The ArgusWeekend GP clinics in Brighton and Portslade help out Royal Sussex with winter demand (From The Argus)

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Weekend GP clinics in Brighton and Portslade help out Royal Sussex with winter demand

The Argus: Weekend GP clinics in Brighton and Portslade help out Royal Sussex with winter demand Weekend GP clinics in Brighton and Portslade help out Royal Sussex with winter demand

Weekend GP walk-in clinics have been opened to help ease the pressure on a busy hospital accident and emergency department.

GPs will be on hand to deal with minor injuries and illnesses on a first-come first-served basis every Saturday and Sunday morning until March.

The clinics will be based at the fracture clinic at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton and Portslade County Clinic in Old Shoreham Road.

Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) set up the clinics using some of the £2.3 million Government cash the city received to help it cope with demand this winter.

The clinics will be manned by GPs from across the city.

The A&E department at the Royal Sussex continues to be under pressure, with the hospital operating at red alert yesterday.

It has been caused by a high demand for services and difficulties in discharging patients quickly enough to free-up beds.

A hospital spokesman said the red status was expected to remain in place for at least another 24 hours.

Red alert status is the third highest out of four levels for Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Royal Sussex and Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath among others.

It means the trust has capacity issues, high numbers of people coming into A&E, extended ambulance turnaround times and staff shortages.

Extra staff were drafted in to help with demand in A&E and teams are working closely to try to speed up discharge times.

The CCG is running a campaign urging people to use alternatives such as walk-in centres and pharmacists instead of going straight to A&E.

CCG chief clinical officer Christa Beesley said: “Last year our accident and emergency department was extremely busy and we know that many people who were there could have been treated more appropriately elsewhere.

“That’s why we are using these drop-in clinics across the city to give people access to a GP on weekends so |people can get the right treatment more quickly and help us to save A&E for saving lives.”

For more details about the campaign and the alternative NHS services on offer, visit www.wecouldbeheroes.nhs.uk.

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