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Covid-19 is an unprecedented public health emergency and the county’s public and emergency services are working together to support vital services, protect the most vulnerable and mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on our communities and businesses.

We urge everyone in Sussex to follow Government advice and seek information from trusted sources – your local authority websites or your local news media.

Visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus for up-to-date information.

News releases

Sussex Local Resilience Forum Covid-19 update

Agencies of the Sussex Local Resilience Forum (Sussex LRF) continue to work to protect public safety in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday September 9, in light of the improved picture in Sussex, the LRF’s Executive Group agreed to formally stand the response down from a major incident footing but continue to closely monitor both the local and national situation.

The pandemic was declared a major incident on 20 March as the impact of Covid-19 across the UK escalated, triggering a fully co-ordinated and well-rehearsed multi-agency response bringing together local authorities, emergency services, health and other local agencies.

Assistant Chief Constable Dave Miller, Chair of the Sussex LRF, said: “While the Covid-19 virus remains a threat in the UK, agencies across Sussex will continue to work together to protect public health, prevent deaths and to help our local communities recover and return to some sense of normality.

“It is important now, in line with Government advice, that people do everything they can to prevent the spread of this disease by following the law and guidance in place and the simple rule of ‘Hands.Face.Space’ - wash your hands regularly and for more than 20 seconds, use a mask when needed, and maintain social distancing.”

Agencies of the SRF continue to meet regularly to review the local situation and to develop plans that will help communities and the economy recover from the national health crisis.

As the NHS prepares to mark its 72nd anniversary, public services urge Sussex to ‘stay safe’ as pubs and restaurants re-open.

WS32833 Pub Opening campaign for Sussex Resilience Forum2.jpgLeaders from local authorities, blue light services and health, have come together to urge people to pay a fitting tribute to the 72nd anniversary of the NHS this weekend, as pubs and restaurants re-open, by staying safe.

The combined message from Sussex Resilience Forum partners, is to stay alert to Covid-19 and avoid placing strain on the NHS and other local services as pubs, restaurants and many other leisure facilities re-open this Saturday, 4 July.

Public services across Sussex are preparing for the potential impact of the changes that will see people able to drink and socialise in ‘Covid-secure’ licensed premises for the first time in months.

Local services are preparing for a surge in demand with the prospect of warm weather and the relaxation of the social distancing measures encouraging more visitors to enjoy the coast and night-time economy. As the NHS is set to mark its 72nd year on 5 July, in what has been described as “the most challenging year in its history”, the call to the public is to pay a fitting tribute by following guidance and avoiding unnecessary risk this weekend.

It comes after incidents last week where huge numbers of visitors left roads gridlocked near Camber and the police and the local authority left dealing with the aftermath of large gatherings in Brighton and Hove.

The message from partner organisations ahead of Saturday 4 July is clear: enjoy yourself but stay safe and respect our local communities.

Chair of Sussex Resilience Forum, Assistant Chief Constable Dave Miller said: “Our businesses and communities are understandably welcoming the further easing of restrictions planned.

“We want everyone to be able to enjoy the additional freedom this will bring but our plea is to do this safely and to avoid placing additional strain on emergency services and the health service that have all worked so hard to protect the public during this pandemic.

“The fact that the re-opening coincides with the 72nd anniversary of our health service, which has demonstrated its incredible resilience and relentless care throughout this pandemic, makes our message even more important.

“For many, the experience of visiting a pub or restaurant will be very different, as social distancing restrictions will remain in place, and large gatherings continue to be prohibited. This means that pubs and restaurants will have a number of measures in place, with limits on the number of customers they can welcome into their premises.

“It’s crucial people plan ahead, contact the venue they are visiting or check their website to find out how to do this in a safe way.”

Police and local authorities are working closely together to support the further re-opening of the local economy with a view to maximising public safety and to preventing and tackling anti-social or criminal behaviour and the impact of this on our local communities.

Those who do decide to visit pubs and restaurants, are encouraged to take the following steps to ensure their trip is as safe as possible:

  • Follow social distancing guidance at all times
  • Plan ahead – many pubs and restaurants will be working to a strict ‘bookings only’ policy to limit numbers
  • Avoid large gatherings and do not congregate outside licensed premises

Assistant Chief Constable Dave Miller continues; “What is important now, is that we all continue to support our communities in preventing the spread of the virus, which remains a real risk.

“Our teams across the SRF will be working hard to ensure that resources are in place to respond to demand, but we would ask everyone to play their part by working with us.  Please enjoy our pubs and restaurants sensibly, take note of the new restrictions in place, and avoid large crowds to keep each other safe.”

South East Coast Ambulance Service Operating Unit Manager Tim Fellows said: “This weekend we’ll be joining in saying thank you to everyone who has supported the NHS over the last few challenging months. To help us we really need people to act responsibly so there isn’t unnecessary additional pressure on our service. We urge everyone to please be sensible, stay safe and carry on looking after themselves, each other and the NHS.”

Partners working as part of the Sussex Resilience Forum and joining in this call to communities include:

  • Emergency services including Sussex Police, South East Coast Ambulance Service, East Sussex and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services
  • Health organisations including Public Health England, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals Trust
  • Local authorities including East Sussex County Council, West Sussex County Council and Brighton & Hove City Council

Further information on changes to restrictions can be found at gov.uk

Showcasing the incredible work of the voluntary sector in Sussex during pandemic

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Clockwise from top left: the team at Rye foodbank; food deliveries being assembled by volunteers for East Sussex County Council; British Gas, 4x4 Assist and Eastbourne First supporting Eastbourne Foodbank; VE Day celebrations with Selsey Mutual Aid, Sussex 4x4 Response ready to delivery vital supplies; Coastguard Rescue Teams who have been working throughout the pandemic (image taken pre-Covid-19).

As part of national Volunteers’ Week, Sussex’s voluntary organisations have been thanked for their incredible efforts in responding to the coronavirus crisis.

In an open letter to voluntary organisations and the wider community, Chair of the Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF) Neil Stocker has expressed his “huge appreciation for all of the hard work and inspiration that has gone into your efforts to support our communities since this crisis began.”

The forum, responsible for co-ordinating the work of public services including blue light responders and local authorities, is using Volunteers’ Week as a chance to showcase stories of voluntary work undertaken in response to Covid-19 across the county, and to encourage others to consider voluntary work within the community.

Martin Kelly, West Sussex County Council, who is responsible for volunteers within the SRF said: “From grassroots mutual aid groups in towns and villages, to Sussex-wide support for major logistical operations, the voluntary sector has stepped up to support our aims as an SRF in protecting the people of Sussex from harm.

“We have been pleased to use this opportunity to share some of these stories, and look forward to continuing to work with them as our communities make their first steps towards recovery. I hope the stories also inspire others to think about the wonderful impact voluntary work can have on local people and communities.”

Stories of voluntary groups at work include:

Selsey Covid-19 Mutual Aid Group

The residents of Selsey, West Sussex, came together during the pandemic, putting in place a remarkable range of support including

  • A network of 140 vetted individuals offering support from a named buddy for every vulnerable resident
  • Co-ordinated deliveries of food, medicines and other essential supplies, including to celebrate VE Day
  • In person and phone welfare calls for those who could be isolated
  • Fundraising by local charities to support those suffering financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.

Selsey residents continue to foster community support as lockdown restrictions ease, closely linking with West Sussex CC and local authority and health support. To find out more, visit the Selsey Covid-19 Mutual Aid Facebook page.

Brighton and Hove Community Works

Read volunteer stories of local heroes to Brighton and Hove, including video interviews.

Engineers from University of Sussex creating face shields for the NHS

A team of three engineers from the University of Sussex worked through the night in May to complete prototype face shields for NHS workers.

Sussex 4x4 Response

The team of volunteers at Sussex 4x4 Response have provided immense support to Sussex Resilience Forum logistics in delivering PPE and other vital items. In addition, they have tirelessly supported the NHS in delivering medical equipment.

Sussex Search and Rescue

Since 23 March, Sussex Search and Rescue have been deployed by Sussex Police (and assisting colleagues in Hampshire) on 14 occasions as well as committed many days of work delivering PPE for key workers:

  • 25 members have supported this work.
  • They have driven a total of 4,742 miles across Sussex making these deliveries.
  • They have spent a cumulative 263 hours making these deliveries.
  • So far (as of 29 May) they have delivered 720,736 items of PPE.

British Gas, 4x4 Assist Sussex and Eastbourne Borough Council

British Gas, 4X4 Assist Sussex and the council’s Neighbourhood First team supported Eastbourne Foodbank to distribute food parcels to people with severe financial difficulties during the Covid-19 crisis, with over 200 being delivered at the height of the crisis.

For more details about Eastbourne Foodbank visit eastbourne.foodbank.org.uk.

Haywards Heath Covid-19 Mutual Aid

“Haywards Heath Mutual Aid (HHMA) has been helping the neighbourhoods of Haywards Heath, Lindfield, Cuckfield and surrounding areas during this unprecedented coronavirus crisis with over 700 volunteers. It has been heart-warming to see these many registered to help, which made it possible to attend over 1,200 requests in just 10 weeks since 20 March. This milestone and any future milestones we achieve is all due to the amazing bunch of volunteers we have. In this volunteer week, we want to say a huge THANK YOU to each and every one of our volunteers. Thanks for taking the step to help others. Every volunteer who helped others during this crisis selflessly being in the frontline should be proud of what you are doing.”

Message on behalf of HHMA.

Free online mental health and wellbeing drop-ins

An Eastbourne community organisation, run predominantly by volunteers, has been offering free online sessions for parents and families who need help with their mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus lockdown. Holding Space supports parents, carers, children and families who are struggling with their mental health.

For more information visit: www.holdingspace.org.uk, email: contact@holdingspace.org.uk or see the Facebook page: Eastbourneholdingspace.

East Sussex Food Deliveries

Throughout the crisis, food deliveries have been delivered across Sussex to ensure those residents shielded at home for medical reasons or unable to get food for other reasons, had support throughout.

Sarah Hungerford, East Sussex County Council, said: “This project has affirmed my faith in humanity, it has been so lovely to see how many people have wanted to help and have enjoyed being part of such a vital operation.

Part of the packing team would usually be working in school kitchens for Chartwells who supply our school meals or in the canteen at East Sussex County Council’s HQ. We have been sending out 800-1,000 boxes per week and it is wonderful to hear how the essential items have helped the most vulnerable residents.

“Everyone who has been involved in this project has given 100% of their time and efforts, all this has been driven by the shared desire to ensure no one in the community goes without. Hopefully we can take the good out of this situation and be grateful to have such a loving community in East Sussex.”

National Emergencies Trust donations to support Sussex services

The National Emergencies Trust has given multiple donations to services in Sussex including:

  • East Sussex Association of Blind and Partially Sighted People (ESAB) based in Hailsham to support some of their most vulnerable members.
  • Hastings Advice & Representation Centre (HARC) funding to continue offering free and confidential welfare benefits advice, information and representation service to residents across Hastings and Rother.
  • Rye Food Bank donation to help them continue to feed over 150 people within a week.

Coastguard Rescue Teams

Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, Coastguard Rescue Teams have continued to provide crucial services on the Sussex coastline. As well as supporting Sussex Police on mutual aid patrols, their expert volunteer teams have provided 100s of hours of emergency response alongside working from home, family and other commitments. Last Sunday saw a 168% increase on the May 2019 average with 241 incidents across the UK making it the busiest day of the year so far.

Volunteers working in Crawley - #loveyourneighbour

Crawley launched the #Loveyourneighbour campaign at the beginning of April and since then over 90 volunteers from local churches have been serving their local community in many ways.

Liz, who co-ordinates this work, said: “We have felt it to be a time of blessing not only for those receiving but for those giving too. We are helping the local food bank deliver food parcels, delivering prescriptions for pharmacies and individuals, doing regular shopping for those unable to get out and being phone friends to those feeling isolated, many of whom are looking forward to meeting after lockdown! On top of this we have started regularly making sandwiches for the homeless, 1200 so far, and cooked and delivered hot meals to the local young people’s YMCA.”

Betty, a lady in her 80s, said: “We’re ever so pleased and grateful, you’re doing such a good job!”

To find out more about opportunities for volunteering to support your community, visit your local authority website or click on the links above.

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Sussex Resilience Forum thanks volunteers for their hard work

To celebrate Volunteers’ Week, 1 – 7 June, the Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF) is shining a light on the stories of Sussex volunteers who have supported their communities in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

From the start of the pandemic, volunteers have provided services at all levels, from delivering vital  PPE supplies to protect the frontline, to making welfare calls and food drops to support individuals within communities.

The SRF is the multi-agency operation through which the work of local authorities and emergency services co-ordinate the response across public services, also working closely with health services and the military and linking with central government.

The Volunteer Work stream triages requests for support from these and also other voluntary, community & social enterprise organisations, and Volunteers’ Week is a chance to celebrate volunteers supporting directly and also those less formal voluntary efforts, where people have selflessly given their time and efforts to help others.  

Neil Stocker, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, SRF Co-Chair, said: “I have been so impressed by the scale of ingenuity, enthusiasm and sheer persistent hard work which has gone into the efforts of volunteers to help and protect the people of Sussex.

“The scale of the efforts, ranging from rescue charities driving thousands of miles to deliver PPE and essential equipment, to individuals who’ve taken up responsibility for looking after people in their local communities, and those volunteering to use their specialist skills within the SRF, has been astounding. I thank each and every one of them for their efforts.

“As we turn our minds increasingly to planning how to support our communities as they consider the next tentative steps towards recovery, I know that volunteers will remain an essential part of this effort.”

Organisations and individuals involved in supporting the SRF’s response include:

  • Team Rubicon UK
  • Sussex 4x4 Response
  • Sussex 4x4 Assist
  • Chartwells
  • Red Cross
  • East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
  • West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
  • Haywards Heath Mutual Aid

In addition, throughout Volunteers’ Week, the SRF agencies will be sharing stories of localised examples of voluntary work to support communities. Please visit @SussexRF on Twitter and Sussex Resilience Forum on Facebook to see these throughout the week. 

Be Coast and Country Aware- Stay safe and safeguard our emergency services

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Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF) is reminding members of the public to stay safe when visiting the county’s coastal sites and open areas.

Following government changes to Covid-19 restrictions, members of the public are able to exercise freely and travel any distance to reach outdoor areas for the purpose of exercise or recreation, whilst complying with social distancing regulations.

An increase in visitors to coastal areas and national parks in Sussex is therefore expected as the warm weather continues, and SRF partners are urging all to stay safe, safeguarding themselves and the county’s emergency services.

Marc Clothier, T/Superintendent, Sussex Police and SRF Tactical Chair said: “It’s really important that while people are enjoying the warmer weather and spending time outside, that they take simple steps to stay safe.

“Many beaches do not have lifeguard services in place and not all public facilities have reopened due to Coronavirus restrictions, so we need people to make responsible decisions about their journeys and destinations, so that social distancing can be maintained.

“Taking these measures will mean we can all play our part in keeping safe and protecting our emergency services whilst enjoying the county.”

Claire Hughes, director of HM Coastguard said: “Now, more than ever, people need to respect the sea and the coast. Whether you’re local or not, whatever your ability or experience in your chosen sport or leisure activity, the sea can still catch you out and be unmerciful when it does.

“The majority of beaches will not be lifeguarded. If you get into trouble call 999 and ask for the Coastguard and we will come to your aid. But coronavirus hasn’t gone away and we all need to follow the rules. Remember your choices might put people, including yourself and frontline responders, at risk. Take extra care in these extraordinary times.”

SRF and its partner agencies will be issuing safety messages across their websites and social media platforms over the coming weeks.

Communities are also reminded to continue to take note of national updates around restrictions which are subject to constant review.

Current Government advice is that you must continue to stay 2m away from anyone not in your immediate household and that public transport should be avoided for all but essential journeys.

For the most up to date government advice on Coronavirus restrictions, visit www.gov.uk

Sussex Resilience Forum shines a light on Sussex support services as part of Mental Health Awareness Week

Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF), a multi-agency partnership which includes all emergency services, local authorities and other agencies, is highlighting the range of services available in Sussex to support positive mental health, as part of national Mental Health Awareness Week.

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, the annual week aims to raise awareness and understanding of the many issues that impact on mental health, whilst promoting ways to protect and encourage positive mental wellbeing.

The SRF is co-ordinating the local response to Covid-19, and a range of work is underway to provide help and support for anyone impacted by lockdown restrictions.

Throughout the week, the SRF will shine a light on the work of partners, the services available to help people who may be vulnerable, and the achievements of volunteers who have given up their time to support the mental wellbeing of others during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Chair of the SRF, Assistant Chief Constable Dave Miller explains, “We’re aware of the strain that the weeks of restrictions in place have had on people across Sussex and the potential impact on mental health.

“Sussex has a range of fantastic support services available and this week is an opportunity to promote advice and good practice on ways to protect your own mental wellbeing and resilience in these difficult times.”

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has expanded the Sussex Mental Healthline, available on 0300 5000 101 - to provide a 24/7 service to people needing urgent help with their mental health.

As well as crisis support it will provide psychological support to people who have general concerns about their mental health.

Information will be shared throughout the week via the SRF Facebook and Twitter channels, follow @SussexResilienceForum and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

SRF Response to Prime Minister’s Announcement

Chair of the Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF), Assistant Chief Constable Dave Miller, has commented following the Prime Minister’s announcement on modifications to lockdown restrictions:

“Whilst we await further detail surrounding the modification to lockdown measures, we continue to urge communities to observe and comply with the social distancing regulations in place to do all we can to keep people safe.

“SRF partner agencies continue to work together to prevent the spread of the virus, save lives and protect Sussex communities.  Please continue to check our website and social media channels for the most up to date information and guidance for Sussex, along with Gov.UK for further national updates.”

Huge ‘thank you’ to GSK after donation of hand sanitiser to protect Sussex frontline 

Sussex Resilience Forum - PPE delivery Op Apollo.jpg

Sussex public services are delighted to have received a large donation of hand sanitiser from healthcare companies GSK and Diversey to help protect essential workers in the fight against covid-19. 

Global brand GSK, which has a branch in Worthing, West Sussex, contacted the Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF) with the offer of supplies in April. 

GSK Worthing has traded IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) - which has been in short supply during lockdown - for hand sanitiser manufactured by Diversey. Diversey have supplied their proprietary sanitiser to GSK sites, some of which has been donated to SRF.

The SRF co-ordinates the Sussex-wide response from emergency services, local authorities and other agencies linking in with health services and Government. 

It is the mechanism through which stocks of hand sanitiser and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for Sussex frontline workers including care staff, firefighters, social workers and those working for voluntary organisations are being co-ordinated to enhance the supplies from central Government. 

This month, the logistics work stream within the SRF has taken several deliveries of PPE which have been distributed throughout the county to protect keyworkers.  

Marc Clothier, T/Superintendent, Sussex Police and SRF Tactical Chair, said: “This is a fantastic example of how businesses, organisations and the public of Sussex have really come together in the face of covid-19. 

“There’s no question that this donation will help front-line workers in doing what they do best: protecting and supporting the people of Sussex. 

“Thank you so much to the teams at GSK, Diversey and also to all of those businesses and individuals who’ve helped us by supplying PPE items since this crisis began.” 

Simon Foster, Site Director at GSK Worthing said: “We are incredibly proud to be able to make this donation of hand sanitiser to help support the many brilliant staff across Sussex who are at the forefront of this fight against COVID-19. The supply for this donation is the result of a fantastic collaboration by our site team, our suppliers and the team at Sussex Resilience Forum, and I am delighted that this much needed commodity can be put to excellent use, benefitting our local community.” 

The appeal for items continues and any businesses with high quality supplies should email the details to sussexresilienceforum@sussex.pnn.police.uk.  

An open letter to the people of Sussex from public service workers makes an emotional plea

Sussex’s NHS, care providers, councils, police, fire and ambulance services are making an impassioned plea to the public to continue to stay at home to stop the spread of Covid-19.

In an open letter to the public, public services across Sussex urge local communities to stick with Government advice.

With the warm weather expected to remain into the weekend, and as the fifth week of lockdown draws to a close, Sussex Local Resilience Forum organisations are turning to the public to play their part in combatting the pandemic.

The letter, from Sussex LRF Chair, Assistant Chief Constable Dave Miller begins: ‘To our local communities. As another warm weekend approaches, we need your help…Please, stay home, protect the NHS, and save lives.’

It goes on to outline the efforts of key workers right across Sussex including ‘doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals…working around the clock to save lives’ and whose ‘families worry about them too’.

The letter has been endorsed by leaders from key public services around the county including the Council Leaders of the three local authorities, the Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner, Chief Fire Officers, the Chief Executive of the South East Coast Ambulance Service and the NHS Covid-19 leader for Sussex.

These public agencies and others across Sussex are working together and with the military, private and voluntary sectors, as part of the Sussex LRF to combine and co-ordinate efforts to help protect the public.

The letter will be supported with this video, featuring personal pleas from doctors, nurses, social workers, paramedics, firefighters other frontline workers tasked with the job of keeping Sussex safe during the pandemic, asking people to work with them as #SussexTogether.

The letter reads:

To our local communities,

As another warm weekend approaches, we need your help.

Please, stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.

Across Sussex, all of our organisations are working hard to keep you safe and well and make sure you get the essential services you need.

We are your NHS, your care providers, your councils, your police, fire and ambulance services, working together with the military, private and voluntary services to protect you and prevent deaths in our county from Covid-19.

Our staff are working hard to prevent the spread of the virus. Our nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals are working around the clock to save lives.

Our key workers are putting themselves forward every day to ensure people can be cared for, children educated and looked after, and communities given access to the things they need.

We thank you for all that you are doing to support us.

The most important thing you can do is to continue following the social distancing rules.

Thank you for helping to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Sussex.

Together, we will get through this.

Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.

#SussexTogether

Thank you.

ACC Dave Miller

Sussex Resilience Forum Chair

 

Endorsed by:

Council Leader Cllr Nancy Platts, Brighton and Hove City Council

Council Leader Keith Glazier, East Sussex County Council

Paul Marshall, Leader of West Sussex County Council including West Sussex Fire and Rescue and Service

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne OBE

Giles York QPM, Chief Constable, Sussex Police

Philip Astle, Chief Executive, SECAmb

Dawn Whittaker, Chief Fire Officer, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

Adam Doyle, Chief Executive of the Sussex NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups and Sussex NHS Covid-19 Lead

Anyone can spread Coronavirus. The only reasons to leave home are:

  • To shop for basic necessities or pick up medicine
  • To travel to work when you absolutely cannot work from home
  • To exercise once a day, alone or with members of your household
  • Do not meet others, even friends or family

Thank you to the public, businesses and volunteers for your support in the ongoing PPE appeal

Huge thanks has been paid to members of the public, businesses and volunteers who have supported Sussex keyworkers in accessing essential personal protective equipment (PPE) to tackle Covid-19.

The Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF) is responsible for coordinating the response to Covid-19 alongside emergency services, local authorities, health and other agencies.

The SRF is sourcing supplies of PPE and providing an essential link to central Government, monitoring remaining stocks in Sussex for colleagues such as care and social workers, firefighters and volunteers, until additional national supplies are in place.

Following a county-wide appeal, members of the public and businesses have come forward with their spare items which are not being used during lockdown.

A network of volunteers has provided vital support by collecting essential PPE from sites across Sussex, before these items are checked and redistributed for use.

This is just one of the ways in which volunteers have supported the SRF in protecting the ongoing safety of the Sussex public, with other volunteer-led services co-ordinated through the SRF including community hubs (details above), packing and delivering food parcels to shielded residents and providing support to those most vulnerable in the community.  

The workstream responsible for managing logistics, comprising staff from Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire and Rescue, and the Military amongst others working side by side, has also taken a number of one-off deliveries of PPE, which have been distributed to health and social care locations across Sussex such as care homes and voluntary services.

Dave Miller, Assistant Chief Constable, Sussex Police, and SRF Chair said: “The public of Sussex have really come together since our response to this health emergency began.

“There are so many ways in which communities are supporting this effort. Heroic volunteers are bringing their time, expertise and resources to enabling the essential work of key workers and helping the most vulnerable. Agencies across the SRF have mobilised to enable this effort alongside their existing workload, keeping vital public services running. We also really appreciate the support of the wider public, through alerting us to their PPE via this appeal and responding to the public health pleas to stay at home.

“We continue our appeal to businesses, the public and organisations to get in contact if they have remaining supplies of PPE which could help us in the face of Covid-19.

“If you have any of the items below, please email the details to sussexresilienceforum@sussex.pnn.police.uk.”

Items required:

  • Protective goggles
  • Disposable aprons
  • Small, medium and large disposable gloves
  • IIR face masks
  • FFP3 face masks
  • Hand sanitiser

Appeal for PPE to protect frontline workers of Sussex continues

SRF PPE appeal.jpgPublic service organisations continue their plea to businesses and the public to get in touch if they can supply vital PPE to protect frontline workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following a county-wide appeal, the Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF) has been contacted by businesses and individuals from a wide range of sectors, from nursery schools through to pharmaceutical suppliers, offering to manufacture or donate unused supplies.

The SRF co-ordinates the response, resilience and recovery plans for all emergency services and local authorities, also drawing on resources such as the military, with direct links into Government. Plans are closely aligned with NHS teams, who report through a regional mechanism to the Department for Health (DFH).

The multi-agency group is sourcing kit to fill in the gaps until national supply chains of protective equipment, such as gloves, face masks and gowns, are in place.

Since a major incident was declared in Sussex on 20 March in response to Covid-19, the SRF has already ensured that care homes and other health settings have had supplies via deliveries across the county, working closely with local authorities.

Dave Miller, Assistant Chief Constable of Sussex Police and SRF Chair, said:

“My personal thanks to every single person who’s been in touch with offers of PPE. It is incredible that we have this support from the public as the SRF pulls out all the stops to get protective kit to those who need it most.

“There are almost 3,500 care settings in Sussex and the SRF has co-ordinated the distribution of over 250,000 items of PPE so far this month, with more deliveries due imminently.

“But we know that we need more protective masks, gloves, aprons and sanitising gel to keep sufficient supplies.

“As this public health emergency unfolds, we are working hard to ensure that we can get the data on where supplies are most needed, and also to make sure that everyone is using the most up to date guidance.

“From all agencies, our thanks to all of the heroic front line workers in the health, social care and emergency services working day and night to keep the public safe.”

Items require are as follows:

  • Eye protection EN166:2001 Frame Marking: 3  
  • Hand sanitiser gel (greater than 60% alcohol)  
  • Disposable overshoes CE marked  
  • Disposable overalls CE marked  
  • Disposable plastic apron (single use) 
  • Disposable gloves (single use) EN:374/5 (Viral protection)/nitrile purple/ nitrile blue 
  • Fluid repellent surgical mask (single use) Type 11R medical use  
  • Drager dust masks 
  • Hand soap  
  • Surface cleanser spray  
  • Universal cleaner  
  • Cleaning cloths  
  • Disinfectant  
  • Blue wiper roll  
  • Industrial cleaning wipes (excess of 60% alcohol or a disinfectant contained within it)  
  • Jumbo toilet rolls  
  • Paper hand towels  

Donations can be made by contacting SussexResilienceForum@sussex.pnn.police.uk

Delivery and collection can be arranged. All items need to conform to the safety standards highlighted above.  

Three temporary mortuary sites announced today for Sussex

Three temporary mortuaries are to be installed in Sussex in the coming days to ensure those who die in the Covid-19 pandemic are treated with dignity and respect.

Supplied by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, four temporary units providing 300 spaces will be arriving tomorrow on the grounds of the University of Sussex in Falmer.

This is in addition to storage facilities currently on site which are managed by Brighton & Sussex Medical School meaning capacity will increase to 430.

More units procured by the Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF) will arrive at Falmer next week to be used if needed.

The units will be discreetly situated in a space on the grounds and will be shielded from public sight as much as possible to ensure privacy and reduce distress.

The SRF has been coordinating the death management plans working with skilled and experienced coroners, mortuary teams, police, NHS partners, funeral directors and council staff across East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove.

Speaking about the work being undertaken, Dave Miller Chair of the Sussex Resilience Forum said he understood today’s announcement would be upsetting but that it was crucial that statutory duties continued to be fulfilled during this period and that reassurance was given to bereaved families, providers of funeral services and partners in the NHS of our capacity to do so.

He said:

"I know this is something we don’t want to think about, but like every LRF area in the country, we are dealing with the effects of coronavirus and part of that is to make provision for additional mortuary capacity, we continue to hope for the best, but plan for the worst which we know the public would expect us to do.

“Whilst the picture for the worst case scenario changes on a daily basis and will also be determined in part by the success of the lockdown measures in Sussex, we are expecting to deal with a rise in the number of deaths during the peak period that will take us beyond existing resource for this time of year.

“We are therefore putting measures and resources in place urgently to ensure all deaths during this period are dealt with respect and dignity and in accordance with appropriate public health requirements.”

Units for an additional 230 spaces at Worthing Hospital and 290 at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester are expected to arrive early next week.

There are no current issues with any of the county’s mortuary capacities.

Urgent appeal to Sussex businesses for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Does your business have stocks of PPE which could help in the fight against Covid-19?

Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF), which brings together public service agencies in responding to Covid-19, is appealing to businesses for vital personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies to help protect frontline workers delivering essential services to Sussex residents during Covid-19. 

As the nation faces unprecedented demand for PPE, there is a very limited supply coming into the county for social workers, care home staff, firefighters and volunteers, with the NHS understandably being prioritised.

Dave Miller, Assistant Chief Constable, Sussex Police, and Chair of the Sussex Resilience Forum said: “If your business or organisation has these vital supplies to protect frontline workers, we urge you to contact us. We are short of items such as masks, hand sanitiser and gloves which are fundamental for the good care of individuals with suspected symptoms of Covid-19. 

“We are hoping that all types of businesses and organisations from high street beauty salons through to academic institutions that use these products daily can help us by offering stocks whilst they are closed. If you have any items from the specific list below, we would be very grateful for donations as soon as possible. We also ask that any suppliers that can manufacture PPE contact us urgently.

“In addition, we’ve had a fantastic response to our appeals for volunteers to support the SRF’s response to Covid-19, and will be contacting them in due course to support this and other pieces of work to help Sussex communities.”

  • Eye protection EN166:2001 Frame Marking: 3  
  • Hand sanitiser gel (greater than 60% alcohol)  
  • Disposable overshoes CE marked  
  • Disposable overalls CE marked  
  • Disposable plastic apron (single use) 
  • Disposable gloves (single use) EN:374/5 (Viral protection)/nitrile purple/ nitrile blue 
  • Fluid repellent surgical mask (single use) Type 11R medical use  
  • Drager dust masks 
  • Hand soap  
  • Surface cleanser spray  
  • Universal cleaner  
  • Cleaning cloths  
  • Disinfectant  
  • Blue wiper roll  
  • Industrial cleaning wipes (excess of 60% alcohol or a disinfectant contained within it)  
  • Jumbo toilet roll  
  • Paper hand towel  

Donations can be made by contacting SussexResilienceForum@sussex.pnn.police.uk 

Delivery and collection can be arranged. All items need to conform to the safety standards highlighted above.  

Public services across Sussex join forces in “mammoth effort” to respond to Covid-19 pandemic

In an unprecedented effort, public services across Sussex are coming together to protect and support the communities of Sussex in the face of Covid-19.

Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF), a multi-agency partnership which includes all emergency services, local authorities and other agencies, is working closely with the military and NHS to co-ordinate the local response to Covid-19 on behalf of the Government.

Drawing on well-rehearsed plans, staff from across the public sector are working side-by-side to ensure that services are being delivered in the best interests of the public, with special attention given to the most vulnerable in communities.

Key areas of focus through the crisis so far have included co-ordinating the work of volunteers, gaining additional supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and ensuring Sussex’s most vulnerable have the help they need.

Read the full story.

Sussex Local Resilience Forum declares Covid-19 a major incident

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic in Sussex has been declared a major incident by the body representing the county’s public and emergency services.
Sussex Local Resilience Forum (Sussex LRF) is made up of multiple-agencies who work together to plan and prepare for localised incidents and catastrophic emergencies.

Read the full story.

Contact the Forum

By email

On social media

By post:

  • Sussex Resilience Forum
    Operations Department
    Sussex Police Headquarters
    Church Lane
    Malling
    Lewes
    BN7 2DZ

 

The Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF) is a multi-agency partnership whose members have statutory responsibilities under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, to work together to prepare, respond to and recover from emergencies and major incidents.

A major incident is a widely used term recognised nationally and locally within the SRF and is defined as:

“An event or situation with a range of serious consequences which requires special arrangements to be implemented by one or more emergency responder agency”

The Sussex Resilience Forum consists of members from the Emergency Services, National Health Service / Public Health England, Local Authorities, Environment Agency and Military and other government representatives, with comprehensive support from the Voluntary Sector coming together with the principle aim of ‘Making Sussex a Safer Place’  

The SRF Executive Committee meets tri-annually to discuss SRF activities and set the strategic direction.

Preparing for emergencies is part of the day-to-day job. This involves:

  • Risk assessments to assess the type of hazards that might affect Sussex.
  • Preparing plans to address different types of emergencies.
  • Training and exercises to test the plans and keep staff up to date.

Plans are written and exercised in order to provide an effective and timely multi-agency response from SRF members and other organisations.

  • The Sussex Emergency Response and Recovery
  • The Mass Casualties Plan
  • The Mass Fatalities Plan
  • The Resilient Communications Plan
  • The Sussex Major Maritime Emergency Plan
  • The Recovery Plan
  • The COMAH Off-site Emergency Plan for Gatwick Airport Storage and Hydrant Company Limited Fuel Farm
  • The Animal Diseases plan
  • The Major Accident Hazard Pipelines Plan
  • The Sussex Resilience Forum Gridlock Plan

The Civil Contingencies Act (2004) places a legal duty on the wide range of responders to carry out risk assessments and maintain them in a Community Risk Register.

The assessment of the risks in Community Risk Register is the first step in the emergency planning process; it ensures that planning and other work is carried out in proportion to the risk.

A risk register for Sussex has been published which highlights potential hazards in our area. It does not assess every single risk, instead focusing on those that are most likely to happen and the impact these would have across the county.

Following the recent publication of the new National Risk Assessment the Sussex Resilience Forum Risk and Horizon Scanning Working Group is reviewing and updating the Community Risk Register.

In the meantime if you have any questions or concerns regarding a specific risk please email the Resilience Forum at: SussexResilienceForum@sussex.pnn.police.uk and we will endeavour to respond.

Download our Community Information on Risks in Sussex documents below.

This aims to help you think about what you can do to be better prepared for emergencies which could affect your homes, communities and businesses. It includes information on our top risks.

Please also see the link to the National Community Risk Register 2017 edition.

We have produced two documents to help you understand the risks in our area.

Download our Community Information on Risks in Sussex document

This has detailed information which aims to help you think about what you can do to be better prepared for emergencies which could affect your homes, communities and businesses. It includes information on our top risks.

Our SRF Information for Communities is a shorter version which may be more suitable for those who want a less detailed overview.

The Civil Contingencies Act divides responding organisations into two categories. We are also supported by the voluntary sector.

Category 1 Responders

Emergency services

  • East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service
  • West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service
  • Maritime & Coastguard Agency
  • South East Coast Ambulance Service
  • Sussex Police
  • British Transport Police

Health organisations

  • Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
  • NHS England
  • Public Health England
  • Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • World Health Organisation

 

Local authorities

  • Adur & Worthing District Council
  • Arun District Council
  • Brighton and Hove City Council
  • Chichester District Council
  • Crawley Borough Council
  • East Sussex County Council
  • Eastbourne Borough Council
  • Hastings District Council
  • Horsham District Council
  • Lewes District Council
  • Mid-Sussex District Council
  • Rother District Council
  • Wealden District Council
  • West Sussex County Council

Environment

  • Environment Agency

Category 2 responders

These organisations are less likely to be involved in the core planning work but may be heavily involved in incidents.

  • Gatwick Airport
  • Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
  • Transport – Highways Agency, Network Rail, bus companies, train operating companies
  • Utilities – gas, electricity, water, sewerage, public communication providers
  • Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group
  • High Weald Lewes Havens Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Horsham and Mid Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Queen Victoria Foundation NHS Trust

Voluntary sector

  • Age UK
  • Action Deafness
  • Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)
  • Neighbourhood Watch - Sussex
  • RAYNET
  • RSPCA
  • Sussex Community Search Team
  • Salvation Army
  • Samaritans
  • St Johns Ambulance
  • Sussex 4x4 Response
  • Victim Support
  • Volunteer England
  • Cruse
  • PDSA
  • Counselling Directory

What to do in an emergency

There are important differences among potential emergencies that will affect the decisions you make and the actions you take.

In an emergency, if you are not involved in the incident, but are close by or believe you may be in danger, the best advice is to go inside a safe building (close windows, turn off any air-conditioning or ventilation equipment), stay inside until you are advised to do otherwise, and tune in to local radio or TV for information.

  • Make sure 999 has been called if people are injured or if there is a threat to life.
  • Do not put yourself or others in danger.
  • Follow the advice of the emergency services.
  • Try to remain calm and think before acting.
  • Try to reassure others.


Emergency responders may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should watch TV, listen to the radio or check the internet often for official news and instructions as they become available.

Your home

Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as making an emergency kit and developing a family emergency plan, are the same for both a natural or man-made emergency.

Download our booklet to find out more - Preparing for Emergencies

Your community

Talk to your neighbours about how you can work together during an emergency and consider preparing a Community Emergency PlanExternal Link

Your business

Businesses can be affected by a whole number of issues including loss of utilities, loss of IT systems and extreme weather. The Business Continuity ToolkitExternal Link could help you recover from a crisis.