Are you worried about the welfare or safety of a baby, child or young person?

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If you are worried about a child either in their home, in the community, nursery or school or any activities they are involved in and are concerned they maybe, or at risk of, being mistreated, exploited or abused please report your concerns.

Everyone has the responsibility to keep children safe. You can stop abuse or neglect by speaking up about what you know.

Signs to be aware of:

  • Children appearing withdrawn, anxious or frightened.
  • Hearing shouting, things being broken or hitting.
  • Children crying for long periods of time.
  • Very young children left alone or being outdoors by themselves.
  • Children looking dirty or not changing their clothes.

These signs don't always mean that a child is being abused, neglected and/or exploited, but if you have concerns, even if you’re unsure, please contact the Thurrock Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) or the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) if the concerns are out of office hours, including weekends and bank holidays.

Thurrock Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
Telephone: 01375 652 802
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thurrock Emergency Duty Team (EDT)
Telephone: 01375 372468
Police Child Abuse Team
Telephone: 01277 266 822

If a child is in immediate danger, call the Police on 999 straight away.

If your child is unwell.

Hear from two medical professionals explaining why it's still important to bring your child to hospital or see your GP if they are unwell during the #coronavirus pandemic.

Where to get health help this winter

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Help is on hand for those feeling under the weather this winter.

People living in mid and south Essex can get the right – support they need by visiting https://www.essexcovidvaccine.nhs.uk/winter-health/feeling-unwell/.

The site includes information on local pharmacies and their opening times across the Christmas and New Year period, NHS 111 service, advice on weekend and evening GP appointments and advice on using the Essex child health app

Dr Ronan Fenton, medical director for Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership said: “We want you to be able to get the right care, at the right time and in the right place when you are not feeling your best.

“There are lots of ways you can receive quick and effective help and support close to home to help you recover as quickly as possible. Our website provides lots of information to help you get the right care for you.”

Cold weather can make some health problems worse and even lead to serious complications, especially if you are 65 or older, or if you have a long-term health condition.

Local pharmacists can offer medical advice on a range of conditions including coughs, colds, aches and pains, all without the need for an appointment. Over the Christmas period, your regular pharmacy may be shut or have different opening times on the bank holidays and the website will provide up to date information on where to get help locally.

People can now access evening and weekend appointments with a GP, nurse or healthcare assistant offering patients appointments at more convenient times when they call their local practice.

Appointments are available from 6:30pm – 8:00pm, Monday to Friday and from 8:00am – 7:30pm on the weekends and public holidays; however, opening hours will vary between the practices over the Christmas and New Year period. The website will have the latest up to date information. 

The NHS Essex Child Health app offers handy advice on some of these most common childhood illnesses, as well as helping you to understand when it’s better to chat to your school nurse, visit a local community pharmacist or GP, or to call NHS 111.

Health conditions covered within the app include:

  • Coughs, colds and flu
  • Diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Chicken pox and measles
  • Ear ache and tonsillitis
  • Wheezing and breathing difficulties including bronchiolitis and asthma
  • Headlice and threadworms
  • Bumps, bruises and accidents

Information on mental health and wellbeing, healthy lifestyles and advice on some more serious conditions like meningitis and sepsis are also covered. And there’s a handy section on when you might want to consider keeping your child home from school.

The app is free to download for both Android and Apple. Just search for “NHS Essex Child Health”. You can download the app by clicking on the links below:

If you have an urgent medical problem that’s not life-threatening, or you’re not sure what to do, call NHS 111 first. The NHS 111 team will direct you to the service that best meets your needs. If that’s a visit to the emergency department at your local hospital, they can book you a time slot when you’ll be seen. In case of emergency only, or a life-threatening medical emergency, dial 999.

Essex leaders unite to oppose violence against women

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Community leaders across Southend, Essex and Thurrock, including officers and staff at Essex Police, are uniting today with a promise to tackle the epidemic of violence against women.

Today, Thursday 25 November, marks White Ribbon Day, also known as the International Day of the Eradication of Violence Against Women. It marks the start of the Southend, Essex and Thurrock Domestic Abuse Board’s (SETDAB) 16 days of action campaign with this year’s focus being male violence against women.

The SETDAB is made up of representatives from agencies and organisations working to join up and better facilitate Southend, Essex and Thurrock’s vision to work together to enable everyone to live a life free from all forms of abuse.

This year’s White Ribbon Day aims to get men in particular to think about their behaviours towards women and take the White Ribbon promise:

“I promise to never to commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.”

Men from across the county – from the emergency services to local councils, and the NHS to the education sector – have made the promise and are committed to challenging unacceptable behaviour.

Anthony McKeever, Chief Executive Designate for the Mid and South Essex ICS said:

"I'm supporting White Ribbon Day to help end violence and abuse against women and girls. Much of this needs to start in our communities and with our youngest members of society, and learning early on in life about respect and gender equality. As an NHS system we stand against abuse and violence in all its forms and I make this pledge today to never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women."

Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington said:

“The issue of male violence against women and girls impacts those across our country – and our county – every day.

“This isn’t a problem for women to solve, so it’s crucial that men are visible and are true to their word in preventing the spread of gender-based violence. That includes me, and it includes those who work for me and serve the people of Essex.

“We know this isn’t an issue that can be solved by one agency alone and Essex is united in that. That’s why we’re working with local councils, safety partnerships, and other partners to ensure that women and girls feel safer in public spaces.

“My officers, staff and volunteers work tirelessly to support victims, serve the public and, most importantly, deliver justice by locking up criminals every single day.

“But it would be naïve of me to suggest that we don’t need to continue to work hard to maintain the trust and confidence of the women and girls of Essex.

“National events can carry across the perception of all of policing, but we need to be a good example for the public to follow. I don’t want anyone working for Essex Police walking by and excusing unacceptable behaviour or committing it, and those found to have done either will be dealt with.

“We are your police force and we are here for you. We will continue to listen, to learn, and to deliver justice for victims of crime across Essex.”

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex was one of the first people to take the pledge. He said:

“I will not tolerate violence against women. As a male leader in Essex, I need and want to stand up and condemn male violence against women.”

If you have been the victim of violence, we want to help you.

Please call 999 in an emergency, but if it’s not safe for you to speak, you can dial 55 when the phone is connected.

To find out about support that’s available to you in your local community please visit the SETDAB website

#EssexUnites

Local NHS supporting parents through Self-Care week

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‘Practise Self Care for Life’ is the theme for this year’s Self-Care Week (15-21 November), an annual UK-wide national awareness week that focuses on embedding support for self-care across communities, families and generations. 

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In addition to helping people look after their own health, Self-Care Week is also used to promote better use of the NHS by signposting people to the right service relevant to their health needs – in particular, signposting people to pharmacy for accessible health care and advice.

As part of the many activities taking place across mid and south Essex, an Instagram Live will take place on Wednesday, 17 November at 6:30pm. The session will cover some top tips to help any parent self-care for their child or children if they are unwell through the winter months. The live broadcast will cover what services are available to help, advice on what you should keep in a medicine cabinet and how to use the Essex Child Health app.

It will be hosted by local mum of two, Jenna Chapman, (@_the.mini.mum­_) with local guest GP, Dr Alex Shaw, providing clinical advice.

Jenna said: “The purpose of the Instagram live will be to provide parents with some really useful practical tips and advice on self-caring for their child during the winter months, when flu and colds are particularly prevalent. It’s really useful for parents to feel confident in how to self-care for their child and to also be aware of the range of services available to them for support. I’m looking forward to lots of positive interaction and the chance to engage with local parents in the area”.

Dr Alex Shaw, a GP based at Highlands Surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, said: “Self-care includes many health conditions, from coughs, colds and flu to self-care for longer term conditions.

“It’s about raising awareness and giving confidence to parents about how they can safely treat minor ailments and what to keep in their medicine cabinet to help both parents and children to stay well.  It’s important that parents know which services and information resources are available when children fall ill.”

To watch the Instagram live follow @ mseessex_hcp.

250 heart attacks and 375 strokes prevented across Essex*

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Local residents first in line to benefit from blood pressure monitoring kits

Blood pressure at home

 It is estimated* that approximately 250 heart attacks and 375 strokes will be prevented over a course of five years as nearly 20,000 residents in Essex are now benefitting from free blood pressure monitoring kits to help support self-care and prevent the risk of heart disease, heart attacks and stroke.

Essex residents were first in line thanks to a successful bid from Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership who were selected to be a trailblazer as part of a national pilot to test out how residents can improve their health outcomes through self-monitoring their blood pressure.

At the end of March 2020, nationally, there were over 2 million people below the age of 80 with uncontrolled hypertension and more than 325,000 people aged 80years+.  Ensuring patients at high risk are being monitored regularly prevents further complications and hence poorer outcomes. 

Patients wrap the small machine around their upper arm to measure their blood pressure reading and send the reading to their GP to review by telephone, email or through a digital remote monitoring platform.

The rollout supports the NHS Long Term Plan ambitions to prevent up to 150,000 heart attacks, strokes, and dementia cases over the next 10 years.

Dr Taz Syed, local GP and digital clinical lead said: “Thanks to the hard work of staff behind the scenes, our health and care system has had a head start in trialling this technology, saving lives, making it easier to prevent crisis and keep people healthy and independent for as long as possible.  It’s vital that people with high blood pressure keep track of their levels, so they can report any significant changes that could indicate a potentially deadly stroke or heart attack, and this simple but lifesaving innovation offers people efficient and convenient care.

“By using these monitors, and reporting the readings to local teams, patients are able to quickly and easily update GP teams with a regular snapshot of their blood pressure health. These simple checks will help us to save lives”.

The initial pilot saw 1,265 blood pressure kits rolled out to GP surgeries across mid and south Essex to three target population groups:

  • Patients who are clinically extremely vulnerable and had been shielding, with a last recorded blood pressure 150mmHg /90mmHg were provided with a basic BP monitor
  • Patients who are clinically extremely vulnerable and who have had a prior stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) and last recorded blood pressure of systolic BP > 150mmHg and/or diastolic BP > 90mmHg and do not already have a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation (AF), to be provided with a BP monitor that can detect AF
  • Group 3: Patients whose last recorded blood pressure of systolic BP > 150mmHg and/or diastolic BP > 90mmHg and are not in groups 1 and 2, encouraged to buy a validated BP monitor

Residents from these groups received the free kits also and information about how they could make healthy lifestyle changes to lower their chances of getting high blood pressure. They then take readings once or twice a day over the period of a week and someone from their local practice then then goes through the results and discuss the appropriate action which might be lifestyle advice or, if necessary, make adjustments to the medication as necessary.

 The pilot has now been extended in terms of the number of devices and encouragement of patients to purchase their own devices resulting in 19,535  patients in mid and south Essex now participating in the scheme and providing results to over 80% of our practices.

In addition to the BP@Home programme six lead ECG devices have been provided to primary care and community teams and feedback from our community nurses in mid and south Essex is that we are avoiding admissions for our residents.

This impressive achievement came about through hard work, determination and the commitment of the team to deliver the best care for their patients, despite the pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic.

It's not always clear what causes high blood pressure, but there are things that can increase your risk.

You might be more at risk if you:

  • are overweight
  • eat too much salt and do not eat enough fruit and vegetables
  • do not do enough exercise
  • drink too much alcohol or coffee (or other caffeine-based drinks)
  • smoke
  • do not get much sleep or have disturbed sleep
  • are over 65
  • have a relative with high blood pressure
  • are of black African or black Caribbean descent
  • live in a deprived area

Making healthy lifestyle changes can sometimes help reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure and help lower your blood pressure if it's already high.