Staff briefing roundup

Welcome – Rob Gerlis

 General update – Peter Wightman

  • The ‘R’ rate in the East of England is between 1.0– 1.3. The rate for the UK is 1.0 to 1.1
  • The number of cases detected by testing in the last two weeks has slowed, with 15,450 in the UK on 23 November, with a seven day average of 20,252 on 20 November (down from 25,331 on 13 November)
  • The total number of patients admitted to hospital in England was 1,316 on 20 November, up from 1,537 on 10 November
  • Daily deaths have risen to 194 on 23 November.
  • All districts in Essex had multiple positive cases in the last seven days
  • The highest community rates in Essex were in Basildon at 257 cases per 100,000 population, compared to England’s rate of 241.
  • Oxford COVID vaccine, level 3 results published – easier to handle and unlocks a lot of logistical calls for delivery – will be giving an update at board on Thursday
  • All primary care networks are putting themselves forward for the Drift enhanced service
  • Covid vaccine offer for NHS staff will be clearer as things progress
  • We have put forward some mass sites – will announce shortly
  • Epping GP meeting – extra funding coming out of general practice to increase capacity

Toni Coles – PAH

  • PAH numbers are gradually rising
  • Remain at Operational Pressures Escalation (OPEL) Level 3 (serious concern) – performance yesterday was under 80% impacted by demand in system – View OPEL breakdown
  • Trying to get third COVID ward in hospital – total COVID patients 60 (not validated)
  • Last week the number was 47 by Friday – there is an increasing trend of admissions
  • Local Delivery Board meeting – exploring need for wider system to provide extra support
  • Cancelled some electives last week and today
  • Care homes position is currently stable
  • One home closed – Woodland Grove, but they are coming out of 28 day closure
  • Sue Massey confirmed – Jubilee Lodge has also recently closed for 28 days
  • SHREWD App (Single Health Resilience Early Warning Database) – gives you current status in terms of hospitals, social care and e.g. see pressures on ED, discharge and ambulance crews etc
  • If anyone wants access and get more details about SHREWD please contact Lisa Gosling

Local update – Ian Tompkins

  • Covid vaccinations
  • As you know work has begun to convert buildings 2 and 3. We shared some pictures in last week’s staff newsletter and will keep you updated on progress. We have also cleared out building 1 to create more vaccination space. Staff who were coming in to work in building 1 have been relocated to building 4 and desks placed in storage
  • Information about the vaccine is going at pace and changing by the hour
  • Vaccination site – set to be ready for 1 December vaccine available or not
  • Identifying other mass vaccination sites in Essex and Hertfordshire – information on this will be out in due course
  • Mass testing
  • Lateral flow testing – two programmes: one for NHS patient facing staff, where they will be given a testing kit where you can test yourself twice a week
  • If you test positive – have to have COVID antigen test
  • Second programme: Local authority testing – for general public, aim to test 150k people per week, but more targeted testing e.g. uni students etc. – this test is supervised and carried out by professionals
  • Winterisation
  • Looking at mobile testing sites and how we winterise these, change hours of operations and how they will work around Christmas holidays
  • EU exit – realistic difficulty approaching particularly for proposed custom transit centre at North Weald

 Any other business

  • The deadline for the staff survey is this Friday (27 November), so please do make the effort to spare a few minutes and complete it. So far just 68.9% of staff have completed it, so it would be great to give it one last push
  • Please let the Comms team know if you have any stories to share about the good work your teams are doing. We’d like to share and celebrate these as everyone is working so hard and have been all year, under difficult circumstances
  • Remember it’s the staff Christmas quiz on Thursday 17 December at 7.30pm. If you haven’t already, register your team with the Communications team

Mindfulness presentation – Sue Massey

  • It’s important to think about staff wellbeing, especially with the increased risk of isolation and less natural situations to de-stress.
  • We will be setting up a mid-week mindfulness session via the staff room channel on MS Teams – this will run every fortnight depending on engagement. The first session will take place on Wednesday 9 December at 12.30pm. – View full presentation

Your questions

Q. Can you please give an update on the meeting rooms in building 4? Now that most of the offices are being used will the meeting rooms now be emptied so that staff have somewhere that they can go if needed?

A. We aren’t having physical meetings but if need be the board room is still available (for max 6 people). Cedar room is still full of PPE – looking to distribute to those who are in need.

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