Staff briefing roundup

Welcome – Peter Wightman

PAH CQC update – David Wallace

  • The CQC has been carrying out a series of inspections at PAH recently and some feedback has been received which remains confidential at this stage
  • The CCG is proactively working with the Trust to engage with them and support them in addressing any findings
  • The Trust is under a lot of pressure at the moment, so our support is more important

Local update – Peter Wightman

  • ICS transition – we have received some guidance around provider collaboration, which was covered in the ICS staff briefing last week (10 August). Some task and finish work groups have been established and have started focusing on specific topics. Someone from west Essex will be a member at each of these groups
  • We need to start considering the in-house part of the guidance and the wider ICS in terms of how we all work together and work differently with providers
  • We will be able to bring you updates as more information comes through
  • This is an evolving situation
  • Joint Board will next sit in September. Going forward there will only be a Joint Board, and there will no longer be a West Essex CCG Board
  • The MD’s report will change and will be much shorter and the ask of teams that currently contribute is to keep the information to headlines only
  • We are also considering whether the MD’s report needs to be brought to the One Health and Care Partnership Board
  • Anurita Rohilla – primary care outbreaks – High Street Epping Surgery was not considered an outbreak in the end and the situation there has been resolved. Practices have been fantastic in accommodating staff who were isolating. Thank you to Theresa Smith for everything she has done in supporting this piece of work
  • Theresa Smith – just to flag Lister Medical Centre was considered an outbreak as they had two or more people testing positive for COVID. The situation has been resolved this week with the changing guidance and isolation periods coming to an end
  • Peter Wightman – Health and Wellbeing Board – The Essex Health and Wellbeing board will meet in November. There have been some positive conversations across Essex about working together. We will take a paper to the meeting about the ICS transition plans. This will be a face-to-face meeting

Vaccination update – Stephen Fry

  • There have been no significant changes to the previous weeks. Uptake in younger age groups is rising. There is no data as yet for the under 18s
  • Second doses for 30-39-year olds has now tipped over 50%
  • Local COVID prevalence numbers are similar to the national figures and there is a slight uptick in death regionally
  • Harlow and Watford still have lower uptake than the rest of the patch
  • 18% of 17-18-year olds have received the jab so far
  • Flu/COVID vaccinations – Anurita Rohilla – we still don’t know details of phase 3 and flu vaccinations yet. We don’t know if we can give these at the same time. We are pulling together the learnings from the work around the first two doses
  • NHSE preference is to commission more community pharmacists. This takes the approach that every opportunity should be sought to increase vaccination uptake. Having more community pharmacists offering jabs will increase the workload for the vaccination teams as they have to go through the assurance process for each site
  • COVID vaccinations will be part of the flu programme going forward, part of business as usual, however things change so much and so quickly

Local update – Ian Tompkins

  • Changes to isolation rules: As you know the self-isolation guidance changed yesterday so people who have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination will no longer be required to self-isolate if they have been in contact with a positive case. You’ll still be contacted by Test and Trace if you have been identified as a contact of someone with COVID, but you’ll only have to take a PCR test and not asked to self-isolate. Of course, you will legally be required to isolate if you test positive
  • Most double vaccinated health and social care staff who are close contacts of COVID-19 cases will be able to routinely return to work, provided they have had a negative PCR test. Daily lateral flow tests will need to be taken for 10 days as a precaution. However, CCG staff working with clinically extremely vulnerable patients or service users will need a risk assessment to be carried out by a designated person in the workplace before they return to work
  • You can find this information and some additional guidance on the AskHUE news page. There are also some helpful FAQs on the BBC News website. We’ll include all this information and the links in this week’s staff newsletter
  • Please complete your appraisals and mandatory training. West Essex CCG has good compliance with this and it is monitored
  • Vaccinations – please remind friends and family if they haven’t had their second dose to go and get it at a walk-in centre or make an appointment
  • Next week we can share more information about office working from 6 September. Alan Hicks has come up with a very simple and easy booking system for desks and meeting rooms. We would like everyone to come and clear their pedestals as we are trying to go as paperless as possible. We are also looking to get some lockers in the office
  • People should continue to maintain social distancing, wear face coverings, continue with hand hygiene and sanitising. People should also complete a Lateral Flow Test before coming into the office – twice a week if you come in regularly. We are seeing an environment now – such as at football stadiums etc – where people seem to think it’s all over and it isn’t. This is particularly important when it comes to public and patient facing work

Peter Wightman – ICS staff briefing

  • Everyone seemed to like the new ICS staff briefing format over MS Teams ‘view only’ that was used last week
  • Teams can now hold more than 300 people, so we were able to take it off Teams Live
  • We’d like to know how effective you thought the briefing was – from the format to the content. What worked, what didn’t. Email the Comms team with your suggestions.


  • Question: Joanne Reay – can we have the sticky backing taken off the windows in the office now? It makes sitting near the windows unpleasantly hot and makes the office look dark. Can we bring the blinds back instead?
  • Answer: Ian Tompkins – we are going to have to take a professional view on the blinds before putting them back up. We will be doing an office risk assessment of the building again. Can’t promise either way at the moment, but we’ll look at it

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