Staff briefing roundup

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

It was great to see everyone on the staff briefing call today. We had just under 100 colleagues joining the call.

These briefings are to help keep you updated on our work to support the national COVID-19 response, so if you have any questions we’d like to hear them. Email the Comms team to let us know if these briefings cover what you want to know or if you have any suggestions to make them better.

In today’s briefing Andrew explained the three ‘cells’ continue to work hard to implement Government and NHS guidance in primary care, system co-ordination and via the Incident Management Team.

UK picture

We are still waiting for the peak of COVID-19 to arrive. Modelling estimates put the peak in about mid-May, however Essex seems to be about two weeks behind London so we may see the peak in Essex slightly earlier. However it progresses we may see the restrictions in place for some time yet.

Locally, PAH has been holding up well under immense pressure. Over the Bank Holiday weekend PAH’s ITU bed usage was 28 and they did not need to use additional surge beds. PAH is also being supported by Papworth Hospital.

Essex County Council continues to support the care community going forward.

Primary Care

GPs were open and working on Good Friday and Easter Monday. All practices have signed up for video consultation with patients.

Hot hubs

The hot hubs are in progress, where patients are being seen safely by clinicians if they need a face-to-face appointment. Patients with COVID-19 symptoms are being seen separately from those non-COVID symptoms.

Care homes

Care homes are being monitored virtually, with carers doing a walk-through of the homes using video link. Residents seem to be really enjoying this and it could end up staying.

Local update

As everyone probably knows, care homes are coming under increasing pressure with 15% of all care homes in the East of England reporting confirmed outbreaks of COVID-19.

PPE continues to be a challenge, as it is everywhere.

Stansted has become the first national centre for swabbing in Essex. The centre swabbed 450 NHS and social care staff from West Essex and East Hertfordshire over the Bank Holiday weekend. The centre is being facilitated by Deloitte and swabs are being taken to a separate lab for analysis. The centre will be open for key workers from across the NHS and other agencies including Essex Police and Essex Fire and Rescue Service, who are self-isolating because they or another member of their household is showing symptoms of COVID-19.

From now on the drive-through centre will swab 400 people a day. There will be other centres for swabbing of key workers in other parts of Essex in the coming days and weeks.

Staff deployment

Just a quick reminder to line managers to send information on staff redeployment and additional hours worked to Simone Surgenor or Jeneva Allison.


As well as the staff briefing you should be receiving a daily COVID-19 update. We have also resurrected the weekly staff newsletter which includes news on things non-COVID related. If you have any news you’d like included email the Comms team.

Thanks for reading. Remember, if you do have any questions or suggestions of how we can improve the staff briefings then please let us know.

The next staff briefing will be on Tuesday 21 April at 12 noon. Until then, stay well and stay in touch.

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