Get ready for the bank holiday – know what NHS services are open

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See our guide on what NHS services that will be available over the bank holiday (Monday 26 August).

NHS Services in Thurrock on August bank holiday weekend 2019

It’s not too long until the August bank holiday and how ever your planning to spent it, we hope you have a great time, but things don’t always go to plan. From hay fever to a sprained knee, we know that it is all too easy for you or someone you love to pick up a health concern. That’s why it’s so important to know where to go for help.

Many services are closed on bank holidays and those that are open may have different opening times. Our bank holiday guide sets out where and when you can get medical help on the August bank holiday.

There’s information on what pharmacies are open and when and a reminder that a GP will be on hand at Orsett Hospital’s Minor Injuries Unit. There will also be extra GP and nurse appointments at the Thurrock Health Hubs and even a physiotherapist at the Fobbing Hub!

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.

For non-urgent health and social care enquiries you can contact Thurrock First on 01375 511000, open 365 days a year 7am - 7pm.

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

pdf NHS Services in Thurrock on spring bank holiday weekend (25-27 May) 2019 (1.18 MB)

  pdf NHS Services in Thurrock on spring bank holiday weekend (25-27 May) 2019 – black and white (8.06 MB)

#OurNHSPeople tweetchats

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Tweetchat to discuss teamwork in the NHS gets thousands of replies.

The Tweetchat was held to get an idea of what NHS staff think good teamwork looks like and what sometimes gets in the way of achieving it. Prerana Issar, Chief People Officer NHS, and Navina Evans hosted the first Making the NHS the best place to work tweetchat, supported by NHS Horizons.

From the wealth of conversations, questions and ideas that emerged it was clear to see how enthusiastic and passionate people are about working in our NHS. This was probably the biggest NHS tweetchat to date, with over 2,400 people engaging and sharing their thoughts.

Of the 5,581 tweets that were generated by the tweetchat, over 800 ideas emerged which will feed into the core offer for NHS staff. Here are the top ten themes that emerged:

  • our shared NHS purpose
  • flexible working practices
  • being valued
  • personal, professional and team development
  • leadership
  • getting basic things right for wellbeing
  • diversity and inclusion
  • innovation/ new ways of thinking and doing things
  • give power to NHS employees (build our agency)
  • recruitment and retention.

If you missed the first tweetchat, there are still opportunities to share your views in our two upcoming sessions.

Save the date:

Monday 12 August, 7pm — what can we do to improve how people in the NHS work in teams?

Monday 9 September, 7pm — what do people who work in the NHS need from their leaders?

Hospital proposals supported by Health Secretary

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The Health Secretary has endorsed the advice of an independent panel after it concluded that the planned changes to hospital services in Mid and South Essex can go ahead.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, has agreed with the findings of the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) that the plans developed by the Mid and South Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) are "in the interests of health services locally".

Dr Anita Donley OBE, Independent Chair of the STP, said:

“I am absolutely delighted with the recommendation of the Independent Reconfiguration Panel and decision of the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. This is a recognition of the hard work by all partners in our STP and an endorsement of the clinically-led plans to improve services and outcomes for our population of 1.2 million people living in mid and south Essex.”

Clare Panniker, Chief Eecutive of the Mid and South Essex University Hospitals Group, said:

"Our plan to reconfigure hospital services will improve care and outcomes for over 1.2 million people who live in mid and south Essex, so I am delighted that the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has been advised that we should press ahead with our plans to reconfigure our services.

Take care in the high temperatures this week

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Thurrock and the south east are experiencing high temperatures which look like they will continue until Friday (26 July) when fresher conditions will spread across the country.

summer temperature

Temperatures are likely to reach the high 20s on Monday and could rise even higher for the rest of the week with temperatures in to the low to mid 30s. 

There are things you can do to minimise the effect of the high temperatures. Make sure you do not burn when you are in the sun by wearing a sun screen that protects against UVA and UVB rays and keep hydrated throughout the day. Try to drink around eight glasses of water throughout the day and eat more cold food, particularly salads and fruit which contain water.

Plan your day in a way that allows you to stay out of the heat. If possible, avoid going out in the hottest part of the day (between 11am and 3pm). Stay in the coolest rooms in your home as much as possible.

Keep windows closed while it is cooler inside your house than outside and keep curtains closed to protect from the glare of the sun. You can use a fan to keep the air moving or, if your lucky, air conditioning to cool your house. It's best to open your windows after the sun goes down or very early in the morning when the temperature outside is cooler. If you are worried about security, only open windows on the first floor and above, or fit security locks that allow windows to be locked in an open position for ventilation.

Have regular showers or baths and splash yourself several times a day with cold water, particularly on your face and the back of your neck.

Targeted Lung Health Checks coming to Thurrock

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Thurrock patients will be among the first to benefit from a new national Targeted Lung Cancer Check Programme.

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, a new programme of targeted lung health checks was announced in March 2019. NHS England confirmed it is to invest in 14 Targeted Lung Health Check areas across England to improve the early detection of lung cancer and other lung diseases. Thurrock CCG along with Luton CCG was selected as one of the areas that could benefit from the investment.

What Is It?

People who are considered at risk of developing lung cancer or other lung diseases will be identified by GPs and other health professionals.Thiswill be people who are aged over 55 and under 75 with a smoking history (current smoker or ex-smoker). They will be invited to attend a lung health check by their GP.

The health check will be conducted by a lung specialist nurse and will involve discussion around lung cancer symptoms, a breathing test (spirometry) and stop smoking advice (as appropriate). The results of this will then be used to calculate a person’s individual lung cancer risk. Anyone at high risk of lung cancer will be invited to have a low-dose CT scan.

The scheme will launch early in 2020, and commissioners are working in partnership with patients, public health, and health and community professionals to bring this scheme to Thurrock. Look out for the lung screening trucks (much like breast screening) in a local area near you!

For more information on the programme in Thurrock and Luton, visit the programme website:

Mandy Ansell, Accountable Officer for Thurrock CCG said: “Thurrock was chosen along with Luton as an area that has poor survival from lung cancer. This project is a great opportunity to help us identify those people who are at risk of lung cancer. Lung cancer is often detected at later stages as some people don’t recognise the symptoms. The later the cancer is diagnosed the worse the survival and outcomes for people is. By catching cancer early, we can treat it quickly and improve survival for people.

“We are working together with radiologists, lung specialists and cancer specialists as well as our public health colleagues to ensure this opportunity really improves the health of our population.”

There is more information on the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check scheme here: NHS to rollout lung cancer scanning trucks across the country