NEWSLETTER ISSUE #Winter 2015    

People as partners – Healthwatch England annual report 2014/15

Healthwatch England has published its 2014/15 annual report. Healthwatch East Sussex will be monitoring locally the issues Healthwatch England has identified in the report.

In addition, based on the information and experiences we have received from local people and groups, Healthwatch East Sussex is publishing our local priorities for the next nine months,  which are:

Adult social care:
A high proportion of East Sussex care homes have recently received an inadequate or requires improvement rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

We asked our partners Hastings Voluntary Action, Rother Voluntary Action and 3VA, to hold a series of focus groups (as well as talking to individuals) with care service users in their area. We wanted to understand, what matters most to people about the services they receive? It has emerged that many people are still unsure what is available, if they are eligible, and how they can access the support. The report is published on our website.

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT)
In September 2015, following an ‘Inadequate’ rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC),  ESHT was put into special measures by the Trust Development Agency (TDA).

A quality improvement action plan has been developed by the Trust. It is being scrutinised and monitored by key statutory partners such as the Health Overview Scrutiny Committee (HOSC), the Clinical Commissioning Groups, the Trust Development Agency and Healthwatch East Sussex.

Young people
Healthwatch East Sussex has published a report which reviewed the Child and Adolescent Mental Health service. The headline information was that it takes a while for people to receive a service, but the service is good once they get it. The report has been received by Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust. They confirmed it picked up a number of themes which are reflected in a recent CQC report, and where they are required to improve which is included in their action plan. They confirmed they will use the current CQC action plan to address the issues raised.

There is a gap in our information on how young people view local health and care services, and how this impacts on their health and wellbeing.

Mental health
Healthwatch East Sussex has published a report which reviewed the mental health line service. The headline information indicated issues with service quality and availability.

The report has been received by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. They confirmed it recognised the overall themes relating to communication, training, access, promotion, expectation, pathways and purpose. As a result the Trust has decided to review the service, and will liaise with and include Healthwatch East Sussex.

Primary care
High Weald Lewes Havens Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG), and Eastbourne Hailsham and Seaford CCG have taken over commissioning GP services in their areas from NHS England. Both CCGs have established a Primary Care Commissioning Committee (PCCC) to oversee this work. Healthwatch East Sussex is a non-voting member of each PCCC. Hastings and Rother CCG has also committed to follow the same process as of April 2016, and we will update people on how Healthwatch East Sussex will be involved.

Healthwatch East Sussex has been working with Patient Participation Groups (PPGs), providing a year’s free membership to the National Association of Patient Participation (NAPP). We are establishing an understanding of the types of collaboration, priority work, information and experience data PPGs can provide.

Healthwatch East Sussex is providing user experience information to the Surrey and Sussex NHS networks for Pharmacy, Optometry and Dentistry.  

Actions Healthwatch East Sussex will take relating to each of the priority areas can be found in the full reports.

Now! Charity Group Ltd Update

Now! Charity Group Ltd
is really excited to announce that we are opening a New Training Centre in Hailsham in January!  We have known for a long time that there is a real need for our free training in this part of the county and are delighted that we will at last be able to address this. ‘Training Now!’  is the training brand of Now! Charity Group Ltd and will be offering training in Basic Maths and English, Mental Health First Aid, Woodwork and Up-cycling of furniture (i.e Shabby Chic), and Volunteering and Employability Courses among other projects. Our aim is to reach out to people in the Hailsham community who want to learn new skills, build their confidence, make new friends and live interesting and fulfilled lives.

The new accessible training centre is in Station Road in Hailsham and will be officially opened on 12th January by the Queen’s representative, The Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Peter Field.  Contact Sue Goodwin on 01323 887199 for further information.

Now! Charity group Ltd is currently working on a unique project exclusively in Eastbourne, working with residents who are in receipt of sickness benefits and funded by DWP. The project involves building confidence, identifying and then breaking down barriers; and looking at steps towards the future by holding a variety of two hour workshops on subjects which include: Woodwork, ICT, Gardening, Mental Health, Art and Music therapy, First Aid, Cooking, Advice on business start-up, Knitting etc.
This project has already exceeded its targets for the year. In just the first 8 months of running we have worked with over 150 clients; delivered over 400 workshop certificates; over 10 participants have progressed into further education; over 7 have progressed into volunteering and 4 participants have secured part time employment. If you or you know someone who would like to participate, then contact us on 01323 887199 Now!

Now Charity Group Ltd are also offering an Introductory Mental Health Awareness Course. Mental health problems cover a wide range of issues - including stress, anxiety, depression and substance abuse - that affect someone’s ability to get on with their daily life. The most common mental disorder in Britain is mixed anxiety and depression. 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem during some point of their life.

Early intervention can help slow down or stop a mental health problem and lead to faster recovery. However most of us know little about mental health. We often don’t spot the signs that someone else - or ourselves - is struggling until very late. An MHFA course will teach you to recognise the early signs of a mental health problem, and give you the confidence and knowledge to help. By the end of the course participants will be able to:

  • Identify the discrimination surrounding mental health problems.
  • Define mental health and some mental health problems.
  • Relate to people’s experiences.
  • Help support people with mental health problems.
  • Begin developing a business case for promoting positive mental health in the workplace
  • Look after their own mental health.

The course also introduces ALGEE – a unique tool for conducting mental health first aid. Contact Lynette Baldwin on 01323 887199 for more details of this course.

Support for VCS to access Building Better Opportunities funding

Throughout 2015, SpeakUp Forum’s focus has been directed toward the Building Better Opportunities (BBO) programme, ensuring that the voluntary sector in East Sussex is informed about the large funding opportunity provided by the European Social Fund through South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SE LEP) and match-funded by Big Lottery Fund. The programme will provide a total of £16 million to the SE LEP area.

The BBO funding goes to projects that support people furthest away from the job market with specific focus on the following target groups: disabilities and long-term health, mental health, carers, older people, lone parents and those with difficulty sustaining employment. Whilst the funding is open to applications for grants from organisations across all sectors, it is very well suited to providers from the voluntary and community sector.

It was our role as one of the project development funded organisations to ensure the sector in East Sussex was informed and able to build partnerships with relevant lead organisations to bid for BBO funding. Apart from regular briefings directed at the sector through a variety of channels, SpeakUp Forum organised two events in preparation of the opening of the fund. The first event, held in Hastings in May, aimed to raise awareness and clarify burning questions of the sector in regard to the funding. The following event in Ashford in August involved networking to bring together potential  leads and delivery partners for the SE LEP South area (East Sussex, Kent & Medway), which we hosted together with IMAGO.

SpeakUp Forum directly communicated with over 80 organisations throughout the project development phase and reached out to over 5,500 individuals through newsletters.
The deadline for the first round of applications for the BBO programme in the SE LEP area was on 30 November. For more information on Building Better Opportunities
visit our website.

SpeakUp Forum will continue to influence SE LEP on behalf of the sector in East Sussex to ensure voluntary and community sector organisations will be included in relevant future funding strands.

Safe Place Scheme

Rother Voluntary Action were pleased to launch the Safe Place Scheme in Rother last night at the De La Warr Pavillion.  Originally piloted in Hailsham, the scheme is now being implemented across East Sussex, and has been developed to offer a place of safety for people with a Learning Disability who may need support to get help or a quiet place to sit of a moment.  We would like to thank the De La Warr Pavillion, Hastings Furniture Service, Bexhill Community Support, Bexhill Library and also Battle Library for agreeing to take part in the scheme, which came about as a partnership between Sussex Police, Safer East Sussex Team, East Sussex Learning Disabilty Team and RVA, HVA and 3VA. 

Building Stronger Bridges – Hastings and Rother 

As part of an East Sussex wide project, RVA are leading on the Building Stronger Bridges project in Hastings and Rother.  Building on our previously successful Community Friends groups in rural Rother we are now encouraging the development of good neighbour schemes in urban areas and we are pleased to be able to announce that there are new groups in Bexhill, Battle, Guestling and Pett as well as Hastings and St Leonards.  Based on what local people can offer to their neighbours there is a variety of support available, including Befriending, Transport, Shopping, small gardening projects, help with pets or home shopping.  If you would like to volunteer or know of someone in need of support please contact Jan Cutting, for Rother or for Hastings and St Leonards.

Clean Seas Please - Not just ok – but good!

The Cleans Seas Please team are happy to report that, from a predicted failure for the new bathing water standard for Hastings up until a few months ago, the result in November was actually not just a pass but a good standard.  This community engagement project was a partnership between the Environment Agency, Hastings Borough Council, Southern Water, Hastings Voluntary Action and Rother Voluntary Action and came about because few people knew about the issues and consequences around the new EU bathing water standards implemented this year. The campaign used simple messages and images to encourage the community of Hastings to think what they flushed down the toilet, put down the sink or how their property was plumbed.  Look out for the Clean Seas Please film soon to be posted on  For more information please contact Jan Cutting,

Auction Ring Carol Night Raises £400 for Farmers

A carol evening at Hailsham Cattle Market raised more than £400 for farming charities R.A.B.I. and FCN.

The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I) helps people who have suffered accidents or ill-health or whose livelihoods are threatened by such things as bad weather or diseased animals.

Help is tailored to individual need, but is mainly financial. In 2014, £1.9 million was paid out in grants to around 1,400 individuals and families across England and Wales and the charity’s welfare officers made more than 1,800 visits. More than £46,000 was given out in grants in Sussex last year.

Reverend Mark Betson led proceedings for Hailsham’s night of carols and there were readings from Andrew Samuel. Eleven-year-old Guy Beddows delighted the 70-strong audience with his solo version of Pie Jesu.  

Sally Field, R.A.B.I’s regional manager for the South East, said: “The tinsel decorated auction ring provided a wonderful atmosphere for the evening and I’d like to thank everyone who attended and supported, including local businesses such as DSC and Mole Valley. South East Marts generously allowed us to host this event at the cattle market for the fourth time.

“Farming is a vital industry, bringing all the food you eat to your table, but farmers can get into difficulties even when they do nothing wrong, as the recent floods in Cumbria and Lancashire fully illustrate. When farming people need help, R.A.B.I is there.”

To find out more about R.A.B.I visit or call R.A.B.I’s confidential helpline 0808 281 9490.


Have your say at the East Sussex Have your Say Hub

Please visit the East Sussex Have your Say Hub for opportunities to give your views. You can search for consultations by keyword, postcode, interest etc. You can also see how previous feedback has influenced our decision making process and what has happened as an outcome.

  WHATS ON    

Business Seminars in Wealden

New for 2016, Wealden District Council is joining up with Pro-actions (business improvement specialists) to provide a programme of business seminars which will be FREE for you to attend.  The following calendar of events has recently been agreed and we invite you today to make a note of these now and look out for further details at: where you will be able to register to attend.




24 February

How to take your business to the next level and succeed


22 March

Improve your sales and win more customers


4 May

Marketing for growth (including an introduction to social media for business)


14 June

Time management secrets of effective and successful businesses


20 July

Business planning – your roadmap to success


6 September

Controlling your cash and increasing your profitability


11 October

Grow your business through fantastic leadership and management


16 November

Bank lending and how to get it – how to prepare for a successful loan application


13 December

How to take your business to the next level and succeed


Wealden Business Breakfast : 15 March 2016

We also invite you to make a note of our first business breakfast of 2016 being jointly planned with the FSB for Tuesday 15 March to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week 2016.  Further details to follow early in the new year.

Brighton Housing Trust Training – Essential Training for the Voluntary Sector

Our courses have been designed to meet the training and development needs of people working in the voluntary sector, focusing primarily on work with vulnerable adults.

Training courses running in East Sussex in January
Leading Teams through Change - 11th January
Fire Warden - 12th January
Universal Credit: A Technical Guide - 14th January
Legal Highs - 18th January
Introduction to Managing People – 19th & 20th January
Support Work & Emotional Resilience – 21st January
Professional Boundaries – 25th January
Supporting Volunteers – 27th January

All of the above courses will be running in Brighton unless stated otherwise. If you would like further information about one of the courses listed, please contact the Training Team:
Tel:  01273 645401 Email:  Website:


Older People’s Partnership Board: Update for ESSP E-News

At its meeting on 9th November, 2015 the Older People’s Partnership Board discussed:

  • Healthwatch are working with the Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust to gather feedback and review access, pathways and purpose.
  • ESBT is in week 65 of a 150 week plan. Services are on track to begin in 2016 with the 2 largest work streams being Health and Social Care Connect and the development of the Integrated Local Access (ILAT) Teams.
  • A working group has been set up to review the future role of partnership boards. The aim is to have a model that can respond to current needs, and offer opportunities for active professional involvement, discussion and information sharing.
  • The Cabinet papers (13/10/2015) are available to the public and East Sussex Better Together (Health and Adult Social Care partners) are working closely together to help achieve the planned ESCC savings of £70 – £90 million over the next three years.
  • The ESBT programme is aiming to reduce the number of people going into acute hospital care and residential care, and support people to leave hospital in a timely way and into an appropriate community setting.

Full minutes of all meetings can be found at:


Update on East Sussex in Figures – December 2015

East Sussex in Figures (ESiF) is the local information system (LIS) for the county. It’s a website that provides access to essential data, information and analysis.


In November 2015, data about claimants of Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) and Universal Credit (UC) claimants who are out of work were released for the first time. The number of people in East Sussex who are unemployed and claiming JSA and UC rose in October 2015, contrasting with regional and national trends.

Thematic maps on the Indices of deprivation 2015 (ID 2015) for the county are now available. Additional data, analysis and an interactive map will be available very soon.

There are two ESiF training courses scheduled for 2016, taking place on Thursday March 10th and Thursday June 9th. They are half-day sessions and are held at St Marys House, Eastbourne.

Latest datasets – highlights

East Sussex 2014-based Household Projections

ESCC 2014-based Population Projections

Indices of deprivation 2015 – new tables

Claimant Count including JSA and Universal Credit, 2013-2015

Please contact the Research and Information team if you have any specific data or information enquiries.

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