Essex Resilience Forum stands down ‘major incident’ declaration

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In response to a significant growing demand on hospitals and health and social care services across Essex, the Essex Resilience Forum (ERF) declared a ‘major incident’ on 29 December 2020 – enabling the County to seek further support from Government to address the pressures.

Yesterday (2 February), the forum agreed the decision to stand down the major incident declaration, signifying that the health system across Greater Essex is stable and in control.

Local leaders from the ERF - a group that comprises the NHS, blue light responders and local authorities – pulled together to help the NHS and local authority services who were facing immense pressure.

Although the health systems are still facing pressure, it was agreed that the systems that have been put in place, alongside the national lockdown and the cooperation of Essex residents who continue to do the right thing, has meant that Essex has moved into a more stable situation.

Anthony McKeever, Executive Lead for Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership, said:

“It has taken a considerable effort by our teams throughout health, care and beyond to begin to turn the tide in our fight against Coronavirus.

“Strong partnerships supported us to respond effectively when significant numbers of our residents needed hospital care for coronavirus, exceeding far beyond those seen at the peak of the first wave.

“Through the support of our local communities, the rates of infection are beginning to drop, which in turn supports the NHS to continue to care for those most in need.

“Pressures persist and the threat has not gone way yet. So, there is much still to be done. I thank all those hard-working colleagues who continue to work tirelessly in extremely difficult circumstances. They need us all to follow the rules so that partners across Essex can keep working together to support delivery of the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme.”

Deputy Chief Fire Officer of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, and Co-Chair of the Essex Local Resilience Forum, Rick Hylton, said:

“When the major incident was declared, the pressures on the health system were mounting. Today, Essex Resilience Forum has agreed to stand down the major incident declaration, as our health systems are in a stable state.

“I would like to thank all our health colleagues who have and continue to do an amazing job, supporting our communities across Essex.

“Our ask is that Essex residents continue to do the right thing. You have been magnificent and are only dialling 999 or attending A&E in an emergency – we need this to continue because this will help protect the capacity available at our hospitals. Please stay safe; work from home if possible, follow the social distancing rules, and only travel if absolutely necessary.”