My Health Matters

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Right now, looking after ourselves is more important than ever

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‘My Health Matters’ is a new campaign that aims to bring together tools, tips and resources that can help people across mid and south Essex to take care of themselves and support their health and wellbeing.

Everyone’s health is unique to them, as are the things that will help improve their wellbeing. There is no right or wrong way, it is simply about finding what is best for you to help you take control of your health.

We hope to use real-life examples of people in local communities across mid and south Essex taking control of their health and wellbeing in different ways.

We’re interested in ways people are connecting with their local areas, or certain tools or resources they are utilising to support their wellbeing.

By doing this, we hope to inspire and empower many others to do the same.

Get involved and tell us how you are staying healthy by using #MyHealthMattersMSE on social.


The ‘My Health Matters’ digital booklet provides an overview of national and local tools and resources available to support people to live well. It can easily be downloaded and stored on computers and smartphones for quick access or alternatively printed if that’s preferred.

The guide provides information and ideas about what’s available to help people to look after themselves and those they care for. This includes:

  • Making the most out of digital apps and tools to easily access trusted information and advice from home
  • Keeping active for better health – with information on local and national resources that can help you to stay physically fit
  • Looking after your mental health – utilising local and national services such as talking therapies
  • Support in the local community – including treating minor health conditions and practical and emotional support from specialist professionals such as social prescribers
  • Local offers across mid and south Essex to help keep people well.

Please note, the booklet is not intended to be exhaustive, and if you think we may have missed information that may be useful, please get in touch at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We hope to provide more information about local resources and assets through local people stories. To find out more about this, please take a look at our ‘local people stories’ and ‘getting involved’ sections on this page.

If you need an alternative version of this leaflet (e.g. a translated or large print version), please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  pdf Download My Health Matters guide (750 KB)

Local people stories

Billy case study

We are raising awareness of local people living or working across mid and south Essex and what matters to them when it comes to their health and wellbeing.

Our first featured case study is of Rochford-based, Billy, who lives with a long-term health condition known as Fibromyalgia.

pdf Read his full case study here (394 KB)

Getting involved

We would like to raise awareness of local people across communities in mid and south Essex taking control of their health and wellbeing in different ways.

We’re interested in ways people are connecting with local areas, certain tools or resources to support their wellbeing.

By sharing people stories, we hope to inspire and empower others to do the same.

If you have a story to share please contact us by emailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with ‘My Health Matters campaign’ in the subject line or get involved by using the hashtag #MyHealthMattersMSE on social media.

You can also use this form by visiting: to submit a case study if you are interested in taking part and being a featured case study in future.

Getting in touch

If you have any questions about the campaign, opportunities to share or getting involved, please feel free to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Local NHS gains more control over resources for GP services

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From 1 April 2021, all five Clinical Commissioning Groups will take control of the planning, strategic direction, priority setting and decision making for GP services. This is a first step towards strengthening local decision making under plans to create an Integrated Care Systems (ICS) which will manage services on behalf of local people.

In line with both the national and local NHS strategies, GP services will play a key role in improving the health and wellbeing of the local population.
The COVID-19 vaccination programme has demonstrated how GP practices working together in “Primary Care Networks” (PCNs) can benefit their communities while continuing to offer a core service to their patients.

With greater control over local priorities, the new integrated care system will be able to accelerate plans for Primary Care Networks (PCNs) to act together in further improvements through collaborative working amongst front-line staff.

Dr Arv Guniyangodage, PCN Clinical Director for Brentwood welcoming these changes said “Ensuring local decisions can be taken about the provision of primary care services is vital for the effectiveness of services we can offer our population. The delegation of primary care empowers this local decision making. We will be able to make decisions that are informed by our understanding of our population, the feedback local people are providing and in the context of the strategic aims of our wider partners. This is a real opportunity for improving outcomes for those we serve.”

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

“What matters is that local people have access to efficient and effective primary care when they need it. But family medicine is also about prevention - supporting people to stay healthy and independent wherever possible. Having more control over primary care commissioning will help accelerate our plans to improve the way health and care is delivered across mid and south Essex. People have told us they want better joined up services. Local Primary Care Networks will play a vital role in better integrated working and improving population health and wellbeing, so as to make local services more responsive and sustainable. PCNs will become a cornerstone around which local places can thrive and the key vehicle for delivering local services.”

The benefits of commissioning GP services locally include:

  • proactively working with individual practices to develop resilience and sustainability
  • having more control, flexibility and influence over how GP Services are developed
  • driving up quality of GP Services, and improve access to primary medical services
  • developing the foundations for a more sustainable and stable general practice
  • greater scope for improved system-wide financial management

Health services over Easter

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Know the best place to get medical help in mid and south Essex this Easter with our NHS service guides.

Easter NHS services graphics Twitter

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

There’s information on what pharmacies are open and when, details on extra GP and nurse appointments available over the weekend, and a reminder of what you can and can’t do due to COVID restrictions.

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

pdf Easter weekend bank holiday services poster - Thurrock (376 KB)

Mid and South Essex becomes an Integrated Care System helping join up care for 1.2m people

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The NHS and its partners in Mid and South Essex have been formally designated an Integrated Care System after developing a system-wide common vision to improve health and care.

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens has confirmed that the final 13 areas, serving 14.9 million people, will be formally designated “integrated care systems” (ICSs) from April 1, hitting a major milestone in the NHS Long Term Plan.

ICSs exist to improve the health of all residents, better support people living with multiple and long term conditions, preventing illness, tackling variation in care and delivering seamless services while getting maximum impact for every pound.

They bring together the NHS, local government and other organisations including The Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VSCE) sectors.
The Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership has been working towards the milestone for the last four years in a bid to strengthen local relationships and improve patient care.

A total of 42 ICSs, which bring together hospital, community and mental health trusts, GPs and other primary care services with local authorities and other care providers will cover the whole of England.

Announcing the decision to approve the local applications from these 13 areas at a meeting of ICS leaders, NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said:

“Partnership working has been at the heart of the NHS’s remarkable response to the coronavirus pandemic and the NHS vaccination programme.

“Now GPs, hospitals, pharmacists, local authorities and community groups have also come together to deliver COVID jabs to more than 22 million people across England in a matter of weeks.

“We have seen what the NHS pulling together can do in the most testing period in the health service’s history.

“The establishment of ICSs across the country will help to ensure that agile approach and can-do attitude endures beyond the pandemic.”

The NHS Long Term Plan said Integrated Care Systems would be central to its delivery by bringing together local organisations to redesign care and improve population health, creating shared leadership and action.

More recently the Government has set out a White Paper which will build on recommendations from NHSEI to remove current legislative barriers to integration across health and social care bodies, and foster collaboration between NHS and local government organisations. This reflects the thousands of views received from every part of the health and care system and the public as part of recent engagement on what local leaders need.

Professor Mike Thorne, independent chair of Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership said: “Our ICS designation is an important next step on our journey as a maturing health and care system and a demonstration that our partner organisations are committed to working together to improve the health and wellbeing of local people, delivering care our local communities and staff can be proud of.

“The way in which we are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic is testament to the extraordinary work we can do when health, care voluntary sector colleagues stand shoulder to shoulder and use our resources flexibly across health and care to do the right thing.

“As partners we are united by a common purpose to improve the health and well-being of the 1.2 million population we serve and reduce inequalities by making the very best use of our collective resources.”

COVID-19 vaccine roll out for all over 50s

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NHS England invites everyone aged 50 and over to be jabbed as NHS vaccination programme marks 100th day.

While the whole of the NHS doubles down to urge everyone already invited to take up the offer, new invitations are now going out nationally to millions of people aged 50 to 54 in the latest stage of the programme, the biggest in NHS history and fastest in Europe.

NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “Just 100 days since the NHS gave the world’s first COVID jab outside of clinical trials, our vaccine programme passes another milestone as we now invite everyone aged 50 and over to book their vaccination.”

Today – Wednesday 17 March – marks 100 days since the NHS gave Maggie Keenan her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination on December 8 2020, and broke ground in the global race to protect people against the coronavirus.

Healthcare teams continue to urge anyone yet to be vaccinated to take up the offer as around two million additional text messages go out from today with a link allowing people also to pick a convenient slot at an NHS vaccine centre, or pharmacy-led service through the national booking service website.

People who cannot go online can call the service on 119.

The text alerts will be followed up with 2.4 million letters landing on doorsteps later in the week.

The NHS has already delivered a vaccine to more than 20 million people in England as supplies have flowed since early December, with the NHS committed to offering vaccinations as quickly as available supply allows in the coming weeks.

The latest batch of national invites follows a significant boost to bookings last week, with a major push by text message and letter prompting slots booked almost to double in 48 hours from 340,000 on March 7 to 609,000 on March 9 when texts were sent.

Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and NHS England’s primary care director, said: “The number of vaccines available to the NHS will continue to go up and down week by week and month by month in line with manufacturers’ ability to supply us. But this week and next we have larger supplies, so we want anyone in the top priority groups – people aged 50 and older as well as those working in health and care and anyone with an underlying health condition – to come forward soon to protect themselves and their loved ones.”

“The success of the NHS vaccination roll-out is testament to the work of NHS staff, and as new groups of people are invited to come forward it’s exciting that we are now inviting people aged 50 and over to get their jab.

“The vaccines are both safe and effective, so if anybody who is eligible hasn’t been vaccinated yet, I’d urge them to go online or call 119 and get themselves booked in.

The NHS has been offering the vaccine to the most at risk people as soon as doses have been made available, in line with guidance form the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

More than 10 million jabs – first and second doses – have been arranged through the NHS National Booking Service.

Text invitations appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’, including a web link to click and reserve an appointment at one of more than 300 large-scale vaccination centres or pharmacies across England. Text invites will also be received from local booking services through a GP-led team.

Texts will arrive in advance of the standard letter, meaning this could enable the NHS to react faster to changing vaccine supplies and fill appointments quickly.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “The UK’s vaccination rollout is a national success story. It’s a tribute to everyone involved and shows what our country can achieve when we work together.

“From the Vaccines Taskforce to the NHS, our armed forces and the people coming forward in their millions to get the jab – this has been a massive national effort.

“I’m delighted we are now expanding the rollout and inviting those aged 50-54 to book appointments.

“I’m determined that no one should miss out on the chance to protect themselves and the people they love or care for, and I urge everyone who’s eligible for the vaccine to come forward.”

Vaccinations are now being administered at more than 1,600 sites across the country, including mosques, museums and rugby grounds, with the distribution of centres meaning 98% of the country lives within 10 miles of at least one vaccination service.

Appointments are staggered to allow for social distancing and people are being asked not to turn up early to avoid creating queues.

Everyone will receive a health status check and a pre-vaccination assessment before they have their jab.

The NHS made history when Maggie Keenan became the first person in the world to be protected against coronavirus outside of a clinical trial when she received the Pfizer vaccine at Coventry Hospital on 8 December.

The NHS was also the first health system to deliver the new Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine when Brian Pinker, 82, received his on 4 January.