Report to:

East Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC)


Date of meeting:


29 June 2023


Assistant Chief Executive



NHS Sussex Winter Plan 2022/23 - Update


To provide update on the implementation and delivery of the NHS Sussex Winter Plan.


The Committee is recommended to consider and comment on the report.

1.            Background & supporting information

1.1.        Winter planning is an annual requirement of the NHS to ensure that the local health and social care system has sufficient plans in place to effectively manage the capacity and demand pressures anticipated during the Winter period. The Sussex Winter Plan is a whole system health and social care plan, recognising the interdependencies of the system to meet the needs of the local population. The Plan period ran from October 2022 to April 2023.

1.2.        The Committee considered the Winter Plan and at its meeting held on 15 December 2022 and received an update report at its 2 March 2023 meeting, were it requested a final update be brought to this meeting to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the plan’s implementation. This report provides an update, and evaluation of, the impact of the NHS Sussex Winter Plan with learning to be taken forward to enhance the winter planning for 2023/24.

1.3.        The Sussex Winter Plan was informed by detailed capacity and demand modelling with evidence-based assumptions related to seasonal urgent and emergency demand trends, the forecast impact of further Covid-19 waves, and seasonal flu related demand. The report includes details on the performance and recovery of elective and non-elective services, workforce pressure and staff wellbeing, the effects of industrial action, overviews of discharge and admission avoidance programmes and key performance measures for the system.

1.4.        The report also details how the operating model implemented for winter enabled the system to effectively respond to and manage periods of significant exceptional pressure and elevated risk as a whole. The focus on system agreed priority areas for rapid improvement over winter resulted in a range of positive achievements being achieved by the system, and priority area improvements for next winter will be included as part of the system’s programme delivery architecture for 2023-24. System partners were also asked for feedback as to how they thought the system had performed against its aims, and learning from evaluation will be incorporated in future planning where possible. NHS Sussex has also taken part in a nationally led review of Winter 2022/23 which will likely influence the shape of national priorities for Winter 2023/24.

1.5.        A summary report providing a review and evaluation of the NHS Sussex Winter Plan 2022/23 is attached as Appendix 1 for consideration by the HOSC and covers the following topics:

·         Our delivery plan:

o   Discharge, including rapid improvement workstream actions

o   Out of hospital urgent care rapid improvement programme

o   Improvements in ambulance performance

o   Improvements in 111 performance

o   Acute Hospital Urgent Care Services

o   Out of hospital pathways

o   Increasing primary care capacity and improving care for people who are at high risk of hospital admissions

o   Mental Health

o   Infection Prevention and Control

o   Workforce Capacity

o   Public Health – East Sussex

·         Learning from the Winter Plan and Actions Taken

o   Winter Plan Review and Feedback

o   Top Themes


2.         Conclusion and reasons for recommendations

2.1       HOSC is recommended to consider and comment on the NHS Sussex Winter Plan review and evaluation.


Assistant Chief Executive

Contact Officer: Patrick Major, Scrutiny and Policy Support Officer
Tel. No. 01273 335133