New meningococcal vaccination programme expected to save lives

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Public Health England (PHE) is welcoming the start of the new MenACWY vaccination programme that will offer teenagers protection against meningitis (inflammation of the brain) and septicaemia (blood poisoning) caused by four meningococcal strains including MenW.

From today, GPs will be inviting teenagers aged 17 and 18 (born between 01 September 1996 and 31 August 1997) for the vaccine. All adolescents born between 01 September 1996 and 31 August 1997 in England are eligible for vaccination regardless of their future plans.

Where possible, it’s important that anyone who plans to go to university this year gets vaccinated before they leave. This group are at increased risk of getting meningococcal disease, as many of them will be mixing closely with lots of new people at university, some of whom may unknowingly carry the meningococcal bacteria.

Change to local policy regarding NHS Continuing Healthcare

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NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (MECCG) has taken the decision to change local policy regarding NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) services in the area.

The CCG’s Governing Body agreed to a proposal for new patients to receive NHS continuing healthcare at home, with funding allocated up to 10 per cent above what it would cost for the same care in a residential or nursing home setting.

The decision was taken following a public consultation exercise run by an independent organisation, Enable East, which took place between May and July this year.

Despite the fact that this represents a change in the service, the consultation exercise – which mainly involved patients who used the service, has highlighted a desire from members of the public for the CCG to simplify the process in applying for NHS CHC funding, a piece of work that is already under way.

Creating local health and care services that are Fit for the Future

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A new consultation has been launched in Basildon and Brentwood, giving local people the opportunity to have a say on health and social services. 

Basildon and Brentwood CCG and Essex County Council are urging people in Basildon and Brentwood to get involved and share their views in the face of increasing demands on services. You can read more on the announcement below, or you can click on the link to download their consultation document:

  pdf Fit for the Future (322 KB)

Basildon University Hospital awarded second ‘good’ rating by health regulator

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Basildon University Hospital has been awarded another ‘good’ rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after staff demonstrated further improvements in the quality of care delivered to patients.

Only 28% of 113 hospital trusts inspected by the CQC to date have received the top ratings of outstanding or good (2% outstanding and 26% good). The other ratings are ‘requires improvement’ and ‘inadequate’.

The hospital was taken out of special measures in June last year on the recommendation of Professor Sir Mike Richards the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals. It followed an inspection in March 2014 which rated the hospital as ‘good’ and described ‘very good care in most areas’, the first ever ‘outstanding’ maternity department in the NHS, ‘excellent leadership’ and a ‘change in culture’.

Voluntary ambassador positions available

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Anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing has the opportunity to apply for 12 positions as Specialist Community Ambassadors with Healthwatch Essex.

The 12 ambassadors will help improve the experiences of health and social care services for the deaf and hard of hearing. Healthwatch Essex would like to hear from anyone in Essex that is deaf or hard of hearing to share their views and help to gather information from others.

The voluntary role is perfect for an engaging personality who is passionate about people’s experiences on health and social services and is aware of the sensitive nature of health data.

Healthwatch Essex will provide free training and support to successful applicants. For more information, visit the Healthwatch Essex website