Staff briefing roundup

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

Welcome – Rob Gerlis

Peter Wightman

Vaccination updates

  • England rate – 50% higher for deaths
  • Epping and Harlow are above England average
  • PAH – 11 COVID-19 positive ventilated patients
  • ITU numbers have jumped – these patients are in the 50-60-year-old age bracket and are not vaccinated

ICS boundary update – no updates on this

ICS system partnership board

  • Took place today (20 July) – the main report relates to mental health, there is a substantial increase on demand
  • The workforce and finances are under constraint
  • A lot of useful actions came from this meeting to help support people with mental health
  • Joint board is coming up this Thursday (22 July)

Spotlights on…

Long COVID by Louise Hehir

  • Louise gave a presentation on Long COVID, accompanied by patient Emily Wadding, 25, who has had COVID and has Long COVID
  • Emily’s experience with Long COVID:  
    • She tested positive for COVID-19 on 20 December 2020
    • She didn’t have any of the symptoms at the time
    • Later experienced severe headaches and went into hospital on Christmas Eve
    • She was placed on a non-invasive ventilator as her oxygen kept juristically dropping
    • She spent a week on a high dependency ward in PAH
    • Doctors were surprised she had no long term lung damage considering her condition
    • She did however have Long COVID – she experiences severe fatigue, short term memory loss, brain fog and hair loss
    • She was referred to St Margaret’s Hospital for Long COVID and has also been diagnosed with post COVID-19 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
    • Without the Long COVID clinic she doesn’t know where she would be
    • People don’t understand the effects of Long COVID. Emaily wants to continue to spread awareness

Cancer by Anthony Hale and Christine Moss

  • Anthony Hale, Senior Transformation Manager – Adult Pathway Transformation, and Christine Moss, Clinical Director for the One Health and Care Partnership shared a presentation on the Cytosponge test

Cytosponge test, also known as ‘sponge on a string’ uses a sponge and a pill on a piece of string to help oesophageal cancer diagnosis

Question: How do patients feel when the string is being pulled up?

Answer: It feels scratchy and uncomfortable but does not last very long and patients have been very positive about it. This information is all being collected as part of the study at PAH

Question:  As the string is being pulled, can it scratch up any existing good cells?

Answer: In short, no, it would not be something expected to cause a problem

Local update – Ian Tompkins

Returning to the office

  • If you couldn’t make the ICS staff briefing last week and haven’t seen the staff newsletter yet, this is a small update on the plans for a return to the office
  • At the moment, we’re asking you to continue as you have been – to continue working from home unless you really need to come into the office
  • Buildings 1, 2 and 3 are being used for the vaccination programme and will continue to be, so we only have Building 4 open to staff

Looking ahead we expect there to be a mixture of home working and office working, but we need a few weeks to put some measures in place, including a booking system for visits to the office    We’re waiting on national guidance around safety measures in NHS settings before we make any changes. Once we have these, we can work out next steps, how we can do this and share it with youIf you do need to come into the office, please make sure you let Jackie Hall in reception know in advance that you want to come in, sign in when you arrive at Spencer Close reception and when you leave the office, clear the desk you use completely – please do not leave your belongings at the desk or in the office when you leave

Update on vaccination walk-in clinics and upcoming ones

Up-to-date clinics are on the My Health Essex website. Please share with family and friends who haven’t yet been vaccinated. These sites are open to everyone aged over 18. No ID is needed and people don’t have to be registered with their GP

Isolation for frontline staff – applicable only to frontline patient-facing staff in exceptional circumstances Beat the Heat  

we’ve uploaded a leaflet to AskHUE on how to cope in this heat and help others, while remaining safe from COVID. Please do take a look – you can find it in the news section.

Staff summer family quiz

We only had three teams taking part, but it was still good fun. The winning team was Judy Hiscott’s team, Are We There Yet?

ICS-wide all staff briefing

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