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 (Wednesday, 30 December), as the roll out of the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history continues.

Further vaccination centres are launching today at the following locations:

  • Holy Trinity RC Parish Church Hall, Basildon
  • George Hurd Centre, Basildon
  • The Paddocks Community Centre, Canvey Island

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 and Wickford and Billericay.

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 will also receive their first vaccine shortly after distributors finalise new, stringent processes to ensure safe delivery of the PfizerBioNTech vaccine.

Like hospital staff at Basildon University Hospital (part of NHS Mid and South Essex Foundation Trust), who launched their campaign 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.

Patients receive two doses of the Pfizer vaccine by injection into their upper arm, at least 21 days apart. For further information about the vaccine visit:

Further information about the local COVID vaccination programme is available at

NHS services across Mid and South Essex are open and here to help you

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Immediate release: Thursday, 24 December 2020

NHS services across Mid and South Essex are open and here to help you

As all areas of Essex move into Tier 4, health and care leaders are urging local people continue using health services in the usual way.

The new restrictions are due to come into effect at 00.01 on Boxing Day. They state you must not leave or be outside of your home except for specific purposes. Please click HERE for further advice and information.

Clinicians are reminding people to call NHS 111 first for urgent medical advice before attending hospital A&E except when it is life threatening.

Contacting NHS 111 first means everyone will get the right treatment more quickly and probably closer to home as well. It also means that visitors to the area don’t need to look up details of NHS services if they need urgent treatment. The NHS 111 team will do all that and book them in at an allocated time where they can receive the most appropriate care for their needs. Dial 999 in case of emergency only or a life-threatening medical condition.

GP practices will continue as normal in tier 4, with remote consultations available. 

GP practices will be closed on the three bank holidays (Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day) over Christmas.

Mid and South east Essex has an extended access scheme which offers GP and nurse appointments on weekdays, evenings and at the weekend all year round. If you would like to book an appointment through the extended access scheme please phone your registered GP practice. If the practice is closed, their automated message will contain the number to call for your local out-of-hours service.

GP practices will be open as usual between Boxing Day and New Year’s (Tuesday 29 and Thursday 31 December).

People can still contact their GP practice by calling for appointments as they would normally. Those who require medical advice will be given a video or telephone consultation and only asked to visit the practice if this is deemed necessary by the clinical team. This will reduce the risk to you and the clinical team and is in line with current guidance.

It is important that anyone who has symptoms of covid-19 does not leave home and this includes going to their GP practice. GP practice staff will be there to provide care for those who need it for all other medical conditions and concerns, including for those with long term conditions and for those needing immunisations.

There are four main ways to seek healthcare advice from a GP:

  • Call your surgery to discuss a face-to-face or virtual (telephone or video) appointment;
    • In some practices you can visit your GP surgery website and complete a confidential online form to receive a response before the end of the next working day;
    • Call NHS 111 or go online to seek advice;
    • Download the NHS App to order repeat prescriptions, book appointments and check your symptoms.

Your local pharmacy can also offer medical advice on a range of conditions including coughs, colds, aches and pains, all without the need for an appointment. Remember, over the Christmas period your regular pharmacy may be shut or have different opening times on the bank holidays.

Guides to healthcare services across mid and south Essex can be accessed via the links below:

You can also find details of your local pharmacy by visiting:

Donald McGeachy, Medical Director for the MSE CCGs Joint Acute Commissioning Team, said:

“With tier 4 restrictions, people will be required to stay at home as much as possible. However, it is important to know that GPs are still here for you and it is important that you contact your surgery for advice or to make an appointment when you need to. If you need medical advice about something other than coronavirus please do not put off contacting your surgery.”

“I want to reassure everyone that GP practice staff are there to help. Practices are taking all the appropriate precautions to keep patients and staff safe, and as part of that we ask that patients always telephone first rather than just turning up. On the Christmas and New Year bank holidays, some pharmacies will remain open to provide essential advice and services this holiday season and I would urge local people to make use of them.



Notes to Editor


For further information please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Get involved in the local Big festive Thank You and ring a bell on your doorstep on Christmas Eve

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Get involved with a festive thank you to all those who have been supporting our area over the past year.

This month saw the Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership launch the MSE Big Festive Thank You to spread some festive cheer and to recognise how people across mid and South Essex have come together to fight coronavirus. People have been thanking their colleagues across voluntary groups and other providers. This year with so many restrictions on every day ways to celebrate we wanted to give people an opportunity to ring a bell (rather like clap for carers) on Christmas Eve at 6pm.

We will be asking everyone to come outside and light a candle or ring a bell or doorbell for two minutes to spread some festive cheer. We want you to create some magic for people young and old, as well as celebrating health and care staff, volunteers and communities with a message of hope for everyone. Local churches across Essex are also joining in.

The original bell ringing idea was started by Lauren Sinclair from Scotland. The aim is to spread cheer by encouraging the community to stand on their doorsteps ringing bells at 6pm on Christmas Eve and we wanted to support this across mid and south Essex.

The campaign, which runs until Thursday, 24 December, is based around the five ways to wellbeing which include giving, learning, taking a mindful moment, getting active and connecting. There are a number of different ways people can get involved.

Social media will be used to share the “thank you’s” far and wide using the hashtags #MSEBigThankYou and #2020Angels

Anthony McKeever, Executive Lead for Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership and Joint Accountable Officer for its five CCGs, said:

“This year has been so tough for everyone but the way our local communities have united through this pandemic has been inspiring. I want to say a huge thank you to so many people including local frontline NHS and care workers, key workers, community groups and volunteers without whom we could not have kept services running as well as we have. It really feels like we are all in this together, a unified effort to look after each other at this challenging time.”

For further information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Healthcare in Thurrock this Christmas!

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See our guide on NHS services over the festive period.

Thurrock services guide

Christmas this year won't be like the ones we are used to. Due to Covid restrictions, many of the things we may have been looking forward to will not be possible. Whatever you may be doing, rest assured that the NHS will still be here to help when you need medical help.

Although many services are closed on the bank holidays, there will still be limited services such as the Thurrock Health Hubs and also local pharmacies, though these may have different opening times. Our Christmas guide has all the opening times laid out for you so you know exactly where you can go and when.

There’s also contact information for services in Thurrock, including mental health services for adults and children, including the NHS 111 crisis line for over 18s and the Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service for under 18s.

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:

pdf Christmas period bank holiday NHS services poster - December 2020 (395 KB)

New Chief Finance Officer for mid and south Essex Clinical Commissioning Groups appointed

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Mark Barker social media

Mark Barker has been appointed in the new role of Chief Finance Officer (CFO) for the five clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) across mid and south Essex following an extensive search and selection process.
The role is part of a streamlined Executive Team providing managerial leadership for the five organisations.

Mr Barker was previously CFO for South East Essex CCGs and will take up his new role in January 2021. His appointment is integral to the transition of the five CCGs towards becoming an Integrated Care System, as part of a wider NHS strategic plan. Mr Barker will work with other NHS finance directors to strengthen working across finance teams and to prepare a single financial strategy for Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership.

Anthony McKeever, Executive Lead Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership and Joint Accountable Officer for its five CCGs said:

“I am delighted to appoint Mark to this new position with his wealth of experience. This important appointment will help us to manage NHS finances effectively as an Integrated Care System and enable us to invest in the best possible services to support the health and wellbeing of our 1.2 million local residents.” 

Mark Barker said: “I’m looking forward to joining the Joint Executive Team for mid and south Essex CCGs and driving forward improvements in the way we manage NHS finances to deliver high quality services and outcomes for local people.”