Alternatives to A&E

As you may be unaware of the all services available to you locally, we have listed the key ones below. By choosing the right service, you will get the right advice and treatment - and help the NHS manage its resources. For instance, did you know that one out of every four people who go to A&E could have been treated elsewhere or could have self-treated? Every time someone goes to A&E and is discharged without needing further treatment, the cost to the NHS is £124.

  • The NHS Website is a dedicated website where you can find up-to-date and expert advice on a range of illnesses and complaints, as well as NHS services.:
    NHS Direct 111 provides a confidential telephone service, 24 hours a day, to give advice and guidance on health issues and health services.
  • A pharmacist (chemist) can give you confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and ailments – and you don’t need an appointment. A poster in the window of any local pharmacy will tell you which are open in the evening and on Sundays / bank holidays.
  • Your GP practice can be contacted on 01323 761461 between 8.30am and 6pm Monday to Friday, for appointments or advice, including urgent advice. Appointments can also be pre-booked by patients in advance and we have a GP appointment only clinic on a Saturday and Thursday morning for patients who find it difficult to attend during our normal opening hours. If in doubt, call us first and we will be able to advise you where you can get the treatment you need.

We also offer a Minor Injury service.

If you need a GP or urgent advice when the practice is closed, ring our surgery telephone number 01323 761461 and listen to the available options. Our out of hour’s service (weekday nights, weekends and bank holidays) is run by local GPs. When it is necessary to be seen by a GP, this will be arranged.

There is also a walk in GP Surgery at Eastbourne Railway Station Health Centre, open 8am-8pm, seven days a week, including bank holidays. Ideally you should be seen at your own surgery but when the surgery is closed or at weekends the walk in surgery is available for all patients of local practices, and visitors. You don’t have to register - just walk in or telephone 01323 726650 for an appointment.

A&E and the 999 ambulance service should only be used in a critical or life threatening situation, such as a serious accident, severe chest pain, loss of blood or loss of consciousness.

We want to make sure the highly skilled teams at our A&E department are available for those who really need them. Your support to help us do that is really appreciated.

See below for some other local services, including the emergency dental service, and helplines.

  • Ring the NHSDental Helpline 0300 1000 899 if you want to register with a dentist for NHS dental services or have a dental emergency in the daytime on a weekday.
  • The NHS Emergency Dental Service is for urgent dental treatment out of hours when your own dentist is closed (or if you do not have a dentist). NHS dental charges apply.
    • Hailsham 01323 449170: Lines open weekdays from 6.30pm, and weekends and bank holidays from 1pm
      Lewes 01273 486444: Lines open weekdays from 6.30pm, and weekends and bank holidays from 9am
      Hastings 01424 850792: Lines open weekdays from 6.30pm, and weekends and bank holidays from 9am.
  • Sexual health services – the diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections and contraceptive / family planning – are provided at our surgery. Please ask for an appointment with Nurse Nahed or Catherine for Sexual Health and Nurse Nahed for family planning.
  • One You offers a number of services from stop smoking to help with weight loss. You an contact them on 01323 404600 or visit their website on 
  • The Sussex Mental Healthline 0300 5000 101 is a service available to anyone concerned about their own mental health or that of relatives or friends. It provides telephone support and information, Monday to Friday 5pm – 9am, and 24 hours at weekends and bank holidays.
  • STAR provides advice, information and treatment for anyone experiencing difficulties with drugs or alcohol or anyone affected by someone else’s drinking or drug taking. Telephone 01323 721000 for more information.