Staff briefing roundup

General update – Peter Wightman

COVID national and regional picture

  • National alert remains at level 3 which means COVID-19 is in general circulation in the community
  • The ‘R’ rate in the East of England is between 0.9– 1.2, compared to the UK which is 1.0 – 1.2
  • The number of cases detected by testing in the last two weeks is 2,621 in the UK on 14 September, with a seven day average of 3,003 on 11 September (up from 2,032 on 3 September)
  • The number of patients admitted to hospital has increased to 782 in England on 14 September, with daily deaths at 9 on 14 September
  • North of England and Midlands and the 20-29 age group have the highest concentrations of positive rates due to swab testing.

Local cases

  • All districts in Essex have had positive cases in the last 14 days
  • Greater Essex has had increased rates over the last 14 days with a 7 day average of 27
  • Basildon has reported the highest number of positive cases at 57
  • Epping Forest has had 40 positive cases, Harlow has had 13 positive tests and Uttlesford, 26. In Essex in total the number of positive tests is 380.
  • 111 services demand has increased
  • One Health and Care Partnership (OHCP) update and next steps – view full document

Local update – Ian

  • If you are currently eligible to have a flu vaccine – so you are over 65, are pregnant, have long-term medical conditions and are invited to have your flu jab at your GP practice, do take that opportunity
  • Thanks to everyone who completed the flu poll. NHS England would ideally like 100% of NHS staff to have the flu vaccine and we will make this available to those who would like to have it. We will confirm details when we have more information
  • Flu clinics for staff have been set up for 2 and 9 October – further details to follow
  • Testing – there has been much in the press about problems at testing sites and people being sent miles away for tests or even having problems booking. Locally we are working with partners to introduce more testing facilities, including local fixed sites which will be in addition to the national centre at Stansted and the mobile testing centres. We will keep you updated on this as and when we have information
  • Pillar Two testing (visits to mobile testing site or home delivery) – this has led to increased numbers of cases in some parts of the country. We are working to ensure that there is sufficient capacity for this in our area
  • Essex COVID rates are lower than most parts of the country – the increased number of cases in other parts of the country is diverting lab capacity away from our area to meet demand elsewhere
  • Stressing to the public to only book a test if they are symptomatic – try booking online before 8am or 8pm due to muted algorithm that they are trying to fix
  • Working with local hospitals to get critical staff tested
  • Buildings are ready and cleaned, we are now waiting for the official sign off from infection control
  • Given numbers of increasing COVID cases, now is not the right time to get everyone back into the office
  • We are going to repeat individual risk assessments
  • There is going to be more detail for home working assessment
  • We wish a warm welcome to the newest member in the Comms team – Lauren Oldershaw, who will be with us for a couple of months supporting in comms. You can contact her via the communications inbox.

Sarah Beaumont

Your questions

There has been a bit of confusion around appraisals within our directorate. The Herts Valley OD team explained that the expectation centrally was for appraisals to be completed by the end of August. However, I am not sure if this was the same at a CCG level? It would be useful to clarify the deadline, as some people haven’t completed the appraisal yet.

Where organisational objectives are not yet known, we had been advised to leave this part of the documentation blank. Assume that this remains the case whilst the ICS/ICP are still in development?

  • This issue has been raised with OD team, in the meantime, appraisal discussions should still continue from a personal development point of view
  • It would be helpful to get an indication of learning and development needed within the CCG




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