Staff briefing roundup

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

Thank you to everyone who took the time to dial-in to the staff briefing today. More than 100 colleagues joined the call. If you couldn’t make it or want to review the points made, we’ve put together a short summary below.
Alternatively, you can listen to the full briefing. Please ignore the message that comes up when you click on the link (‘There is no content to view at the moment…’). Although there isn’t any video, the audio is still available.

The CCG is responding to COVID-19 through three cells. These are:

  • Primary Care – led by Peter Wightman
  • System Co-ordination – led by Toni Coles
  • Incident Management Team – led by Ian Tompkins

Wider COVID-19 picture

  • London was the first to experience pressure, followed by the Midlands. In the East of England it’s fairly quiet. The north and south of the county (including Watford/PAH) are experiencing the worst of it
  • There is debate around when the ‘peak’ of cases will be
  • PAH has stopped elective operations but there has been a significant increase in critical care admissions
  • PAH has 30 patients on ventilators and 7 wards dedicated to COVID/respiratory. A&E attendances have dropped off
  • Patients in the East of England can be transferred to the new Nightingale Hospital in London if required
  • PPE continues to be an ongoing issue for all sectors
  • Good Friday and Easter Monday are normal working days for the NHS. The CCG is looking at what is required of colleagues

Hot hubs

  • Primary care has moved to telephone and video consultations with patients
  • Hot hubs are being set up across the CCG area, in Uttlesford, Harlow and Epping Forest

Local update

  • We are supporting GP practices so they can maintain their services. Practices and pharmacies will be open as normal over Easter
  • A new ordering and distribution system for PPE supplies should come into effect this week using the ebay logistics platform and Royal Mail
  • The CCG, with the help of the army, secured extra supplies of PPE last weekend for primary care. Thanks to Paul Stephenson, Jackie Hall, Debs Smith and Gay Alford for getting aprons and 20,000masks out to our GP practices
  • NHS is working with British Oxygen to improve the situation around oxygen supply
  • PAH is swab testing its urgent care staff who are self-isolating because other members of their households are showing symptoms. This will be rolled out to all NHS staff, GP practices and CCG colleagues in the coming weeks. More news on a specially-created drive-through centre at Stansted Airport when it’s available
  • We are working with the County Council and other agencies to support an initiative called Operation Shield to protect the most vulnerable, including older people and other age groups with pre-existing health conditions. The operation is being run by the Essex Welfare Service and County Council to provide vital food and medicine supplies to those isolating on their own
  • New guidance on systems and procedures is issued on a daily basis. Please check the health professionals section of the GOV.UK website for latest updates

Staff deployment

  • A reminder for managers to send through information on annual leave and hours worked on a regular basis

Staff welfare

  • Please take time out to be aware of your wellbeing and look out for others by staying in touch with colleagues using virtual platforms and phone calls
  • Mental health and wellbeing resources for individuals and families will soon be available on AskHUE
  • Appraisals can be conducted now, however the deadline for completion will not be until BAU resumes

Keeping in touch

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