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Pop-up GP clinics open for Easter
Pop-up GP clinics will be open throughout the Easter weekend to help ease pressures on a busy hospital.
Thousands of people are expected to be visiting Brighton and Hove over the four-day weekend.
This is expected to put extra strain on health services including the already-busy A&E department at the city’s Royal Sussex County Hospital.
The temporary walk-in clinics were introduced this winter to provide an alternative to A&E and cut down on the number of people turning up there when they could be treated elsewhere.
This includes walk-in centres and chemists.
The clinics are usually open on weekday mornings, but opening hours have been extended to include Good Friday and Easter Monday as GP practices will be closed on those days.
CCG chief clinical officer Christa Beesley said: “Our accident and emergency department is an extremely busy one but we know many people could be treated more appropriately elsewhere.
“That’s why we are using these drop-in clinics across the city to give people access to a GP when surgeries are closed, so people can get the right treatment more quickly and help us to save A&E for saving lives.”
Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) began the pop-up clinics scheme at the end of last year and it was due to stop in March.
However it was so successful the CCG extended the service to May 11 to include Easter and the school holidays.
Sessions are held at Portslade County Clinic in Old Shoreham Rd and the Fracture Clinic at the Royal Sussex in Eastern Road from 9.30am until 1.30pm.
They are in addition to the walk-in at Brighton Station Health Centre in Queen’s Road, Brighton, which is open every day from 8am to 8pm.
South East Coast Ambulance Service is also preparing itself for a busy weekend.
It has plans in place to manage an expected increase in demand but is reminding the public that 999 should only be dialled in an emergency.
Steve Carpenter, senior contingency planning and resilience manager for the ambulance service, said: “Obviously a lot of people will be out and about enjoying the weekend and even more so should the fine weather continue. We’d ask that they be sensible and take care of themselves and others.
“We plan ahead for this increase and don’t want people to hesitate in dialling 999 in an emergency, but we would urge anyone who isn’t faced with an emergency to consider all the other options available to them.”
For more details on alternative services available, visit www.wecouldbeheroes.nhs.uk or www.brightonandhoveccg.nhs.uk.
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