Education and mental health professionals come together to discuss children’s mental health

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A national programme designed to get children and young people the mental health support they need, when they need it, will launch across mid and south Essex in February.

The Mental Health Services and Schools and Colleges Link Programme is designed to bring mental health and education professionals together at workshops in their area to improve services to children and young people.

The Link Programme is being led by the Anna Freud Centre and funded by the Department for Education. All schools and colleges in mid and south Essex have been invited to take part. The first workshop will be held in Southend on February 14, with further workshops across Mid Essex, Thurrock and Basildon over the coming year.

Mark Tebbs, Director for Mental Health across Mid and South Essex and Chair of the Link Programme project group, said:

“The Link Programme will make a major difference to children and young people across mid and south Essex who need support with their emotional wellbeing and mental health. By taking part in the workshops, colleagues from education, community services, charity and the voluntary sector and mental health professionals will be able to find a way forward to make sure children and young people get the support they need at the earliest opportunity.

“We have had a great response from both the education and mental health sectors which promise to make the workshops productive and valuable.”

One in nine young people aged 5 to 15 had a diagnosable mental health condition in 2017 and teenagers with a mental health disorder are more than twice as likely to have a mental health disorder in adulthood. The Link Programme is part of the Government’s plan to improve mental health support for children and young people, including identifying mental health issues before they become more acute.

CEO of the Anna Freud Centre Professor Peter Fonagy said:

“With half of all lifetime cases of mental health disorders beginning by the age of 14, there is no greater investment we can make from an economic or moral perspective than to promote the physical and mental health of children and young people. We need to give children and young people in mid and south Essex the help they need when they need it and to think differently about how to deliver support. The Link Programme does exactly that.

“The Link Programme is a transformative programme which brings together mental health and education professionals to work together to promote mental health and alleviate children and young people’s distress. This way we can identify their needs early and sign post them to the best support.”

Healthcare this Christmas!

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Before you start visiting friends and family, singing Christmas carols and eating too many mince pies, make sure you know what NHS services will be open this festive period in our handy holiday guide.

Christmas services 2019 page 1

Many services are closed on the Bank Holidays and those that are open may have different opening times. Our Christmas guide has all the opening times laid out for you so you know exactly where and when you can go.

There’s information on what pharmacies are open and when, and details on extra GP and nurse appointments available at the Thurrock Health Hubs. There will also be a GP at Orsett MIU throughout the Christmas expect Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

There’s also contact information for services in Thurrock, including mental health services for adults and children and a 24-hour, emergency contact number for Samaritans for anyone feeling distressed.

Remember if you need urgent help but you are not sure where to go or what to do, you can get extra support by calling NHS 111 or visiting

Hopefully, your Christmas will go off without a hitch, but if you do need some help, make sure you have our guide at hand.

Click on the links below to download the guide and please feel free to share with friends and family:

Winter 2019-20 Issue of CCG Insight Out Now!

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We’ve released the latest edition of CCG Insight, a magazine packed full of information on healthcare in Thurrock plus details of the CCG's and our partners' work in the community.

CCG Insight Winter front cover

The winter issue features

  • The benefits of attending one of the health checks on offer to Thurrock residents, including health checks for people with learning disabilities, severe mental illness, and the new lung health checks coming to Thurrock next year;
  • The continued roll out of new social worker teams which are bringing social work closer to where people live while offering support that is more local and more informal;
  • A double page spread on safeguarding adults and how we can work together to stop and prevent abuse and neglect of at risk adults; and
  • The importance of vaccines for illnesses like flu and measles and how they can stop people getting ill and ultimately save lives.

You can find out more about all of these stories and more by clicking on the link below. We hope you enjoy reading it! Please feel free to share with friends, family members and colleagues.

CCG Insight – Winter 2019-20 (issue 16)

Stop spread of winter vomiting bug with good hand hygiene

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hand hygiene

Help us stop the spread of the winter vomiting bug; make sure your family follow recommended hand hygiene techniques, especially when visiting hospitals and care homes.

Winter months see the spread of colds, flu and sickness and diarrhea (norovirus) through touching surfaces as we go about our daily business, and then touching our mouths or food that we eat.

Adopting good hand hygiene reduces the risk of spreading illnesses, which is particularly important when we’re visiting friends or relatives in hospital; the elderly at their home or when we’re around very young children.

The best way to wash hands is with soap and warm water, paying attention to fingers, thumbs, under nails and wrists. Drying hands properly is just as important, as damp hands can harbour germs.

Don’t Let the Flu Be Your Festive Grinch this Christmas

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Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, the festive season is always busy with plans and meeting family. There’s always lists of things to do. But don’t let your Flu Vaccine drop off the list.


Flu vaccines, are a major defence in helping people with conditions like Asthma, Heart Disease and Diabetes, to stay well during winter. The CCG is working with Thurrock Council Public Health team, our GPs and providers to ensure that our residents get protected from flu before it’s too late!

Last year Thurrock’s eligible population were under vaccinated, putting them at risk of serious health problems due to the flu. Flu can even be fatal. This year is no different with just over 47% of the eligible population having their vaccine.

thermometer 2019 09 December 2019

Dr Deshpande, GP in Thurrock and Chair at NHS Thurrock CCG said: "We know that for some there has been a slight delay in getting vaccines but we are now fully stocked and are able to help you get your vaccine.
“Vaccinations are free, relatively quick and painless and can prevent serious health complications. We are particularly making a plea for pregnant women, children aged 2-3 years and carers, as take up is low in these categories.”

A myth buster document is also available to view to allay any fears that might be preventing people from getting their flu jab. For example, for adults the vaccine does not give you flu, in fact experiencing a few light symptoms means the vaccine is doing its job!

If you care for someone who is in a vulnerable group you should be getting your flu vaccine. And remember, children are more likely to pass on to older relatives making it especially important for younger children to get their vaccine. Vaccines can also be accessed through your local pharmacy.

If you have been offered the flu vaccine by your GP, it’s because you need it, so make sure you take up the offer.