Staff briefing roundup

Here’s a summary of what was covered in today’s staff briefing…

General update – Rob Gerlis

  • COVID national and regional picture
  • National COVID alert level is still at 3
  • Shielding ended on 31 July
  • Further relaxation of lockdown rules have been postponed
  • Face coverings will become mandatory in more indoor areas e.g. tbc what areas these are
  • Mini outbreaks
  • Regional restrictions in place in Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and West Yorkshire
  • Restrictions have eased in Luton and Wigston and Oadby, but remain in place in Leicester
  • Messaging in Leicester is still unclear as pubs and restaurants are set to re-open but restrictions are still set to be in place
  •  COVID-19 cases
  • Number of new cases stood at 938 on 3 August
  • 58 patients on average were admitted to hospital last week
  • The number of patients being admitted to hospital is still falling – 767 nationally as of 3 August
  • Nine deaths were reported on 3 August – which means deaths from COVID are still falling
  • Essex picture
  • All Essex districts have seen a rise in positive cases
  • In the last 14 days Braintree had 23, Tendring 22, Epping Forest 8, Harlow 4, Uttlesford 6
  • 5 of 188 deaths were from COVID-19 w/e 17 July
  • Testing
  • Testing at regional sites is falling – Stansted only used 9% of its testing capacity
  • The decrease in usage is concerning as test and trace is key for outbreak management
  • More people are using home testing kits as it is more convenient which may give some narrative around decrease in site testing
  • Usage of mobile testing units is up by 11% and postal kits usage is steady, although in Tendring there was a 50% increase in the number of home test kits being ordered
  • Overall the position is steady
  • Hospital beds
  • 60 patients were in hospital with COVID-19 in the East of England on 3 August – eight were on ventilators
  • Care homes
  • Regional reporting on care homes has been suspended until 3 September but as of 23 July, 44% of homes had outbreaks
  • Regionally there are potentially issues here regarding plans to test routinely
  • Reports about results in 90 minutes relates to a different type of test which is unlikely to apply here
  • In Essex we are still managing to routinely visit and test in care homes

Local update – Ian

  • The Government is encouraging people to start going back into the office
  • From the CCG’s point of view there is no call for people to come back to the office – still work from home if you cannot or would rather not go into the office
  • We will need to repeat risk assessments when schools start opening
  • Buildings are to have a deep clean – we are upping the cleaning specification
  • Looking at cleaning contract – cleaners should be able to come in and wipe every surface to help prevent the spread of coronavirus
  • Once all signed off by David Wallace our infection, prevention and control specialist, we’ll send to Exec
  • Thanks for completing your risk assessments – these have now been done for all CCG staff
  • Antibody testing update – still available. Please do book if you haven’t had a test and would like one. Details are on AskHUE.
  • Rolling out testing to social care, care homes and domiciliary workers – approximately 29-30,000 people
  • Flu vaccinations – eligibility has changed significantly, NHS hasn’t been formally told but we are making the preparations for this
  • Looking into the possibility of mass vaccination centres across Essex
  • Stanstead Airport is happy to be used as a vaccination centre – it will help ease the load on our health system
  • We are also looking at major employers across the region to support this
  • Heatwave – it’s going to be very hot in the coming days so please make sure you stay safe by staying cool and hydrated, look out for others and those who are vulnerable and slow down. If you feel unwell then make sure you dial 111 for medical advice and 999 if it’s an emergency. We will share this information and some tips on staying safe in the heat on AskHUE.
  • NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens released 13 page letter on third phase of NHS restoration of services


NHS people plan – Kam Kaur 

  • NHS People Plan 2020/21– the NHS People Plan was published last Thursday. This plan, along with Our People Promise, sets out what our NHS people can expect from their leaders and from each other. NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens discusses the NHS People Plan in his phase 3 letter about the NHS response to COVID-19 (see page 8, section C1: Workforce).
  • We want your comments and feedback.
  • The key focus is ensuring staff stay healthy and safe – physically and psychologically well
  • During one to ones we want make sure you are having conversations about how you are feeling, worries etc
  • Flexible working – looking at new ways of working, staff work life balance
  • Masterclass looking at working for home, in the office and flexible working – planning this for September
  • BAME and other vulnerable groups – look at whether everyone is treated fairly and how to improve

Training and development – Delphine

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