Staff briefing roundup

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

Welcome – Rob Gerlis

General update – Rob Gerlis

• Peter is visiting Addison House in Harlow today
• There is a new COVID-19 variant, but it’s early days and we need time to pass before we can get a handle on what this is actually going to mean
• We must all follow the advice – increase testing, stay at home if you don’t feel well and carry on wearing masks. We will keep you updated
• Guidance about coming into the workplace has not changed. It is fine to come into the office if you want to, and equally to continue working at home. If you are coming in let Jackie Hall know and adhere to sensible social distancing, being aware in communal areas and wiping down equipment after use
• Please do not go into the office if you are unwell – even if it’s a cold and you have a negative Lateral Flow Test
• There was a face-to-face senior managers meeting on Friday which included discussions on what the Integrated Care Board is going to look like. Discussions also continue about the executive team. As things take shape we will report back

Vaccination update – Stephen Fry

• There has been a big push on people taking up the vaccine and booster and we can see that reflected in the numbers
• This includes a big move in cohorts and in particular boosters – in the older cohort we are up to 80/90 per cent having had theirs
• There has been no significant change in prevalence of COVID-19. The number in Epping is up slightly, but down in Harlow. There were six local deaths, but across the East of England, deaths were down on the previous sevendays.
• At Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) there was a slight increase in patients bedded in the ICU but not up to the rates of 2/3 weeks ago
• Flu vaccines moving up but still lagging behind national levels, with school age children and those at risk particularly needing to catch up
Rob Gerlis – COVID numbers are still there and PAH is almost always on OPEL 3 which is not unlike other hospitals but shows the pressure on the system continues to be high

Local update – Ian Tompkins

• Booster jabs are now open to people aged over 40 – we are awaiting confirmation and guidance on news boosters open to all adults over 18
• You can have your booster six months after your second dose (182 days), but you can pre-book it from five months after your second dose
• It has also been announced on the news this will be reduced to three months, but the NHS is working at a considerable pace to put this into practice and at the point of this meeting, this was not available to book online yet
• From our point of view, primary care is going flat out to put that all in place, it is a big operation and hopefully very soon this will be up and running and we will update via the staff briefing, AskHUE, or by email
• If you haven’t had your flu jab, and would like it, you can still do this at PAH by contacting their Staff Health and Wellbeing (SHAW) team on 01279 827015 to be booked on to a clinic
• The NHS Staff Survey for this year ended on Friday (26 November). Thank you to everyone who took part and completed it – at least 71 per cent took part but this may go up. We’ll be able to share final figures once they come through. The Staff Partnership Group will then go through those results
• You may have seen in last week’s staff newsletter we are looking to train staff who regularly come into the office as fire wardens or first aiders. The training sessions are carried out by a qualified instructor and each session (available online) takes place over the course of half a day. If you’re interested in training to be a fire warden or a first aider, please email Grainne Stephenson. It’s really important we have a trained fire warden and first aider in the office when staff are on site, so please do come forward if you think you can help
• We are looking into whether everyone would like a family and friends Christmas Quiz and a quick poll was set up in the Teams All Staff Briefing meeting chat


Question from Delyth Ford: Is school age the different approaches in Essex v Herts? We received letters from HHCC via school and HCT went in to vaccinate?

Answer from Marius Van der Lith: In terms of comparisons with HVCCG and E&NHCCG, we’re comparing like for like (ImmForm data).

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