Staff briefing roundup

Welcome – Rob Gerlis

General update

COVID national and regional picture

  • In regard to the Government emphasis on working from home a reminder to please do if you can.
  • That said, the CCG continues to ensure it is a COVID safe space so should the home circumstances not be appropriate for working from home then speak to your line manager about coming into the office.
  • Rob Gerlis adds re working from office – CCG has been made covid safe, a lot of work has gone into this. Change of scene could be beneficial to some people.
  • If you currently use your mobile phone a lot whilst working from home, contact Geoff Roberts about having a work home. (Peter Wightman)
  • But we do need to avoid there being a duplication of equipment in people’s home and at the office – this could get too costly.
  • National alert remains at level 4 which means COVID-19 is in general circulation in the community but transmission is high and rising quickly
  • The ‘R’ rate in the East of England is between 1.0– 1.3, compared to the UK which is 1.1 – 1.4
  • The Rule of Six still applies in England but pubs and restaurants need to close at 10pm
  • The number of cases detected by testing in the last two weeks is 3,754 in the UK on 21 September, with a seven day average of 3,325 on 18 September (up from 2,600 on 11 September)
  • The number of patients admitted to hospital has increased to 1,261 in England on 21 September, with daily deaths at 9 on 21 September
  • PAH data shows they are seeing more cases return but they have trigger points and are ready to increase beds. It is being kept under review
  • North of England and Midlands and the 20-29 age group have the highest concentrations of positive rates due to swab testing, though it is increasing in other age groups also

Local cases

  • All districts in Essex have had positive cases in the last 14 days
  • Greater Essex has had broadly level rates but this could be due to fewer tests being carried out.
  • Basildon has reported the highest number of positive cases at 52
  • Epping Forest has had 49 positive cases, Harlow has had 24 positive tests and Uttlesford, 23. In Essex in total the number of positive tests is 427.

THANK YOU – Birthday bonus for CCG staff

  • All staff across NHS Herts Valleys CCG, NHS East and North Hertfordshire CCG and NHS West Essex CCG can take their birthday off this coming year without having to dip into their holiday allowance.
  • It’s a way for the CCGs to say thank you to you all for your hard work, dedication and contributions in recent months.
  • The birthday day off will run from 1 September 2020 to 31 August 2021. If you’ve had a birthday since September 1 this year then speak with your line manager to arrange a day off as soon as you can.  It’s not something that can be added to annual leave allowance and you need to take it as close to your birthday as possible (if it falls on a weekend or Bank Holiday). Speak with your line manager to arrange.  We’ll put these details in the staff newsletter tomorrow so do look out for it.
  • It’s basically a 12 month offer a part of the response to COVID-19

Other updates – New hospital; Peter attended a meeting earlier in the week.

  • A formal letter has been received which moves the project forward. Acquisition of land will be a significant issue.
  • The hospital is timetabled to be built in 2025 and moved into in 2026.
  • Mental health beds at the hospital is a stand-alone issue which EPUT need to decide
  • The hospital being a different site might be something members of the public have not fully taken on board yet – this may generate, therefore, more public interest.
  • The model has been agreed in private and was due to go before the board on Thurs (Sept 24)
  • Mental health was discussed at the Health Over View Scrutiny meeting –chiefly the projected increased demand for services and how we are stepping up to this and preparing for it. Going back in November.
  • There has been continued conversations with the joint executive team around the next steps of management – moving towards one CCG.
  • Jane Halpin gave a very useful summary about the situation and would, moving forward, like to come to all staff briefings to update everyone.

Appraisals and mandatory training

  • Thanks to everyone who has already completed their mandatory training and signed off their appraisals. If you have not already done so please can you get this completed by 30 September, which is next week.
  • All of them need to be done by end of October.
  • It is also important to keep going with the training, doing a little bit on a regular basis in order to avoid having to do it all in March.

Local update

  • 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.
  • We are arranging for staff to be able to the flu vaccination so will let you know details as soon as we can.
  • Car park changes at Spencer Close for key worker testing – if you are coming into the office you’ll notice green signs on the road to the bungalows.
  • These are to direct critical key workers who have appointments to testing in the car park behind building 4. This will remain in place for the foreseeable future. People won’t be getting out of their cars and appointment is by booking only.
  • Get your teams ready for the next virtual staff quiz night on Friday 2 October.
  • Anyone who joined last time will remember it was a good laugh despite the tough questions, so hopefully we will see more teams next time. Email the comms team with your team name and names of everyone in your team by midday Friday 2 October.

Your questions

With national changes to PHE, do we know what this means for us locally?

  • The is no information at this point but there is lots of great work going on
  • Jane Halpin to be asked for some feedback on that

Reminder about Cycle to Work scheme

  • A member of staff has joined and reported it had “changed her life” and is encouraging others to take part too.

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