Make a point of visiting us weekly!        Tell a friend about us. SE Essex Local         NHS Bulletins (1) Talk to Rochford Life by E-mail or ring us on 0786 342 7294

As we regularly receive NHS news bulletins for SE Essex, as from the beginning of 2017, for easier access, we will be putting all news items on two or three pages, the latest added item at the top of the first page, instead of creating separate pages for each news item. Simply scroll down to see the latter items


A red bag: a simple change - now packing a difference in Castle Point and Rochford

(July 4th 2018)

The red bag scheme or ‘hospital transfer pathway’ is a small change having a big impact by personalising hospital care for care home residents in south east Essex.

Initially launched in June 2018 across Southend care Homes, the red bag scheme has now been rolled out in care homes in Castle Point and Rochford.

This simple patient focused initiative will improve the ambulance service handover to the hospital and will also assist to reduce A&E assessment times for the patient.

When a care home resident becomes unwell and requires hospital care, care home staff will pack a red bag which will have been personalised for the individual and will consist of standardised paperwork about the residents’ health care needs, a list of their medication, along with personal items, such as glasses, hearing aids, toiletries and day-of-discharge clothes and all will be transported to the hospital with the patient.

Due to the complex and long-term nature of the health issues of many care home residents, there are often frequent and sometimes sudden admissions to hospital.  Admissions and discharges involve input from several health and care organisations and all depends on good, robust communication and having the relevant information present.

James Currell, Associate Director Operations at NHS Castle Point and Rochford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southend CCG, said: “This is a great example of how local health and social care services can work together in partnership to improve patient care.

“We know that it can be confusing and very stressful for care home residents when they need to be transferred to hospital, particularly in an emergency, but this simple patient centred initiative will enhance patients’ experiences by ensuring a smoother transfer in and out of hospital.

“We also welcome the positive impact it will have for patient safety by allowing health care professionals to immediately identify the patient as a care home resident. It provides us with the information we need to provide individualised care, which is particularly important for patients with memory problems or longer term dementia. The Red Bag also makes it simpler to keep track of the patients’ essential belongings and other items including personal information.”

As vital patient information will be in one place and this will travel with the patient, it will save time at each stage of the patient journey. 

Discharge information will also be put into the red bag so when patients return to their care home, staff can ensure any advice given can be followed up straight away, instead of waiting to hear from the GP.

Tricia D’Orsi, Chief Nurse at NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG and NHS Southend CCG, said:“We are all very excited about the launch of the red bag scheme, as it has already shown to improve the quality of care provided across the system to local care home residents.

It is a valuable step forward in improving care for local care home residents; putting the patients’ needs first, by enabling smoother transfers of care and therefore reducing any stress or anxiety for the patient which is a huge benefit.

There has been partnership working with local care homes, local authorities and the hospital to develop the scheme and we all look forward to the benefits it will bring to individuals and the health system.”

The scheme has proved so successful in some parts of our region that it’s been rolled out across the country with the help of a new quick guide published today.

The guide aims to provide care homes, trusts, CCGs and ambulance services with practical tips on how to implement the scheme.

A simple change, the scheme has shown to reduce hospital delays, help stop patients losing personal items and improve communication between care home and hospital staff.


Important information: Rochford Medical Practice – the GP partnership of Dr Bajen and Dr Blasco

(16th June 2018)

Following ongoing CQC concerns, a mutual decision has been taken by senior partners at Rochford Medical Practice and NHS Castle Point and Rochford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to end a contract to provide primary medical services (GP services).  The decision is supported by NHS England and the Local Medical Committee (LMC).

In light of the immediate nature of this decision, alternative arrangements have been agreed by the CCG with the co-located GP surgery to ensure continuity of GP services. 

As of Monday morning (18 June 2018), patients currently registered at the Rochford Medical Practice will be treated by doctors from the neighbouring GP surgery The Puzey Family practice, who share the same building (Southwell House). 

Patients are advised to attend any pre-booked appointments and order any new repeat prescriptions in the same way.

The same switchboard number will remain open, so patients should continue to call the usual number.

NHS Castle Point and Rochford Chief Nurse and Southend CCG Tricia D’Orsi said: “As commissioners it is our priority to ensure that continuity of GP services is maintained for the patients registered at Rochford Medical Practice. We want to reassure patients that there will be minimal impact on their services.”

Dr Bajen, GP and Senior Partner at Rochford Medical Practice said: “My priority remains the welfare of my patients and this will ensure a continuous and uninterrupted service for them.  I would like to thank the practice staff for all their hard work and patients for their support and understanding at this time.”

Although registered patients at Rochford Medical Practice have transferred to The Puzey Family Practice automatically (and therefore do not need to personally register), they can approach alternative practices should they wish to. 

Patients with access to the internet can put their postcode into the NHS.uk website to find information about their nearest GP surgeries. They can find lots of information to help them choose. This includes how many GPs each practice has, their opening hours, what services they offer, and also how they’ve performed in inspections and what their patients think of them. Patients should speak to the Practice Manager of their preferred GP practice to find out how to register.

NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG will be writing to all patients of Rochford Medical Practice with further information.



Over £1 million invested in a new community service to support people to stay in their own home rather than going to hospital.

(June 4th  2018)

The local NHS has introduced a new service called ‘SWIFT’ as part of a wider investment in ‘out of hospital’ services across south east Essex by NHS Southend Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG.  The new SWIFT service will see a team of nurses and care assistants support people in their own homes.

The service is aimed at people who might be having a flare up of a long term condition or have an infection that isn’t getting better, which would usually result in a stay in hospital. This can now be safely avoided with the additional support that the SWIFT team can provide in people’s homes.   

The new community team will visit patients within two-hours of receiving a referral from a GP practice, district nurse or community long-term conditions team and the ambulance team (EEAST) to stabilise their immediate health need.

Dr Amanda Pinkerton, local GP who has been involved in the design of the new service said:  “This isn’t about not admitting people that need to be in hospital but about supporting GPs to keep people at home where appropriate and freeing up hospital services for those that really need them.”

Ryan Webb, Clinical Manager, EPUT who is part of the SWIFT team said “The new SWIFT team operates seven days a week – 8am – 10pm. We have nurses and care assistants who can provide support and care at short notice at times of crisis.  We are able to monitor patients in the community while providing the necessary medication, interventions and care to help them feel better.  An experienced nurse will assess patient needs, develop a plan of care in conjunction with existing services and put these into place with the patient’s consent.”

Tricia D’Orsi, Chief Nurse, NHS Castle Point and Rochford and NHS Southend CCG said: “The SWIFT service is a great example of how nursing is a modern and dynamic profession. The roles being fulfilled across south east Essex are so varied and the skills so vast to deliver high quality care and improve the patient experience.”

Prior to the launch, the service had already been trialled in a number of areas across south east Essex with really positive results.
Ryan Webb, Clinical Manager EPUT said: “One of the things GP practices have told us they like about the service is the support it offers to patients who may otherwise be admitted to hospital on a Friday afternoon/evening. Where there may be concerns that support is not available over the weekend, or GPs return on a Monday morning to discover the patient has called an ambulance over the weekend, the SWIFT team can now offer support to those patients in their own home.”

Jan, a local resident and member of Breathe Easy, Southend said: “When you’re at home you can rest more and recover quicker, there’s so much going on in a hospital.  It’s silly to be admitted to a hospital bed if your care can be managed safely at home.”

The service is part of a wider investment in 'out-of-hospital' services.  Other areas of investment include enhancement of the existing District Nursing night service and broader investment in planned and proactive care.

Lisa Ward, Lead Respiratory Nurse at Southend University Hospital said “For a patient with a longstanding respiratory condition the SWIFT team can mean the difference between being hospitalised for an exacerbation of COPD or being treated early and safely at home.  I’m pleased to see the service launched after being involved in the planning and looking forward to seeing the benefits for our patients.

“The SWIFT team can see patients rapidly, assess them and formulate a management plan, which can be enough to maintain that patient comfortably at home with the support that they need.  It’s reassuring for patients to get that early assessment, knowing that the team will keep a close eye on them and escalate their care to the hospital if that is what’s needed.  ”