Health and care worker COVID-19 testing available across mid and south Essex

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An expanded COVID-19 testing service is now available for key workers across mid and south Essex. This will mean that staff members, or members of their household with symptoms of COVID-19 can, if they work in essential roles, be offered the opportunity to be tested.

Nationally, clinicians working in the following services were the first to be given priority access to testing:

  • Critical Care
  • Emergency Departments
  • Ambulance services

Locally, across mid and south Essex, testing is now being offered to other essential (clinical and non-clinical) staff involved in caring for our population, including those working in primary care, community and mental health services, hospices, local authorities, care homes, domiciliary care and volunteers.

Tests will be offered, by appointment only, at three locations across mid and south Essex. There will be capacity for 300 tests per day, rising to 500 tests per day in the coming weeks.

Anthony McKeever, Interim Joint Accountable Officer for Mid and South Essex NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “We know that staff in front-line roles are working incredibly hard and are committed to the care of their patients and residents.

We hope that by offering a swift testing service to staff in essential roles, they will be able to get back to work as quickly as possible, ensuring both their safety and that of the people they are working to support.”

FAQs for health and care workers on COVID-19 testing in mid and south Essex

Tributes to Dr Masson

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Dr Masson

Dr Kamlesh Kumar Masson
31st March 1942 – 16th April 2020

Remembering Dr Masson,

Thurrock CCG was sad to learn of the loss of Dr Masson who served as a GP in Thurrock for over 30 years and sadly lost his fight against Covid-19 on 16 April 2020.

Dr Kallil, fellow GP and Chair of NHS Thurrock CCG said:

“We were very sad to hear of the passing of Dr Masson, he was a well respected and liked GP in Thurrock, with a significant contribution over the last 30 years in the Borough caring for patients and providing support. Later he provided GP services in both Thurrock and Basildon. We extend our heartfelt thanks to Dr Masson for his commitment and passion and our condolences to his family for their loss.”

You can read a tribute from Dr Masson's family below.

Dr Kamlesh Masson came to the UK in 1973 after completing his medical training in India and working as a doctor in East Africa.

Although he worked across the UK in Ashby De La Zouch, Kings Lynn and other parts of the UK, the family settled in the locality of South Essex in 1975 where he established his career in General Practice.

Kamlesh founded Milton Road Surgery, Grays in 1985 and worked there continuously until 2017. He then went on to do locum work across Thurrock and Basildon until his last working day of March 12th 2020.

He was an excellent clinician who’s drive to constantly improve his clinical skills and knowledge with passion and enthusiasm will remain with us all as a reminder to always try to be the best. He was recognised in the locality by patients, colleagues and peers as a dedicated, determined, positive individual who would always do his utmost to help in all endeavours.

His thirst for knowledge was only seconded by his passion for his hobbies including cooking, clay-pigeon shooting and learning new languages.

Dr Masson was an honest, kind and generous man who was deeply respected by anyone who was privileged to cross paths with him. He was jovial, funny and kind, always wanting to make the best of any situation.

Dr Masson’s career came to unexpected end last month, when he unfortunately contracted Covid-19. This caused bilateral pneumonia requiring admission to Basildon Hospital on March 22nd and then University College London Hospital on March 31st 2020 (his 78th birthday).

Dr Masson fought bravely, but tragically lost his battle with Covid-19 on April 16th 2020.

Our lifelong thanks will go to the doctors and staff at University College London Hospital who fought tirelessly to save a Hero’s life.

Dr Masson was taken from us too soon and still had so much to give. He had practised medicine for over 5 decades and was a dedicated servant to the NHS for 47 years. He would have wanted to practice medicine for many more years to come.

He was a true gentleman who will be missed, but not forgotten.

Should you wish to leave a message or send your condolences, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who will pass on to the family.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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This page has information on the coronavirus outbreak and links to some of most important websites for keeping informed. Last updated 27 May 2020.

The NHS in mid and south Essex and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.
To make sure you receive the most up-to-date guidance on symptoms, how to look after yourself and others and information on self-isolation and social distancing, please visit nhs.uk/coronavirus

The UK Government is providing daily updates on the coronavirus on its website. Visit their gov.uk/coronavirus for all the latest information. Please be aware that there has also been changes to the advice provided by Government which you can find out more about on the staying safe outside of your home webpage. For more information on testing and the number of cases in the UK, visit the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases webpage.

For information on routine outpatient appointments and in-patient visiting hours at our local hospitals please visit:

You should stay at home as much as possible. There's only a few reasons to leave the house:

    • - Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible;

    • - Exercising, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household;

    • - Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person;

    • - Travelling to and from work, but only where it is impossible to work from home. Try to avoid public transport, and think about using a face covering if you cannot maintain social distancing.

  • When doing these activities, make sure to continue social distancing by staying 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

  • Remember to keep washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and to catch any cough or sneeze with a tissue. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.

Support for those in high-risk groups

If you have been identified as being in a high-risk group, and are shielding, you may be eligible to recieve support to help with food and essentials supplies. 

For more information please visit the Thurrock Council website.

Medicines information

The below documents have more information on what to do to ensure that you have your medication during the outbreak.

Mental Health Support

It is natural to feel anxious during times of uncertainty. Every Mind Matters have compiled a list of simple things you can do to maintain your mental wellbeing and deal with anxiety about coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

You can also find out more about local mental health support avaliable by visiting the mental health support section of our website.

Domestic violence

For adults and children who are experiencing domestic abuse, the current advice to stay at home may cause specific concerns about what this may mean for your wellbeing. We have set out some information on support that is available which can be viewed here: Domestic violence support during COVID-19 restrictions

My Care Records

My Care Records are a way for health professionals to share information to help with the care of patients. Find out more about this and how it is being used to help patients with COVID-19 on our My Care Records page.

Further Information

Please click the link below for links to further information on coronavirus, including an easy read guide, advice for people with COPD or asthma, and information for carers.

Links to further information

Thurrock Coronavirus Community Action launches

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corona community action

Thurrock Council in partnership with Stronger Together, Thurrock CVS and other local organisations are working together to safely coordinate support to residents in need and to help ensure voluntary work is carried out in a safe and co-ordinated way across the borough.

The priority of Thurrock Coronavirus Community Action is to help residents who have been contacted by Government and Public Health England in regards to shielding, these are residents who are at very high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and must stay at home and self-isolate for 12 weeks due to underlying health conditions.

If you fall into this category and have received a text or letter from the NHS this week please follow the link in the message and sign up for support. Volunteers for Thurrock Coronavirus Community Action will be in touch with these residents in due course to confirm their individual support needs.
For residents who do not fall into the shielding category but require additional help and support at this time, more information will be coming out from Monday on how to access help from Thurrock Coronavirus Community Action.

NHS Services this Easter

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Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, many NHS services will be open on bank holiday Friday and bank holiday Monday.

Stay well this Easter Thurrock 2020

During these very difficult times for everyone, the NHS is doing everything it can to support people. Many services like GP Practices and pharmacies will be open for bank holiday Friday and bank holiday Monday. These will also be supported by the Thurrock Health Hubs which will have GP appointments every day this bank holiday weekend.

We have produced a guide on what to do if you medical help this bank holiday weekend. Please feel free to share this with your friends, families and neighbours:

pdf Stay well this Easter - Thurrock 2020 (501 KB)

Dr Anil Kallil, Chair of NHS Thurrock CCG said: “It is vital that all residents across mid and south Essex play their part this Easter, in following social distancing guidance, staying at home and using the NHS responsibly so that services are there for those who really need it.

“Over the bank holiday weekend, please be reassured that the NHS is still seeing patients who need it, if you have a non-Covid related health issue, it is important you still seek the appropriate medical attention, we can and will help you. If you have a life-threatening emergency it is important you call 999.

“If you do have the symptoms of Covid-19, you should not go out at all for seven days and your family or flatmates should not go out for 14 days. If you are concerned with your symptoms and want advice you should go to 111 online. If you don’t have internet access call 111.

“This year many local pharmacies and GP practices will be open on both bank holidays, however some they may have adjusted their usual opening times so we would advise you check before you travel. You can find your nearest pharmacy by visiting www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-pharmacy.

“I would like to sincerely thank all the NHS staff and volunteers across mid and south Essex who continue to do their jobs in this concerning time to keep the rest of the community cared for and secure.”