WORTH Domestic Abuse Service

Over 1,500 domestic abuse victims supported by WORTH in 2021

On the days that WORTH is closed, anyone affected by domestic abuse can call the freephone, 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

If you are in immediate risk of harm always call 999 and press *55 to use the silent solution option if you are unable to speak.

Since the beginning of the pandemic the restrictions and pressures placed on people’s daily lives have led to a rise in domestic abuse.

This is reflected in the number of residents seeking help in the past 12 months from West Sussex County Council’s WORTH Domestic Abuse Service, which has currently supported over 1,500 high risk victims.

The service’s qualified Independent Domestic Violence Advisors provide emotional and practical support to victims and survivors of domestic abuse, which includes advocacy, safety planning, support through the criminal justice system and help and advice with housing.

Besides the pandemic, domestic abuse cases can often increase at certain times of the year, including sporting events and Christmas.

Due to the seasonal increase in alcohol consumption, financial pressures and spending more time at home together, Christmas always sees a sharp increase in domestic violence and abuse.

Amanda Jupp, Cabinet Member for Adults’ Services, said: “Christmas is a time of joy and goodwill for many people, but it can also be a time of stress, fear and anxiety for those in a physical or emotionally abusive relationship.

“It is important to remember that Christmas is not the cause of domestic abuse, but it can worsen the experience for victims, as a variety of factors ultimately put more pressure on households. Whatever the cause, there is no excuse for abuse at any time of year and there is a variety of help and support available to anyone who is ready to move out of an abusive cycle.

“Please remember that you are not alone – there are organisations on hand to support you to move forward, whether it is at Christmas or whenever you are ready to take the next step.”

The County Council’s Worth Domestic Abuse Service is available Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm on 0330 222 8181.

Outside of WORTH’s opening hours, anyone affected by domestic abuse can call the freephone, 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

If you are in immediate risk of harm always call 999 and press *55 to use the silent solution option if you are unable to speak.

The Ask for ANI codeword scheme is also available to allow victims of domestic abuse to access support from the safety of their local pharmacy.

This service can be found at all Boots, Superdrug and Morrisons pharmacies, as well as many local independent pharmacies.

All people need to do is go in and ‘Ask for ANI’ and the pharmacy will offer you a private space, provide a phone and ask if you want a 999 police response or to speak to a domestic abuse support helpline.

For more information and to find contact details for domestic violence charities and services across West Sussex, visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/domesticabuse

NHS Covid-19 and Influenza Vaccination update

COVID-19 vaccination programme celebrates one year anniversary

Image showing the amount of vaccines delivered, percentages of the population that have received their fist, second and booster dose and amount of appointments undertaken per week.

Health and care partners in Sussex are praising the monumental efforts of staff and volunteers across the region as it marks the anniversary of the first Covid-19 vaccination and the start of the biggest immunisation programme in history.

More than 3 million doses of the vital Covid-19 jab, including 1st, 2nd and booster and 3rd doses, have now been administered in Sussex since this time last year.

Latest data also shows that 1.3million people have been protected with their vaccination.

Vaccinations have been delivered through a combination of large-scale vaccination centres, hospital hubs, GP surgeries and community pharmacies.

Watch a message from Amy Galea, the Senior Responsible Officer, for the programme on the one year anniversary.

People over 40 and over can now get their lifesaving booster three months from second dose

People aged 40 and over, along with those in high risk groups, are now able to book in for their life-saving Covid booster jab three months after their second dose as the NHS vaccine programme is extended. The online booking system for vaccines has been updated and details will be updated on the system throughout the week. People in those groups no longer have to wait six months after their second dose to top up their protection and book a vaccination. From this week, people in their forties can book their top up jab a month advance – two months on from their second dose. All eligible adults can now book their life-saving booster jab two months (61 days) after their second dose using the NHS national booking system, getting their top-up in protection three months (91 days) on from their second dose following updated JCVI guidance.

Unvaccinated mothers urge pregnant women to get jabbed

Unvaccinated women who suffered with COVID-19 during their pregnancies have told their harrowing stories of battling the virus, from being hospitalised to having emergency C-sections, as part of a new campaign encouraging expectant mothers to get the vaccine.

The video features 3 women who experienced serious complications after contracting COVID-19 before they’d been vaccinated, as well as the doctors and frontline staff who treated them, to warn of the dangers of the virus for pregnant women and their babies.

Medical expert Professor Asma Khalil from Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) is also interviewed as part of the powerful new film and provides further reassurance on the importance of the vaccine.

Data published last week by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) shows the vaccines are safe for mothers and their babies, with good birth outcomes for vaccinated women who had their babies up to August this year. There were no consistent differences between vaccinated women and all women in the figures for stillbirths, low baby birthweights and premature births.

Nearly 1 in 5 COVID-19 patients who are most critically ill are pregnant women who have not been vaccinated. Of those pregnant women in hospital with symptomatic COVID-19, 98% are unvaccinated, and no fully vaccinated pregnant women were admitted to intensive care with COVID-19 in England between February and the end of September 2021. Around 1 in 5 women who are hospitalised with the virus need to be delivered preterm to help them recover and 1 in 5 of their babies need care in the neonatal unit.

New national film shows Martin Kemp as Father Christmas in vaccine drive

Former soap star and member of music group Spandau Ballet, Martin Kemp has joined the national effort to get people vaccinated – by appearing as Father Christmas in a new film released this week.

The video shows Martin preparing for Christmas – booking the sleigh in for an MOT, polishing his boots, getting his beard in shape and, most importantly, getting his COVID-19 vaccine.

Martin Kemp said:

We all know the run up to Christmas can be one of the busiest times of the year – buying presents, decorating the tree, eating mince pies with family and friends. But I can’t stress enough how important it is to tick your COVID-19 booster or flu jab off your ‘to do’ list this festive season, among all your other preparations, to ensure that you can enjoy Christmas with your loved ones.

It’s quick and easy and will keep us all protected as best as possible this winter. Now go book your jabs – Father Christmas said so!

More information

Much more information about the vaccination programme is available on our website, including details of the services available in each arealatest datastakeholder briefings, answers to frequently asked questions and links to all the national leaflets and materials.

Thank you for your support in helping to keep our local communities updated and informed about this fast-moving and unprecedented vaccination programme.

Find more information about the Sussex COVID-19 vaccination programme

Omicron PCR test Scam

There is a scam on social media claiming to offer Omicron PCR tests. The NHS are aware of this and it will be taken down. However, it is likely there will be more instances before it is removed, and there have been reports of people querying it at test sites.

Below is a screen shot of the scam to be aware of:

Screenshot of Omicron PCR Test Scam

Have your say on Recycling Centre trial booking system

West Sussex County Council has launched a six-week consultation today to seek views on whether a booking system at selected Recycling Centres should be made permanent.

A trial booking system – Book to Recycle – has been in place at Bognor Regis, Crawley, Horsham, Littlehampton, Shoreham-by-Sea and Worthing Recycling Centres (RCs) since April 2021.

The scheme has greatly reduced waiting times and disruption at peak periods to residents, businesses, and the highway network – which suffered because of traffic tailbacks and queuing vehicles.

A consultation has now been launched on the proposal to operate the booking system on a permanent basis at the six trial sites and extend to include Burgess Hill Recycling Centre.

Prior to the scheme, it was not uncommon to have vehicles waiting to enter some Recycling Centres for 45 minutes and sometimes this was extended to 90 minutes during peak periods.

The system has proved popular with over 420,000 customers booking a recycling slot in advance since the trails began.

Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change said: “We’re always looking for ways to improve services at Recycling Centres to make it easier to do the right thing with waste.

“Feedback so far tells us that customers love being able to recycle without enduring a long delay at busy periods. We want to ensure residents have their say on the proposals – including the finer detail – and tell us exactly what they think.

“I urge as many people as possible to respond to the consultation and let us know if the scheme should be made permanent.”

Residents are allowed a total of five trips each calendar month. Currently, slots are available up to 14 days in advance but must be booked by the day before.

You can take part in the Book to Recycle consultation and share your views by visiting www.westsussex.gov.uk/recyclingcentrebooking

The deadline for members of the public to respond is 21 December 2021.