COVID-19 information is available in different languages and more accessible formats, to ensure no one is forgotten

on .

The NHS in Essex is making sure everyone has access to useful information about COVID-19 and the vaccination programme.

A range of materials in different languages including Polish, Romanian and Chinese, along with information in different formats including easy-read leaflets, and video, can be found on the recently launched Essex-wide website www.essexcovidvaccine.nhs.uk. This will help make sure that we reach as many of our diverse communities across Essex as possible.

The information available covers a range of topics including:

  • General vaccination advice and guidance
  • Easy-read information for people with learning difficulties
  • Resources for people with sensory impairment
  • Information on why you have to wait for a vaccine and what to expect afterwards
  • Advice for older adults and pregnant women
  • Advice for using transport
  • Key information for migrants

You can access translated and easy-read information by visiting the ‘Information and Support’ page at www.essexcovidvaccine.nhs.uk/information-support/ 

Dr Sunil Gupta, a GP and Senior Responsible Officer for promoting equality and reducing inequalities in mid and south Essex said:

“We want to make sure everyone in Essex has access to the latest information about COVID-19 and getting vaccinated. This includes residents from our diverse communities who we know can sometimes be hesitant about getting a vaccination.

“This can be down to language barriers in our communities as well as the need to make information available in a range of formats that are easily understood. Providing translated information in a resident’s own language is an essential part of getting everyone vaccinated and protecting our communities.”

Building begins on the brand new integrated medical centre in Corringham

on .

Improving health, social and community services in Thurrock has moved another step forward as building work has begun on the new Integrated Medical Centre (IMC) in Corringham.

Site photo in snow 1

To mark the start of building works, leaders from the Thurrock Integrated Care Partnership - which includes the NHS, Thurrock Council and the voluntary sector - invited Corringham residents, staff and parents of Graham James Primary Academy and local councillors to a virtual engagement event to find out more about the building works and what services the centre will provide when it opens next year.

Stephanie Dawe, Chief Nurse and Executive Director of Integrated Care for Essex and Kent, NELFT, said: “The new medical centre will be at the heart of the community, so the virtual engagement event was a great opportunity for us to tell residents what services Corringham IMC will provide, and how we are ensuring local people are kept safe and updated during the building works.

“There were a number of questions from the public on the safety of the building works, parking and transport, and why we’re building integrated medical centres, and we had a panel of people behind the programme on hand to answer. We will be holding more engagement events in the future – and we hope some of them can be in person once COVID restrictions have lifted – so please keep an eye on the Better Care Together website for the latest news on the project.”

Due to open its doors to the community in spring 2022, Corringham IMC is one of four new medical centres being created across Thurrock as part of the Better Care Together Thurrock transformation programme, led by the Thurrock Integrated Care Partnership. These new centres will not only transform health and social care services in the area, but will improve GP waiting times, reduce the number of people needing to be admitted to hospital, and future proof these services for a growing population.

Corringham IMC 2

Corringham IMC, which is being funded by North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) which provides community care and mental health services for children and young people in Essex, Kent and London, will be home to a range of health and social care services including adults and children’s mental health services, GP services, blood testing and general outpatient services. The Better Care Together Thurrock partnership is working closely with the appointed building contractor, Neilcott Construction, to ensure the building works are safe and considerate of the local community.

Corringham IMC 4

Mark Tebbs, NHS Alliance Director, Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We know changing how and where health and social care services are provided can be worrying but, now more than ever, we need to look at different - and better - ways of delivering care.
“Health, social care and community teams will be able to provide better, more joined up care to local people in these new, 21st century facilities.”

Councillor Allen Mayes, Cabinet Member for Health and Air Quality, who presented at the event, said: “I was pleased to support this event and the Better Care Together Thurrock Partnership, whose teams, from next year, will provide the local area with a number of vital health and social care services closer to residents’ homes.

“The council is fully committed to the development of four IMCs across the borough, moving from outdated, isolated facilities and patchy services, to specially-designed buildings in our communities, delivering a joined up service model that places residents at its heart.”

Hoarding Corringham IMC

Corringham IMC is being built close to Graham James Primary Academy, the partners have been and will continue to work closely with the local community, including the school, local businesses and GPs, to make sure this new facility meets the needs of the local area and the residents of Thurrock.

To find out more information, and be kept up to date with the latest events, please visit https://bettercaretogetherthurrock.org/ and https://bettercaretogetherthurrock.org/changes-in-the-community/corringham-integrated-medical-centre/

Essex-wide COVID-19 vaccination website launches, providing up-to-date information on the vaccination programme

on .

COVID WEBSITE

The NHS in Essex launched a new website this week, giving residents the latest information and advice on the local COVID-19 vaccination programme. Set up by Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership (MSEHCP), it can be accessed by visiting www.essexcovidvaccine.nhs.uk/

The easy-to-use website provides a wealth of reliable and useful information about vaccination, ensuring residents have the most up-to-date information available, including:

  • Guidance on who is currently eligible for the vaccine
  • Where to go for your vaccination
  • How to book a vaccination appointment
  • Information about attending your appointment
  • Advice about symptoms and getting yourself tested for Covid-19

The site also provides information in different languages along with a “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) section, covering the most commonly asked questions. There’s also information about self-care, volunteering and local support.

With so much information about COVID-19 and the vaccines available, it’s sometimes difficult to know where to go to find the most up-to-date information; the site acts as a ‘one stop shop’ of valuable information, as well as serving to dispel some of the inaccurate and sometimes confusing myths surrounding vaccination.

Anthony McKeever, Executive Lead for Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership & Joint Accountable Officer for the five CCGs, said:
‘Our priority is to get people vaccinated safely and efficiently and provide Essex residents with the most up-to-date and correct information and guidance around Covid-19 vaccination. This website will help to cut through some of the misinformation and concerns people may have around the vaccine and reassure people that they are doing the right thing’.

The website will be updated regularly.
https://www.essexcovidvaccine.nhs.uk/

Essex Resilience Forum stands down ‘major incident’ declaration

on .

In response to a significant growing demand on hospitals and health and social care services across Essex, the Essex Resilience Forum (ERF) declared a ‘major incident’ on 29 December 2020 – enabling the County to seek further support from Government to address the pressures.

Yesterday (2 February), the forum agreed the decision to stand down the major incident declaration, signifying that the health system across Greater Essex is stable and in control.

Local leaders from the ERF - a group that comprises the NHS, blue light responders and local authorities – pulled together to help the NHS and local authority services who were facing immense pressure.

Although the health systems are still facing pressure, it was agreed that the systems that have been put in place, alongside the national lockdown and the cooperation of Essex residents who continue to do the right thing, has meant that Essex has moved into a more stable situation.

Anthony McKeever, Executive Lead for Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership, said:

“It has taken a considerable effort by our teams throughout health, care and beyond to begin to turn the tide in our fight against Coronavirus.

“Strong partnerships supported us to respond effectively when significant numbers of our residents needed hospital care for coronavirus, exceeding far beyond those seen at the peak of the first wave.

“Through the support of our local communities, the rates of infection are beginning to drop, which in turn supports the NHS to continue to care for those most in need.

“Pressures persist and the threat has not gone way yet. So, there is much still to be done. I thank all those hard-working colleagues who continue to work tirelessly in extremely difficult circumstances. They need us all to follow the rules so that partners across Essex can keep working together to support delivery of the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme.”

Deputy Chief Fire Officer of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, and Co-Chair of the Essex Local Resilience Forum, Rick Hylton, said:

“When the major incident was declared, the pressures on the health system were mounting. Today, Essex Resilience Forum has agreed to stand down the major incident declaration, as our health systems are in a stable state.

“I would like to thank all our health colleagues who have and continue to do an amazing job, supporting our communities across Essex.

“Our ask is that Essex residents continue to do the right thing. You have been magnificent and are only dialling 999 or attending A&E in an emergency – we need this to continue because this will help protect the capacity available at our hospitals. Please stay safe; work from home if possible, follow the social distancing rules, and only travel if absolutely necessary.”

50% of adults in the Midlands and East of England say they are more worried during the current lockdown

on .

New Every Mind Matters campaign launches to support nation’s mental health as 50% of adults in the Midlands and East of England say they are more worried during this current lockdown than in march 2020.

Mental Health Tips Stress 16x9

A new survey, commissioned by Public Health England at the start of the current Government restrictions, reveals the impact COVID-19 has had on adults' mental wellbeing across the Midlands and East of England.

The research found that over half (52%) felt that the pandemic has impacted negatively on their mental health and wellbeing. Of those surveyed, significant proportions of the population said they had been experiencing more anxiety (49%), stress (47%), sleep problems (39%) and low mood (50%) over the course of the pandemic. The following were the most common reasons people thought the lockdown had negatively impacted their mental health:

  • 58% missing friends and family; and loneliness 29%
  • 50% uncertainty about the future; with financial and employment worries 26%
  • 50%worried about family’s safety and health

However, at the same over half (56%) of those asked say they feel hopeful about the future. Many adults (75%) reported that they are planning to take or have taken steps to look after their mental wellbeing, with exercising regularly (32%) eating well (31%) and talking more to family and friends (32%) being the main actions.

To support people during this time, PHE has launched a nationwide Better Health - Every Mind Matters campaign to support people to take action to look after their mental health and wellbeing and help support others such as family and friends. The campaign encourages people to get a free NHS-approved Mind Plan from the Every Mind Matters website. By answering five simple questions, adults will get a personalised action plan with practical tips to help them deal with stress and anxiety, boost their mood, sleep better and feel more in control. Over 2.6 million Mind Plans have been created since launched in October 2019.

The Every Mind Matters COVID-19 hub also includes practical tips and support on how adults can deal with uncertainty, how to cope with money and job worries and how to look after both their own and their family’s mental wellbeing while staying at home.
The campaign is supported by a coalition of leading mental health charities, including Mind, Samaritans, Young Minds and Rethink.

Neil Wood Health & Wellbeing Programme Manager said:
“While the experience of the pandemic has been different for everyone, there's no doubt it has caused unprecedented challenges, and, not surprisingly, many of us are now experiencing poorer mental wellbeing.

“Feeling stress, anxiety and worry are very natural feelings in the face of the Covid outbreak, and looking after our mental wellbeing has never been more important. The good news is that our Every Mind Matters COVID resources have lots of excellent practical tips and advice, and I’d encourage you to get a free NHS Mind Plan, which will give you simple steps to help you navigate these challenging times.”


Minister for Mental Health, Nadine Dorries, said:
“It is understandable that many of us will be feeling fed up, worried and anxious about the weeks ahead. For most, these feelings will subside as we draw on our own resilience, adapt to new circumstances and take comfort from the hope of better days ahead. However, there are simple steps we can all be taking to improve our mental wellbeing.

“Every Mind Matters’ mental health resources include tailored advice, as well as practical tips on sleep and self-care. It enables you to create your own ‘Mind Plan’ by answering 5 simple questions to receive tips and practical advice tailored to you.
“Whoever you are and whatever your situation, you are not alone and if you are struggling, there is support out there so I urge you to reach out and ask for help.”


Dr. Max Pemberton, who is supporting the campaign, comments:
“With all the changes going on in our lives, it can create a stressful time which will affect us all to some extent - but there are ways we can manage this uncertainty; reducing stress and helping us to cope better. Better Health - Every Mind Matters is there to support us and can equip us with the tips and advice to improve our mental wellbeing especially while we’re at home. Advice including reframing your thoughts, focusing on the short term and finding a new rhythm, in the form of a new routine, is a powerful way to deal with uncertainty. You must remember that throughout all this, you are not alone – speak to your family and friends and we can continue to stay in good mental wellbeing throughout this lockdown.”

The research also revealed differences in the negative mental health impacts the pandemic is having on younger people. Those aged 18-34 are more likely to report that COVID-19 has caused them more stress (51%) and made them feel more lonely (43%).

To support this age group, the campaign has sought the support of celebrities including footballer Wayne Bridge, Bridgerton actress Phoebe Dynevor, presenter Vick Hope and Celebs Go Dating receptionist Tom Read Wilson. The supporters all recognise the importance of helping people improve their mental wellbeing during these uncertain times and have spoken openly about their own personal experiences of mental health and the steps they are taking to look after their own wellbeing.

Better Health - Every Mind Matters also offers information and videos to help young people look after their own mental health and provides dedicated support to help parents and guardians look after the mental wellbeing of the children and young people they care for.

For those who are struggling with anxiety or depression, NHS talking therapies are here to help. NHS mental health services have been open throughout the pandemic and continue to stay open during this lockdown. Speak to your GP for a referral, or you can self-refer via nhs.uk/talk. NHS mental health staff can provide care via phone or online from the comfort of your home. Face to face appointments can also be arranged in many areas. These services are a free and confidential way to get effective help.

If you or a loved one face a mental health crisis, you can find your local NHS 24/7 helpline on nhs.uk/urgentmentalhealth