Staff briefing roundup

Welcome – Rob Gerlis

General update – Peter Wightman

  • The PM’s announcement gives us a clear four-stage plan to getting out of lockdown
  • This is dependent on infection rates and the impact on hospitals
  • Good news that schools will hopefully return on March 8

Vaccination update

  • Stephen Fry: The CCG is working its way through the cohorts, from 1 to 9, with the clinically vulnerable now included
  • Cohort 5, the 65-69 group, is now making good progress
  • Cohort 6 has been a complicated group, including carers and vulnerable people
  • Figures on staff who have been vaccinated are due at the end of the week
  • Currently vaccinating 40,000 people a week as an ICS
  • We are expecting a lot of extra vaccines, possibly in the middle of March or in early April
  • A plan is in place to make sure this is all utilised
  • The second doses will begin in March
  • Everyone is reminded to fill in the staff survey about the vaccine offer if they have not already done so
  • Jane Halpin reported the figures to show staff take-up is not very high across the ICS but we will know more when the staff survey closes
  • Rob Gerlis – reported the ICS had agreed to pay the cost of early vaccination of people with learning disabilities after retrospective funding was refused

PAH Update – Toni Coles

  • Challenges remain for the Trust
  • It was on OPEL 3 on Tuesday and flow continues to be a problem
  • COVID numbers continue to go down, which is in the right direction
  • Key work is being done around ambulance convey and referrals to relieve pressure
  • Peter Wightman :
  • The new hospital committee for PAH had its monthly meeting this week
  • Reported they were pleased with initial public meetings about the plans but would now like more systems involvement
  • There is a meeting on Wednesday with key people, PAH, and national representatives to look at where the Trust is with the scheme

ICS update – Jane Halpin

  • The publication of the Government’s white paper has brought more clarity around the issue
  • It has a lot of information about ICS development
  • The white paper confirms the intention to transfer the function of CCG to ICS
  • This will be live from April 2022 – which is a “mammoth” task
  • But the transition will not be as complex before and should only affect staff in the change of name on payslip/ID
  • The paper re-states this is not about losing staff – everyone will transfer over and there is no planned reduction of staff at any point
  • It may however affect the number of CCG execs there are
  • More clarity is needed around place-based organisations – discussions are already taking place within the ICS about this
  • There is a whole range of other aspects more to do with the Department of Health intervening with disputes
  • The paper does not answer the question of whether boundaries will be imposed
  • Working towards making the transition as painless as possible

 Local update – Ian Tompkins

  • Diary invites were sent out for the bitesize mailbox archive training – one took place on Tuesday with another at 2 pm on Thursday. Designed to show you how best to use the new archiving system, it is only 30 minutes long.
  • Our Easter Quiz is on March 25 so please email the communications team to sign up
  • Please complete the staff vaccination survey, you should have received an e-mail
  • Let your line manager know if you have received a letter indicating you are part of the new clinically extremely vulnerable group and need to now shield
  • If you’ve had COVID and are struggling with recovery, you can find some help and guidance on the national website, Your COVID recovery. We will put some information in the staff newsletter this week, with a link to the website.
  • There is also a new Essex-wide helpline number for people who may have questions about COVID vaccinations. This will also be included in the staff newsletter this

 Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – Here for You initiative – Presentation by Amanda McEvoy

  • The Here for You initiative is a staff mental health and wellbeing hub – one of 40 being set up across England
  • Ours launched 25 Jan – one of the first 18 schemes
  • It is aimed at all health, social care, and care-related staff, targeting at-risk groups and carrying out follow-ups to make sure they get what they need
  • Managers and leaders are being encouraged to have important conversations about well-being as part of the initiative
  • System-wide benefits include a benefits portal featuring discounts from local businesses, such as gyms and hairdressers, for healthcare staff
  • Includes occupation health support when needed, a 24-hour support line, IAPT assessment with a fast track to primary/secondary care, and 1 to 1 group sessions
  • Next month (March) the web-based platform launches
  • Feedback and ideas on what is needed and how to access those who need the service is being encouraged
  • The service has already received 100 calls since launching at the end of January and numbers will be monitored as the scheme is launched on a larger scale in the coming weeks
  • Also keen to hear from any managers, in particular males, willing to talk about how they have coped in the past 12 months to make engagement videos.
  • Full information on how to access the service will be uploaded to AskHUE shortly
  • Anyone already receiving support will not have to start again – this new scheme will be taking over from there.


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