Home

Important Notice

Please note that the Mid and South Essex STP meeting in Maldon tonight has be been cancelled.

Due to the adverse weather the Plume Academy is closed  and we are unable to hold the event. We will seek to reschedule so please keep an eye on our website and social media.

Sincere apologies to anyone planning to attend.

important information

Weight Management

feet on scales

Anglian Community Enterprise Lifestyle offer information on a range of services designed to promote health and wellbeing to residents in mid Essex. There are a range of services for adults and young people to help you better manage your weight and to suit your needs. The programmes are free and you can refer yourself.

My Weight Matters

My Weight Matters is a 1:1 weight management programme which takes place weekly in convenient community locations across mid Essex. The programme is avaliable free to people registered with a local NHS GP Practice and suitable for people who prefer an approach tailored to the individual. Longer term support is also avaliable, giving you the option to attend for weigh-in and motivational support.

The programme lasts for 12 weeks after this you can continue to drop in and share your progress towards a healthier lifestyle until you reach your target weight loss.

Under 18's

C.H.I.M.P.S (Child Health Improvement Sessions) is a free, informative and supporting programme for children at primary school and their families. C.H.I.M.P.S caters for children above a healthy BMI for their age.

For older children there is D.E.A.L (Diet Exercise and Lifestyle). This is a free, informative and supportive programme for children at secondary school and their families.

Both programmes cater for children who are above the healthy BMI for their age.

To access one of the above services call 0800 022 4524 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).

 

Please note: All Tier 2 weight management services are funded by Essex County Council

Sepsis

Sepsis leaflet

Sepsis: act quickly if you suspect a child may be suffering from sepsis

A sepsis campaign has been launched to help parents spot the symptoms to protect young children and save lives. Sepsis is a rare but serious complication of any infection.

Parents of children aged 0-4 are encouraged to take immediate action by going to A&E immediately or calling 999 if they spot any of the following symptoms: 

  • Looks mottled, bluish or pale
  • Is very lethargic or difficult to wake
  • Feels abnormally cold to touch
  • Is breathing very fast
  • Has a rash that does not fade when you press it
  • Has a fit or convulsion

Acting quickly can save a child’s life!

For more information visit nhs.uk/sepsis or sepsistrust.org.

pdf Sepsis Leaflet (2.90 MB)

pdf Sepsis Poster (2.29 MB)

Essex Lifestyle Service

Essex Lifestyle Service Web Banner 2

The Essex Lifestyle Service was commissioned by Essex County Council from 1st April 2016 to deliver health and wellbeing services for the county of Essex (excluding Southend and Thurrock). Services include:

Health & Wellbeing Services

The service offers Stop Smoking support, guidance on diet and exercise and help to improve your self-esteem. The service also offers classes to support people suffering with Long Term Conditions. In addition to the services provided, they can signpost people to appropriate support provided by partner organisations. See below for more information on each of the core services Essex Lifestyle Service offer.

Smoking cessation

Many smokers who want to quit aren’t sure where to turn, but getting advice and support from our friendly expert team will mean you are up to 4 times more likely to quit for good.

The service provides a free programme offering a maximum prescription of either 12 weeks Champix medication or 8 weeks nicotine replacement therapy, as appropriate. Your stop smoking adviser will support your attempt to quit for up to 6 sessions, on either a one-to-one community based programme, via telephone support or through our stop smoking app. Your advisor will offer behavioural and motivational support throughout the process and will assist you to reduce your reliance on the medication using a “weaning off” process.

Healthy eating support

The service support people on an individual basis, establishing what works for them and supporting them to reach their goals. The team give advice on food groups, portion sizes, food package labelling and physical activity. Eating healthily can help to reduce high blood pressure, cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

Physical activity

Physical activity is a crucial part of health & wellbeing. In infants, it encourages use of muscles & helps to develop motor skills. It also helps to build social & emotional bonds. It improves cognitive development & enhances bone & muscular development. It also contributes to a healthy weight. For adults, being physically active can help with self-esteem, mood and contribute towards a healthy weight. It also helps reduce the risk of dementia.

The team will work with you to develop physical activity targets considering your health and any restrictions to your movement.

Long term condition support

Many people suffer with Long Term Conditions (a health problem that cannot be cured but can usually be controlled by medication and other therapies). Long Term Conditions can affect many parts of a person’s life, from their ability to work and have relationships, to housing and education opportunities.

Examples of Long Term Conditions include – high blood pressure, depression, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and arthritis. Provide offer Managing Health Courses for people living with Long Term Conditions. The course aims to help them take control of their health by learning new skills to help manage their condition better on a daily basis. The course covers many issues and topics faced daily including – Dealing with pain and extreme tiredness, coping with feelings of depression, relaxation techniques and exercise, communication with family, friends and health professionals and planning for the future.

Workplace Health

This free programme delivers health promotion advice and support services to small, medium and large workplaces in the private, public and voluntary sectors across Essex. We will work with your organisation to promote and foster an environment of health and wellbeing. We will train your staff to become Workplace Health Champions who will deliver a range of healthy lifestyle programmes and activities.

We work in partnership with a wide range of local employers and business support agencies including: local Councils, Hospital Trusts, Community Health Providers, Walking for Health, the British Heart Foundation, Diabetes groups and MacMillan Cancer Care, Active Essex and Living Safe and Well Board.

Social Prescribing

Social prescribing is helping people to make a positive change to their lives by linking them to voluntary and community groups and services that will help them to increase their confidence, meet new people and improve their general health and wellbeing. With Essex Lifestyle Service working with initiatives such as Essex Connects and Live Well in social prescribing, we can ensure that our clients will receive the services that will support them to make good lifestyle choices and maximise their emotional, practical and social wellbeing.

Accessing the Lifestyle Service

People can self-refer to the service by contacting the team on the details below. Clinics are held at various locations across the county, the team are also able to offer telephone appointments for those unable to attend a clinic.

To access this service call 0300 303 9988 (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm).

 

For more infomation view the Essex Lifestyle Service website. 

Latest News

Study Reveals Experience of Young People in Secure Inpatient Mental Health Unit

Study Reveals Experience of Young People in Secure Inpatient Mental Health Unit

Healthwatch Essex is launching a unique report which reveals the experiences of young people in a secure inpatient mental health unit.

The study, named SWEET!3, is believed to be the first of its kind in the county. The report has been written by our Research and Engagement Associate, Hannah Fletcher, who spent six months visiting Poplar Adolescent Unit Education Centre based in Rochford Community Hospital, working to understand young people’s experience of being treated in a secure unit of this nature.

The report had a number of key findings:

  • Young people often felt ignored or powerless in their journey through mental health services. Their diagnosis was, at times, disclosed to their families but not to them. This caused them to feel excluded from conclusions made about their health and not consulted on their personal experience of living with their illness. Acronyms and terminology also caused them difficulty in being able to understand and discuss their care.

  • Delays in care often caused a deterioration in mental health to the point of crisis. This was common and ranged from being because of waiting times through to the young person not seeking support because of fear of stigmatisation. A number of participants in the study discussed how they had been struggling with their mental health for a long time prior to getting a referral and, even after referral, continued to wait for long periods.

  • A number of patients who had initially entered the health system via A&E after experiencing mental health crisis, were discharged from A&E after receiving no treatment or only treatment for physical injuries - even though it was obvious that their injuries had been self-inflicted.

  • Inconsistent care and high staff turnover often caused young people to disengage or struggle to build a relationship of trust through which they could discuss their experiences. Changes between services and professionals also meant that they found themselves having to re-tell these experiences over and over which left them with a sense that they were ‘starting from scratch’ and making no real progress.


David Sollis, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Essex, said:

“This report undoubtedly makes for difficult reading at times but we hope that, in hearing these voices which are not commonly heard, the whole of the health and social care system in Essex can come to understand the needs of these young people more clearly.

“We are very grateful to the Poplar Adolescent Unit who facilitated our engagement with their patients and staff. Their hard work and devotion clearly makes a lasting impression on the lives of the young people they work with.

“We are hugely thankful to the young people whose voices are central to this report. We appreciate that it can be difficult to talk about such personal and sometimes painful experiences but we are very grateful that they did, because it offers an opportunity for their experiences to shape the way that services are designed and delivered in Essex in the future.”

To hear Hannah talking about her findings click here.

Read more

Group A Streptococcus (iGAS) outbreak in mid Essex

Latest update - 16  July 2019

As of July 16, there have been no further cases of iGAS within the mid Essex area.


NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group continues to lead the incident management team comprised of Public Health England, Provide Community Interest Company (who provide the majority of our out of hospital services), NHS England and NHS Improvement, to monitor and investigate the existing iGAS outbreak.


As we have mentioned in our previous briefing, the total number of cases is 32* and sadly, 12 of those patients have died. The number of cases reflects Public Health England’s Whole Genome Sequencing Work of the GAS bacteria found in patients within the outbreak. The work found that the iGAS case in Basildon in 2018 and the iGAS case in Southend in February 2019, are not part of the outbreak in mid Essex.


Whole Genome Sequencing is used within a Public Health laboratory setting to investigate differences and similarities in the DNA sequence of bacteria. This method allows Public Health England to check which iGAS cases are genetically linked and which are not. This is done by analysing the DNA sequence of each bacterial sample collected from patients within this outbreak. Any further information from the Whole Genome Sequencing work will be shared in future updates.


*Of the 32 patients affected by the iGAS outbreak in mid Essex, 30 are confirmed cases and two are probable.


Background (Updated on 16 July):

Those affected within the iGAS outbreak are older people in Braintree District, Chelmsford City and Maldon District. The majority of patients were receiving treatment for wounds, with some in care homes but most in their own homes.

It was previously thought that the single case of iGAS in Basildon in 2018 and single case of iGAS in Southend in February 2019 could be part of the outbreak in mid Essex. Whole Genome Sequencing of all cases of iGAS identified as part of the outbreak has provided confirmation that the cases in Basildon and Southend are not part of the mid Essex outbreak. These two cases appear to be isolated cases of iGAS that can arise in the community, and have now been removed from the outbreak investigation.

Incident management team and control measures

The incident management team continues to monitor the control measures already in place to limit the spread of this infection. These include:

  • A programme of preventative antibiotics for the community nursing staff in mid Essex

  • Community nursing teams who usually work within the CM7 postcode area in Braintree are working only in that area for the time being to minimise the risk of the infection spreading. This is because the majority of cases have been within this area of Braintree.

  • A deep clean of all community nurse bases in mid Essex has been completed. The reinforcement of standard infection control measures including hand hygiene and use of personal protective equipment among staff continues.

  • Swabs are being taken from adult patients being treated by mid Essex community nursing teams to check for the bacteria.

Advice for the public and helpline

The NHS understands this is a worrying time for people and wants to reassure members of the public that the risk of contracting iGAS is very low. Treatment with antibiotics is usually very effective when started early.

The local Freephone helpline number, 03000 032124, is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, for anyone with concerns about iGAS infection. Updates will continue to be available at midessexccg.nhs.uk.

 

Latest update - 9 July 2019

NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, along with partners at Public Health England, Provide Community Interest Company (who provide the majority of our out of hospital services), NHS England and NHS Improvement, are continuing to monitor, assess and investigate the outbreak of invasive Group A Streptococcus (iGAS) infection in mid Essex.

As part of the investigation, Public Health England has undertaken Whole Genome Sequencing of the GAS bacteria found in patients within the outbreak. This work has demonstrated that the iGAS case in Basildon in 2018 and the iGAS case in Southend in February 2019, are not part of the outbreak in mid Essex. Therefore the rest of the cases are linked to the iGAS outbreak in mid Essex. The total number of patients affected is now 32* and sadly, 12 of those patients have died.

Whole Genome Sequencing is used within a Public Health laboratory setting to investigate differences and similarities in the DNA sequence of bacteria. This method allows Public Health England to check which iGAS cases are genetically linked and which are not. This is done by analysing the DNA sequence of each bacterial sample collected from patients within this outbreak. Any further information from the Whole Genome Sequencing work will be shared in future updates.

*Of the 32 patients affected by the iGAS outbreak in mid Essex, 30 are confirmed cases and two are probable.


Background (updated on 9 July):

Those affected within the iGAS outbreak are older people in Braintree District, Chelmsford City and Maldon District. The majority of patients were receiving treatment for wounds, with some in care homes but most in their own homes.

It was previously thought that the single case of iGAS in Basildon in 2018 and single case of iGAS in Southend in February 2019 could be part of the outbreak in mid Essex. Whole Genome Sequencing of all cases of iGAS identified as part of the outbreak has provided confirmation that the cases in Basildon and Southend are not part of the mid Essex outbreak. These two cases appear to be isolated cases of iGAS that can arise in the community, and have now been removed from the outbreak investigation.

Incident management team and control measures

NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group is leading an incident management team and is working hard with colleagues to manage the situation. These colleagues include Public Health England, Provide Community Interest Company, who provide the majority of mid Essex community health services, NHS England and NHS Improvement.

The control measures put in place to limit the spread of this infection include:

• A programme of preventative antibiotics for the community nursing staff in mid Essex
• Community nursing teams who usually work within the CM7 postcode area in Braintree are working only in that area for the time being to minimise the risk of the infection spreading. This is because the majority of cases have been within this area of Braintree.
• A deep clean of all community nurse bases in mid Essex and reinforcing standard infection control measures including hand hygiene and use of personal protective equipment among staff continue.
• Swabs are being taken from adult patients being treated by mid Essex community nursing teams to check for the bacteria.

Advice for the public and helpline

The NHS understands this is a worrying time for people and wants to reassure members of the public that the risk of contracting iGAS is very low. Treatment with antibiotics is usually very effective when started early.

The local Freephone helpline number, 03000 032124, is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, for anyone with concerns about iGAS infection. Updates will continue to be available at midessexccg.nhs.uk.


Frequently asked questions:

What is Group A Streptococcus (GAS)?
GAS is a bacterium, full name Streptococcus pyogenes, it is sometimes found in the throat or on the skin and usually causes no symptoms.
How are GAS infections spread?

GAS is spread by contact or by droplets from the respiratory tract, when sneezing or coughing. People may carry GAS in their throat or on their skin, which would make them a carrier, also referred to as colonised. Carriers often have no symptoms of illness.

What infections are caused by GAS?
Most GAS infections result in illnesses such as a sore throat (this can be called ’strep throat’) or a skin infection such as impetigo or scarlet fever. On rare occasions, these bacteria can cause other more severe diseases, for example blood stream infections (septicaemia).

What is invasive group A streptococcal (iGAS)?
iGAS is rare but serious. It can occur when bacteria gets into parts of the body where bacteria usually are not found, such as the blood, muscle, or the lungs. These infections are called invasive GAS. In the current outbreak patients with iGAS have suffered septicaemia (blood stream) infection.

What are the signs and symptoms of invasive Group A Streptococcal?

  • High fever
  • Severe muscle aches
  • Pain in one area of the body
  • Redness at the site of a wound
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea

What should I do if I think I have any of the symptoms of iGAS?
If you develop any of the symptoms of iGAS contact your GP or seek medical advice immediately. Tell your GP that you have been in contact with someone with invasive GAS and that you have developed some symptoms that you are worried about.

It is very likely that your GP will ask you to come into the surgery so you can be examined. If you are too unwell to visit the surgery or it is closed, do not delay seeking medical advice and contact NHS111 or visit https://111.nhs.uk

 

Update on 3 July 2019

As part of the ongoing iGAS outbreak in mid Essex, NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group can confirm that a further patient has been diagnosed with iGAS and is currently being treated.

In addition, as part of the monitoring and risk assessments of this outbreak, Public Health England (PHE) have further reviewed how cases are defined in this outbreak to ensure that all appropriate cases are captured and investigated. As a result, an additional case has been added to the total outbreak count. This patient passed away with sepsis earlier this year. The case was previously not included in the iGAS count. Therefore, the total number of patients affected by the iGAS outbreak is 34 and 13 of those patients have sadly died.

Update 27 June 2019

Mid Essex streptococcus outbreak – statement by Dr Anna Davey, CCG Chair, at Board today

At the CCG's Board meeting in public held at Spring Lodge Community Centre in Witham this afternoon (Thursday 27 June), our Chair, Dr Anna Davey, gave the following update on the invasive Group A Streptococcus (iGAS) outbreak in mid Essex.

I want to give you all an update on the ongoing incident here in mid Essex. Twelve people have sadly died and I want to start by expressing our sincere condolences to their families.

We have established an incident management team and are working hard with colleagues from Public Health England, Provide Community Interest Company, who provide the majority of our out of hospital services, NHS England and NHS Improvement, to understand why this has happened and to prevent any more cases from occurring.

There have been 32 cases of iGAS in Essex. Those affected are elderly people in Braintree District, Chelmsford City and Maldon District. The vast majority of patients were receiving treatment for wounds, some in care homes but most in their own homes. A single case was found in Basildon in 2018 and a single case in Southend in February 2019. There does not appear to be a direct link between the cases in south Essex and mid Essex.

To give you a brief overview, Group A streptococcus, or GAS bacteria, can be found in the throat and on the skin and will not cause any illness for most people. Most Group A streptococcus infections can cause mild illnesses such as a sore throat, also known as strep throat, scarlet fever or a skin infection. For most healthy people this will cause no more than a mild illness.

On rare occasions, this bacteria can enter the body and cause severe, and sometimes life-threatening conditions. This is called Invasive Group A Streptococcal disease – iGAS. While this infection is rare, it is not new and has been seen in the UK before.

We have put in place measures to prevent the spread of this infection, including giving all community nursing staff who treat patients with chronic wounds antibiotic prophylaxis.

A deep cleaning of all community nurse bases has been conducted on all premises and to ensure the infection does not spread out of the locality, district nurse teams working within the CM7 Braintree area are only working within this postcode for the time being. This is because the majority of cases have been within this area.

We are taking wound swabs from all patients who are being treated for wounds in the area to check for the bacteria, and increasing opportunities for hand hygiene and use of personal protective equipment among staff.

We understand this is a worrying time for people, and know how frustrating it is that we don’t have answers to lots of the questions you may have. But we want to reassure members of the public that the risk of contracting iGAS is very low for most people. Treatment with antibiotics is very effective if started early.

We are continuing to work with Public Health England to stop the spread of this outbreak and ensure our local community is protected.

Our Freephone helpline number, 03000 032124, is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, for anyone with concerns about iGAS infection. We will also continue to keep our website updated as and when we have more information on the outbreak or investigation.

Read more

Follow us

Latest News

Study Reveals Experience of Young ...

Healthwatch Essex is launching a unique report which reveals the experiences of young people in a secure inpatient mental health unit. The study, named SWEET!3, is believed to be the first of its kind in the county. The report has been written ...

Read more

Group A Streptococcus (iGAS) outbreak ...

Latest update - 16  July 2019 As of July 16, there have been no further cases of iGAS within the mid Essex area. NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group continues to lead the incident management...

Read more

Streptococcus outbreak in mid Essex

The NHS in the mid Essex area is responding to a number of local cases of bacterial infections among elderly people, most of whom were receiving wound care in their own homes, though some were also in care homes.

Read more

Mid Essex primary care services ...

Pride in Practice is a quality assurance and social prescribing programme that supports healthcare professionals in meeting the needs of their lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) patients. Funding from the Government Equalities ...

Read more

NHS Chief Nursing Officer for ...

Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, celebrated International Nurses’ Day yesterday (Monday 13 May) with Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Broomfield Hospital. A gathering of nurses who work in mental health, acute hospitals, ...

Read more