The five Clinical Commissioning Groups in Mid and South Essex have been working very hard behind the scenes to ensure the whole health and care system continues to operate during the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes setting up command and control incident response groups in accordance with our Emergency Plans. The Central Incident Management Team (CIMT) is the primary group led by our Gold Commander and Joint Accountable Officer Anthony McKeever, which links into regional and national incident response groups.
Due to the restrictions placed on face to face meetings, quick decisions were made to pause public Board Meetings, until such a time as it was appropriate to re-instate them.
In addition to this, the business as usual functions of all CCGs changed dramatically as decisions were made in response to the national direction to reduce the burden of business as usual activities to focus on managing the pandemic and to free up staff who could be redeployed to assist the front line.
CCG governance around decision making has remained in force throughout the pandemic, albeit through the measures outlined in our constitutions for making decisions in an emergency situation.
We have continued to engage with the public to fulfil our public duty and have been able to share communications with the public and key stakeholders about the pandemic and the CCG response to it.
We hope to be able to re-instate public meetings shortly with an ambition to do this in July. However, we are mindful of continued restrictions and requirements for social distancing and so we are looking into how technology can support the CCGs in having virtual meeting that the public can attend.
Although we have continued to hold virtual/video conference private Board meetings to conduct necessary business (such as the approval of the CCG Annual Report and Accounts) and keep the Board informed of any emergency decisions we have had to make, we are mindful that all decisions will be presented for endorsement at the next available public Board meeting. There has been no decision making about permanent changes to existing services or introducing new services, other than the temporary measures that have been put in place to respond to the pandemic.
The below paper is the first in a series of monthly updates to keep the public informed about how we have been operating and the decisions we have been making in relation to and during the pandemic.