Essex Resilience Forum stands down ‘major incident’ declaration

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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

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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

More local GPs begin offering COVID Vaccine as part of biggest NHS Immunisation Programme

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More local vaccination services run by family doctors and their teams will open across mid and south Essex today (Saturday 16 January 2021), as the roll out of the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history continues.

Further vaccination centres are launching today at the following locations:

• Melbourne House Surgery, Chelmsford
• St Michael’s Health Centre, Braintree

These latest centres are in addition to those that have already opened in Brentwood, Rochford, Danbury, Leigh-On-Sea, Grays, Rayleigh, Maldon, Westcliff-On-Sea, Wickford, Billericay, Basildon, Canvey Island, Earls Colne, Chelmsford, Benfleet, Grays, Witham, South Woodham Ferrers, Shoeburyness and Southend-On-Sea.

Each of the GP-led sites are run by Primary Care Networks (PCNs) that see GP practices working together in geographic areas to ensure vaccinations are available to all residents.

Nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and other NHS staff will work alongside GPs to vaccinate those aged 80 and over, as well as care home workers and other health care workers, identified as priority groups for the vaccine.

Residents of care homes have also started to receive their first vaccine.

Like hospital staff at Basildon University Hospital, Broomfield Hospital and Southend Hospital (all part of NHS Mid and South Essex Foundation Trust), who launched their campaigns recently, local practice teams are working rapidly to redesign their sites and put in place safe processes to meet the tough logistical challenges of offering the vaccination.

The local NHS will contact people in the priority groups when it is their turn to receive the vaccine and local residents are being asked not to contact their practice enquiring about vaccination.

For further information about the vaccine visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/

Further information about the local COVID vaccination programme is available at https://eput.nhs.uk/news-events/coronavirus/coronavirus-vaccine/

More local GPs begin offering COVID Vaccine as part of biggest NHS Immunisation Programme

on .

More local vaccination services run by family doctors and their teams will open across mid and south Essex today (Friday 15 January 2021), as the roll out of the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history continues.

Further vaccination centres are launching today at the following locations:

• Fern House Surgery, Witham
• Crouch Vale Medical Centre, South Woodham Ferrers
• Rivermead Gate Medical Centre, Chelmsford
• Saxon Hall, Southend (for the North Road Plus PCN and Southend Central PCN)
• Belle Vue Baptist Church, Southend (for the North Road Plus PCN and Southend Central PCN
• Salvation Army, Shoeburyness (for Southend East PCN)

These latest centres are in addition to those that have already opened in Brentwood, Rochford, Danbury, Leigh-On-Sea, Grays, Rayleigh, Maldon, Westcliff-On-Sea, Wickford, Billericay, Basildon, Canvey Island, Earls Colne, Chelmsford, Benfleet and Grays.

Each of the GP-led sites are run by Primary Care Networks (PCNs) that see GP practices working together in geographic areas to ensure vaccinations are available to all residents.

Nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and other NHS staff will work alongside GPs to vaccinate those aged 80 and over, as well as care home workers and other health care workers, identified as priority groups for the vaccine.

Residents of care homes have also started to receive their first vaccine.

Like hospital staff at Basildon University Hospital, Broomfield Hospital and Southend Hospital (all part of NHS Mid and South Essex Foundation Trust), who launched their campaigns recently, local practice teams are working rapidly to redesign their sites and put in place safe processes to meet the tough logistical challenges of offering the vaccination.

The local NHS will contact people in the priority groups when it is their turn to receive the vaccine and local residents are being asked not to contact their practice enquiring about vaccination.

For further information about the vaccine visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/

Further information about the local COVID vaccination programme is available at https://eput.nhs.uk/news-events/coronavirus/coronavirus-vaccine/

More local GPs begin offering COVID Vaccine as part of biggest NHS Immunisation Programme

on .

More local vaccination services run by family doctors and their teams will open across mid and south Essex today (Friday 15 January 2021), as the roll out of the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history continues.

A further vaccination centre is launching today at Chadwell Medical Centre, Grays.

This latest centre is in addition to those that have already opened in Brentwood, Rochford, Danbury, Leigh-On-Sea, Grays, Rayleigh, Maldon, Westcliff-On-Sea and Wickford, Billericay, Basildon, Canvey Island, Earls Colne, Chelmsford and Benfleet.

Each of the GP-led sites are run by Primary Care Networks (PCNs) that see GP practices working together in geographic areas to ensure vaccinations are available to all residents.

Nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and other NHS staff will work alongside GPs to vaccinate those aged 80 and over, as well as care home workers and other health care workers, identified as priority groups for the vaccine.

Residents of care homes have also started to receive their first vaccine.

Like hospital staff at Basildon University Hospital, Broomfield Hospital and Southend Hospital (all part of NHS Mid and South Essex Foundation Trust), who launched their campaigns recently, local practice teams are working rapidly to redesign their sites and put in place safe processes to meet the tough logistical challenges of offering the vaccination.

The local NHS will contact people in the priority groups when it is their turn to receive the vaccine and local residents are being asked not to contact their practice enquiring about vaccination.

For further information about the vaccine visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/

Further information about the local COVID vaccination programme is available at https://eput.nhs.uk/news-events/coronavirus/coronavirus-vaccine/