Staff briefing roundup

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

Welcome – Rob Gerlis

Peter Wightman

  • Vaccination updates – Stephen Fry
  • Open to all adults now. Over 30s cohort uptake is 60%, with second jabs over 50%
  • Nationally below the East of England rates
  • Not seeing a significant increase in hospitalisation rates
  • Ian Tompkins – Harlow uptake is lower than elsewhere. Held a walk-in clinic at Lister Medical Centre last Saturday (19 June) – 372 people were vaccinated
  • Looking to extend opening hours at Harlow Leisurezone
  • Waltham Abbey and parts of Chigwell are also low on uptake
  • Seeing movement in the hard to reach staff – 5.6% of whole cohort shifting
  • ICS boundary update
  • No further updates
  • One Health and Care Partnership Board meeting – deep dive on mental health, substantial transformation work, and wider contributions
  • Transformation board on Thursday – bringing case of Autism spectrum disorder ASD, hoping to get an agreement of this

Spotlight on…

Care homes

  • Sue Massey gave a brief overview of the work of the West Essex Care Homes Hub
  • The group was recently renamed as the West Essex Care Provider Hub, as the group has widened its remit to include domiciliary care providers
  • The hub was initially formed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • There have been daily meetings, co-ordinated and chaired by WECCG since April 2020. The meetings have recently been stepped down to twice weekly as the COVID-19 situation has improved
  • The Hub is attended by system partners from the CCG, ECC and EPUT. It also includes specialist input from colleagues in Infection Control, Public Health, Track and Trace and the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
  • The original aim of the hub was to map COVID-19 outbreaks in the 53 care homes across west Essex and to provide tailored support to individual homes as required As the impact of COVID-19 on care homes has reduced, there has been more opportunity to discuss the wider issues of quality control and safeguarding
  • All homes are RAG rated depending on the seriousness of the COVID-19 outbreak and are allocated a link worker to maintain regular contact and to ensure action plans agreed at the hub are implemented
  • The nature of the support provided has varied as the pandemic has developed. It has included:
  • Support to access PPE, including the provision of emergency supplies where necessary
  • Clinical advice and support via colleagues in EPUT and Primary Care
  • The direct provision of staff during times of crisis to ensure a safe service is maintained for all residents in the home
  • The provision of specialist advice regarding Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) within the homes. This has included virtual and face-to-face visits to gain assurance of IPC practices in the home and to recommend areas for improvement where required
  • An offer of IPCtraining to all care home staff. Sessions have been delivered in both initial training and refresher training with 350 staff trained. Training was delivered virtually and face-to-face to meet the needs of the individual service
  • Support to interpret rapidly changing national guidance and to consider how this will be implemented in individual homes
  • The sharing of best practice among different providers. This has been drawn from across Essex and Herts as well as including information from national sources
  • Support to care homes to access vaccines for both residents and staff
  • Since April 2020 there have been no COVID-19 outbreaks in west Essex care homes. While occasional individual cases continue to rise these are currently not spreading within the homes
  • It has undoubtedly been an extremely difficult time for all care homes. With the benefit of hindsight poor decisions were made at times by government, for example, the discharge of COVID-19 positive patients from hospital back to care homes
  • Some homes have experienced the loss of over 20 residents and care staff to COVID-19. Others have had to continue to function at times when the majority of their staff were COVID-19 positive and unable to work
  • As the normal business of quality assurance visits to care homes resumes it is clear staff are exhausted and in some cases traumatised and that standards have slipped in some homes within this context. Supporting the homes to rebuild and to re-evaluate the care they are providing will be the focus going forward

Local update – Ian Tompkins

  • Staff quiz date – Thursday 15 July. The Staff Partnership Group has suggested a summer/holiday theme. Get your teams together and send the name of the captain and your team name to the Comms team as soon as you can
  • Appraisals – if you need any help or advice, please contact Tanya
  • Mandatory training – complete any outstanding training as soon as possible
  • Line managers – please review risk assessments with all team members by Friday 16 June

Mid-week mindfulness – Sue Massey

  • Apologies for the prior cancellations. We will continue these sessions next Wednesday 30 June at 12.30pm
  • In response to some feedback, we will look at new times and trial some in the morning and later in the day
  • Comms will send individual team invites for these other sessions

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