. You can find your local pharmacist at NHS Choices at

GP surgery: Your doctor and practice nurses offer advice and assessment on a range of healthcare problems by appointment. You can register with a GP at NHS Choices at

Brighton Station Health Centre: 84-87 Queens Road, Brighton. You can walk into the health centre for health problems that are not a 999 emergency, such as minor injuries.

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