Staff briefing roundup

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

Welcome – Rob Gerlis

General update – Peter Wightman

• The first senior leaders’ forum will be held on Friday (26 November) at the Epping Forest District Council offices
• We are doing a series of visits to GP practices as part of the work going on around there being a lot of noise around access to them. As part of this we must say a big thank you to primary care for all their hard work in supporting practices with this – in person support of this kind is very important to the practices
• They are delivering a high volume of services and there is still a huge amount being delivered
Rob Gerlis – going to the practices is showing a bit of support as there is a lot of abuse and things like that and we know the practices are grateful to the CCG
Peter Wightman – the Health and Care Commissioning Committee took place last Thursday with a key issue being a community diagnostic centre. A bid has been submitted and a business case came to Toni Coles and Louise Hehir and that was strongly supported by the group
• PAH were on an OPEL 2 today (Tuesday 23 November), which is fantastic as it has been a while since this has been the case. A huge thank you is due to all those involved
• Transition – the ICB board has approved roles and the next part of the process is agreeing the nomination process of how people are put on to that board. Communications will go out on that soon
• We have a regional meeting with the Herts and West Essex ICS coming up – we also need to start singing our own praises and telling positive stories about our hard work thus far
• PAH – the hospital’s CQC status has been ‘requires improvement’ since April and they were having assessments re maternity, emergency care and children’s services. Their status remains unchanged, which means there are still areas of improvement needed but there has been no deterioration. Given that assessment has been done during COVID this is quite an achievement

Vaccination update – Stephen Fry

• We are still seeing increases in first vaccines across all cohorts
• Most of the movement is the 12 to 15 group which has tipped over to 40 per cent, along with 50 per cent for those at risk within that bracket
• There has been an increase in COVID cases across all three localities (Uttlesford, Harlow and Epping)
• PAH saw a reduction in COVID patients towards the end of last week, but this goes up and down so this should not be read into
• There has been an increase from two to six per cent in each key age category of those having flu vaccines including an improvement among pregnant women. But the uptake is slow in school age children and the gap between us and the ICS has widened so work is needed

Local update – Ian Tompkins

• COVID booster jabs are now open to people aged over 40. You can have this six months after your second dose (182 days) and pre-book it from five months after your second dose to guarantee a slot
• Guidance for 16 and 17 year olds is now to have a second dose 12 weeks after their first. Boosters are so important, it was in the news today that they will hopefully prevent further plan Bs and lockdowns
• If you haven’t had your flu jab and would like one, contact the Staff Health and Wellbeing (SHAW) team at PAH on 01279 827015
• This year’s NHS staff Survey closes on Friday (26 November)
• Our response so far as a CCG is 70 per cent which is slightly below the national rate. We need your feedback to help us make improvements and changes that will help all staff. If you’re having trouble completing the survey or haven’t received the link please contact Ian or email the HR advisory team
• Get involved in the Staff Partnership Group if you can, it is so important

Anna Cason – Union representative

• I have been a union rep in east and North Herts CCG for the last six years with Unison
• We play an active role in negotiating pay increases and improving conditions
• Trade unions are not about giving management a hard time for every little thing – they are about supporting staff in the NHS and public sector, improving equality and health and wellbeing – championing issues important to us all like flexible working and introducing new technologies
• Unions have helped introduce maximum working hours, paid annual leave, the weekend, maternity rights, parental rights, paid sick leave, ending child labour and making it illegal to recruit someone because of the colour of their skin and improving workplace safety. They also offer personal and career training opportunities, free legal advice and financial advice such as on pensions
• For now the unions are looking at the transition to an ICS and the legislation surrounding this and are working in partnership to do this
• If anyone has any questions or wants to find out about joining the union then please email Anna Cason

Wendy Bailey – Programme manager for health inequalities for west Essex

• On Wednesday 24 November the West Essex Health Inequalities and Prevention Committee will hold a briefing session virtually with around 36 partners to set the scene for the committee which links to the One Health and Care Partnership
• Gill Wallace, from Epping Forest District Council will chair the meeting
• There will be four leads who will be progressing four key areas
• A follow up committee meeting is planned for 14 December when there will be feedback
• Ian Tompkins – this is the start of a process and finding medium term priority areas and it is much needed and very exciting
• All sorts of different things affect our health – there is a real coming together across Essex and also with colleagues in Hertfordshire

Welcome to…

Liz Milne – welcome to Debra Smith who has joined the Primary Care team, having been with Ian in corporate services

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