Staff briefing notes: Coronavirus update

Following the all staff briefing yesterday, here’s a roundup of what was covered…

Welcome and introduction (Andrew Geldard)

  • As of yesterday (Monday 16 March), we are operating business as usual, but preparing ourselves for a major incident
  • The situation is very changeable. The job you’re doing today may change tomorrow, but you need to prepare to be flexible
  • You may be asked to do a different role where you could be working at home or deployed to another location such as The Princess Alexandra Hospital, St Margaret’s Hospital, Broomfield Hospital etc. However, this is still developing
  • The UK has moved from the ‘contain’ phase to the ‘delay’ phase
  • The current advice is to self-isolate (stay at home, away from other people) for seven days if you have a persistent cough or a fever
  • We are the tactical lead for health in west Essex
  • Meetings – consider if you need to be there in person or whether you can use Skype or dial-in conference facilities instead
  • From now on, take your laptop home with you every night. Make sure you test whether you have access to the system a.s.a.p, so you know you’re set up to work from home/remotely. We are organising a day to test our IT system can cope with everyone logging on remotely at the same time. We will keep you posted
  • If you show any symptoms or are concerned, follow the national advice

Incident Management Team – IMT (Louise Hall)

  • We’ve set up an Incident Management Team in the Oak Room in Building 1
  • The IMT will operate between 8am and 6pm
  • This is our command and control centre
  • Given the developing situation it would be sensible not to come over to the Oak Room unless you’ve been invited
  • Write any concerns or questions you have on the whiteboard (on the wall outside the Oak Room), along with your name. The team will respond and address any queries
  • The IMT is made up of reps from across the CCG, including:
    • Urgent Care operations team (are based in the Oak Room)
    • EPPR/BC
    • Primary Care
    • Quality
    • Clinical
    • Medicines Optimisation
    • Information Governance
    • HR support
    • Continuing Healthcare
    • Communications
    • Finance/Contracts
    • IT/Premises

HR (Ian Tompkins)

  • Ian went through the HR frequently asked questions, which were sent to all staff on Friday (13 March)
  • Speak to Jeneva Allison our HR Business Partner if you have any specific concerns or queries

Mobilisation (Simone Surgenor)

  • Please let Simone know:
    • if you have any caring responsibilities and/or dependants. We will ensure any information you share remains secure and confidential
    • if someone in your team (line managers only) notifies you they are self-isolating. You should also inform HR
    • if members of your team are being deployed elsewhere
  • Line managers – please monitor where colleagues are, eg in the office or working from home. Use team calendars, where possible, to log who is working from home/remotely or on annual leave. We are currently devising a weekly timetable


  • All staff briefings – these will take place every Monday at 12noon in the Board Room. If you’re working from home, we’ll provide dial-in details in the meeting request invitation. Please make sure your phone is on mute when you dial-in
  • Windows 10 – the rollout will continue, as it will help you communicate/collaborate with colleagues when working at home, such as video conferencing and the ability to share screens. If you have any questions, please speak to Alan Hicks
  • Data Security Awareness (Information Governance) training – if you haven’t already done so, please complete this training by Wednesday 18 March. Any questions, please speak to Dannii Owens.
  • Annual leave carryover – if you have any carry over leave, please add it to the spreadsheet being circulated within your directorate
  • The Exec team is meeting at 4.30pm every day to share info and make decisions, which may be implemented the following day

Questions / feedback

What’s happening with ICS/ICP? (David Wallace)
This week it’s business as usual. Moving forward we need to look a week ahead in terms of planning and then decide whether it goes into hibernation for a while

Working from home / remotely (Geoff Roberts)
If you experience any VPN or access issues, please contact the IT Helpdesk (between 7am and 7pm) on 0300 123 1020

The European Council (David Wallace)
David is linked in to the European Council. He made a plea asking colleagues to look out for each other with regards to emotional and mental wellbeing. Ask colleagues if they are OK

DBS checks (Simone Surgenor)
For those of you who volunteered to be HUC call handlers, we are in the process of getting enhanced level DBS checks. Checks are likely to be extended to all members of staff in anticipation of potential changes to work patterns. Any queries, please speak to Simone

In the other news…

  • Reminder: if you access the building out of hours, please make sure the keys are locked in the safe box (outside building 4) before leaving the premises. Please leave the code out of sequence, to ensure it remains secure. If you have a key, please return it to Reception, as it is critical we have all copies
  • Loggists needed! – if you have previously undergone loggist training, whether here or in a previous role, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Grainne Stephenson on x5857 or Dannii Owens on x9129.

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