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 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 0.8 and 1, which is the same as the UK
  • The number of cases detected by testing has risen in the last two weeks with 713 reported across the UK on 17 August with a seven-day average of 1,080 on 14 August. This is up from 860 on 7 August
  • However, the number of patients in hospital continues to fall, along with the number of deaths
  • The way COVID deaths are reported has now changed, so a death is only recorded as COVID if the person tested positive for the virus in the preceding 28 days
  • ONS data suggests infection rates are levelling off but all social distancing and hygiene guidelines remain in place, along with face masks in shops and takeaways

Local cases

  • All districts in Essex apart from Rochford have had positive cases in the last 14 days
  • Epping Forest has had 18 positive tests in 14 days, which amounts to 14 per 100,000 population. Harlow has had 5 positive tests and Uttlesford 7. In Essex in total the number of positive tests is 120

Local update – Ian

  • Antibody testing still available – if you have already been tested you must wait 30 days before you can have it again
  • Now focusing on community dentists, pharmacists, optometrists, social care, care homes and domiciliary workers
  • Moving towards flu and potential COVID-19 vaccinations
  • Flu vaccinations – eligibility has doubled in Essex – widening out to over 50s and new eligible groups subject to availability
  • You will have seen in yesterday’s staff update we’re asking everyone to let us know if you’d like to have a flu vaccine when it becomes available. It’s a quick and easy poll to do, so please let us know so we have a good idea of what preparations and plans we need to make
  • Essex Resilience Forum – offering to support us across Essex to plan and identify sites
  • Repeat risk assessments for office and home working – may need to be carried out again in September – given schools are back in, circumstances are likely to change for many staff members with children
  • There will be a mixture of home and office working at a limited capacity – going forward when we return
  • The organisation has a responsibility to ensure you are able to work from home safely
  • Deep clean update – the offices will be closed tomorrow and Friday for a deep clean. All offices have been cleared of clutter, so thanks to everyone who has done their bit
  • Decluttering offices – if you do still need to come in please let us know and inform Jackie hall upon arrival
  • Julie Kropacz – we’ve been informed Julie, who worked at Herts Urgent Care (HUC), has passed away. David Archer, HUC CEO shares some words about Julie, as some of you may have known her
  • Windows 10 migration – if you still need to have your laptop updated to Windows 10, please book a time slot as soon as possible

Kam Kaur – BAME Network

  • NHS People Plan has been mentioned previously at the staff briefing with there being a focus on outcomes for BAME staff. We also have to report on the workforce race equality standard known as WRES
  • We are looking at setting up a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Network (BAME)
  • BAME network will look into how to improve our policies and practices
  • If you would like to join or have any questions, please email Kam. Paul Curry the Lead for Equality will also be working on setting up the network
  • Kam will also be sending an email directly to staff who have put themselves down as being from a BAME background
  • This is something new and innovative for us
  • Important to encourage people from this background to come forward, but can be open to staff outside this group if they feel they can contribute
  • There was a comment about ensuring this doesn’t exclude anyone or any groups, such as staff who may identify with the LGBTQ community etc. We are working on all diversity and inclusion for all staff and welcome ideas on how to make improvements

Anurita Rohilla – Primary care update

  • Working with practices to resume services
  • Working with comms around public perception for primary care – GP practices are not closed there’s just a triage service and face-to-face appointments are available if required
  • Need to emphasise we have a process to follow when speaking with patients and we want to protect people
  • Encouraging practices to resume cervical cancer screening
  • Planning for flu campaign – we want 70% of the eligible population to be vaccinated by November 2020 if they can access vaccine supplies
  • With available PPE and people following social distancing rules – we really encourage people to go and have their flu vaccination
  • GP patient survey was conducted pre-COVID – we are working on public expectations around primary care as a result of this
  • Medicines management team are supporting care homes

David Wallace – Quality update

  • Focus on ensuring our system is COVID secure and flu ready
  • Continuing Healthcare reset work – working with local authorities and system partners to evaluate all of those who were placed into care – assessing who is eligible for social or health care
  • Huge amount of work going on around this
  • Focusing on business as usual within the CCG – we are trying to have different conversations and not just working the same way as we did pre-COVID

Developments of ICS

  • ICP transformation board meeting is being held tomorrow to discuss the way forward and the different parts of the ICP. We are refocusing on what is going on here and who is doing what to move it forward
  • Wider system – implementation of NHS People Plan – required as an ICS, ICP,CCG to develop local plans – not just about recruitment but also retaining and developing people
  • We are getting together with local organisations and relevant ICS people to discuss – we need to see how we can deliver this and develop further
  • ICS joint management team is being formed – the ICS not telling us what to do – there will be a strategy and NHSE oversight ensuring they are achieving these outcomes
  • Local government changes – there will be some form of reorganisation

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