Staff briefing roundup

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

UK picture (Andrew Geldard)

  • In Greater London and east of England numbers are dropping
  • There is still pressure in the system – there are approximately 800 people in covid beds
  • Things are progressing in the right direction
  • Social distancing measures continue
  • There are continuing conversations about how pupils are returning to schools – there may be information on this coming out soon
  • For the time being, things appear progressing in the right direction

Annual Leave

  • It is still important to take time off
  • We don’t want to get towards the end of the financial year and everyone is trying to take leave at the same time
  • We urge everyone to consider planning ahead and using their annual leave before the end of the year

Rob Gerlis

  • The new Joint Accountable Officer and ICS lead Dr Jane Halpin starts on 1st June 2020. Andrew will be moving into different role as managing director.

Finance overview (John Leslie)

  • NHSE introduced temporary financial arrangements for NHS providers initially to cover the period 1st April to 31st July 2020
  • Intended to be temporary but likely to be extended to 31st October 2020
  • Sensitive information: on a regional and national call – it has been said that it will have to be adopted for the whole financial year
  • Payment by Results (PbR) suspended and replaced by series of block payments – based on last year’s outrun
  • Every other month they will do a ‘true up’
  • Concerns that supplier sector could meet demand – paying them 7 days rather than 28 days in order to enabled it to service the NHS

NHS sector

  • Government has identified other essential providers including NHS 111
  • We rely on private hospital sector – nationally they have block purchased
  • Special arrangements for hospices where additional capacity has been block purchased
  • Larger/significant charity/voluntary – given additional support – as they are suffering significant loss in donations

COVID-19 additional costs

  • The NHS incurred a number of additional costs – £1.3billion national funding for NHS organisations to claim
  • All organisations to do monthly reimbursement claims
  • PPE is considerable cost to NHS and additional mortuary costs
  • The NHS is paying for all new packages of discharge services
  • £1.6bn to meet costs of additional social care and to assist care sector with financial support e.g. Essex County Council will be given some money

The challenge of moving back into a “new” system

  • PbR is no longer seen as a way the NHS should conduct business – will retain the data collection and coding element but not the new way of paid services going forward
  • Have to find a happy medium – ways of doing so are being considered:
  • Blended payments, fixed and variable elements
  • Capitated budgets
  • OHCP – covering whole population health needs
  • There may be a much simplified and more collaborative system going forward

View John Leslie’s full presentation

Reopening CCG site update (Ian Tompkins)

  • Government guidance remains, staff will continue to work from home unless they cannot
  • The CCG will continue following this guidance – we are not asking anyone to return to the office
  • Even when greenlight is given we are not expecting everyone to return back to the office at once
  • Expect a mix of office and home working to remain for some time
  • In the meantime will be preparing for a safe return of staff back to the CCG
  • Buildings will be modified to be more safe – we are getting advice from Infection Prevention and Control colleagues
  • Carrying out detailed risk assessment – later this afternoon we will be getting an independent review on what we are proposing
  • New ways of working – we are going to establish an understanding of the ability of staff to work from home for a long period of time
  • Please complete a short working from home survey:
    • Covering personal circumstances, IT circumstances, health and wellbeing
    • Surveys will be identifiable in order to take into consideration every individual when planning our return to the office
    • This information will not be shared wider – HR is happy to discuss any concerns
    • Our plans are determined by how you feel and your circumstances on whether you work from home
  • Delphine Gar and HR colleagues will be setting up virtual learning and development starting 1st June, with details to come out by the end of the week
  • Social – we are arranging virtual staff quiz and yoga
  • Testing – now available for anyone over age 5 who has coronavirus symptoms
  • You can arrange testing under 5 with symptoms – please get in touch with the Comms team.

Mental Health (Sarah Garner)

  • It is Mental Health Awareness Week this week – this year’s theme is kindness, it’s important to be kind to not just others, but yourself too.
  • Take some time to take care of your mind – there are some resources on things you can do to help you relax
  • Essex Partnership University Foundation Trust (EPUT) is offering a psychological support service for anyone working in health and social care
  • Mental health crisis lines are available for adults and children if you are in need
  • You can find more mental health support on our health and wellbeing page

Working from home experience

Beverly Hayward has kindly shared her thoughts on working from home and how she has managed to maintain good working relationships with her manager and team, while making sure she has a good work/life balance.

Like many of us, at first Beverly said she found it a bit of a novelty but after two weeks began to find working from home quite unsettling. This was mainly because of the concerns around COVID-19 which many people will share. If everyone was still working in the office people would naturally share those concerns throughout the working day, but working from home makes this harder.

Beverly’s home working life was improved after she collected her monitor from the office and set up an office at home, as before she was working from the kitchen table. Having an office means she can shut the door at the end of the day and leave work in the office. This was a big improvement for her.

Beverly is in regular contact with her line manager and members of the team so feels up to date with news. It’s important everyone does keep in touch with their team and colleagues and not leave it to others to do as we all have to be responsible.

Working from home you need to be strict with having your lunch and making a drink during the morning and afternoon.   Productivity is greater working from home so no-one should feel guilty having their lunch and also finishing on time.

The weekly staff briefings are an ideal way of keeping in touch.

The concern is no-one knows how long we will have to work from home and what is going to happen when we start to go back to the office at St Margaret’s.  Working with your team face to face will not be happening for quite a long while.

Beverly said: “I find some days are better than others, but I think that depends on the work you are doing – in primary care we are just getting back to our normal work priorities so should be getting back to a “sort of” routine.”

Tips from colleagues

  • Don’t forget to move, many people can move from one virtual meeting to the next with no break. Move those legs, get the blood circulating, it’s good for the brain as well as the legs.
  • Have a structure to the day, turn off the laptop and stop looking at the phone outside work hours

Any other business

  • Volunteering week 1-7th June – we would like to share some case studies – if you have done any volunteering (formal and/or informal) and would like to share your experiences. Please email the Comms team
  • Cycle to work scheme soon to be implemented for staff – waiting for approval, more details to follow.

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