It has made several flights during the Covid-19 lockdown and now it has a new mission. The company is going to be hand-writing 80,000 names onto the photo-reconnaissance blue Spitfire PL983 ‘L’.
"We need your help though, as the names we would like to add are those of your local heroes," the company website said.
"A kind neighbour, family member on the front line, volunteer PPE producer, or anyone who has helped/inspired you through the Covid-19 pandemic - you can now say thank you to them by nominating their name to go onto the NHS Spitfire."
Cancer referrals in Essex have
fallen by 47%, from 29,321 in April 2019 to
15,489 in April 2020, NHS attendance figures from Southend, Basildon and Broomfield hospitals reveal.
In June, the total number of hospital visits was
24,135 compared to 31,334 in June 2019 – an improvement but still a 23% drop which has raised concerns that people
were not getting the treatment they needed.
Visits to A&E in Essex have started to increase,
but are still well down on the year before Covid-19 struck.
At Princess Alexandra in Harlow there were 4,484
A&E attendances in April 2020, compared to 9,008 the previous April.
Those figures have also improved
slightly, with 7,150 in June 2020 compared to 9,822 in June 2019.
Overall emergency admissions in
England are down 17.3%.
Clinicians worry many people are
still not seeking treatment because of the fear of Covid-19, despite suffering potentially life-threatening
conditions such as strokes and heart attacks.
Off-duty officer praised for saving 'beyond help' motorcyclist
An off-duty Essex Police officer has been praised for showing the "highest standards" after helping to save the life of a motorcyclist she found unresponsive in the road.
PC Liz Ferris discovered the rider as she drove along Maldon Road near Tiptree on 30 June.
The officer performed CPR for about 15 minutes until passing paramedics from the East of England Ambulance Service were flagged down. They used a defibrillator to get the man breathing again, before he was taken to hospital.
PC Ferris, based at Stanway Roads Policing Unit, has been put forward for a commendation for her actions.
Adam Pipe, head of Essex Police’s Roads Policing, said ambulance staff told them that without her intervention the patient would have been "beyond help".
"Not only did Liz save a stranger’s life, she also demonstrated the professionalism and highest standards of a police officer," he said.
Two more Covid-19 deaths reported in East of England
The number of people who have died in hospital from coronavirus in the East of England has risen by two, according to the latest daily government figures.
The deaths, according to the latest statistics published on Monday, were at the following NHS trusts:
Basildon Hospital: 1
NHS Foundation: 1
The total number of deaths for the eastern region's hospitals passed 4,000 at the end of last week and now stands at 4,019.
The latest Department of Health figures show that across the UK the number of deaths stands at 44,236, according to statistics issued on Sunday.
Busier night for ambulance service as pubs reopen
The first weekend of pub reopenings after the coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased was busy for the East of England Ambulance Service with its crews dealing with an increase in calls.
Demand doubled at times between 21:00 on Saturday and 04:00 on Sunday compared with the previous four weeks.
Marcus Bailey, chief operating officer, said: "Thankfully the alcohol-related calls that we could have expected weren't as high as the small increase in calls for assaults but it was still a very busy night."
Train company gets ready for 'increase' in travellers
A train company is getting ready to "welcome back commuters" as it is increasing its timetable from Monday.
Greater Anglia said it has taken additional steps to keep everyone safe including handing out facemasks and installing hand sanitiser dispensers at 20 stations.
Jamie Burles, managing director, said: "We have measures in place to protect staff and passengers such as enhanced cleaning, social distancing markings at stations and free hand sanitiser available at major stations.
"However, at this stage, we are still asking customers only to travel by train where necessary."
Hand sanitiser dispensers are available at Billericay, Bishop’s Stortford, Broxbourne, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Cheshunt, Colchester North, Ely, Harlow Town, Ipswich, Manningtree, Norwich, Rayleigh, Shenfield, Southend Victoria, Stansted Airport, Tottenham Hale, Ware, Wickford and Witham.
'Stick to the rules' if visiting the beach
As the rules surrounding coronavirus lockdown are eased this weekend with the reopening of pubs, restaurants and hairdressers, a warning is being shared by police, coastguards and beach patrols to be careful, cautious, aware of your surroundings and maintain social distancing outside of your "bubbles".
Ch Insp Lily Benbo, from Essex Police, said: "Stick to the rules, look out for each other and stay safe."
The rules include not swimming out or your depth or comfort zone, not climbing on structures in the sea where there are clear signs on them not to do so.
Firefighters build memorial garden to lost ambulance workers
A "lasting memory" had been left by firefighters who have been working as ambulance drivers during the coronavirus pandemic.
firefighters enlisted to the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) have designed and built a
memorial garden at Luton ambulance station to show their appreciation to their new
workmates and in memory of those who have died of cancer and suicide.
They received help from Bruce Liddle of Newbury Farm Plant in Silsoe, who offered advice and supplied the plants for free.
Mike King, a firefighter, said: “They have made
us feel so welcome and we thought the best way to say thank you was to leave a
lasting memory by building the memorial garden – something they have been
trying to get enough funds together to build for some time."
Simon King, head
of operations at EEAST for Milton Keynes, Bedford and Luton, said it was a "phenomenal gift" and "the garden
itself is magnificent and is a fitting tribute to our much-missed colleagues".
Level crossing cameras to be installed across East
Cameras are being installed at 13 level crossings in the East to catch motorists who do not stop when barriers are coming down.
It is to help Network Rail prosecute drivers who jump the lights across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire.
Offenders are automatically notified of their offence, and could be sent on an awareness course, fined £100 and given three points on their licence, or prosecuted, it said.
The RLSE cameras are being paid for by Greater Anglia.
Daniel Fisk, from Network Rail, said: "They are clearly visible for people to see as a deterrent."
Travel industry calls for clarity over quarantine rules
Travel companies want clarity from ministers over which countries will be exempt from the quarantine rules.
Last weekend, the government said it would establish a traffic light system to rate which countries were safest but hasn't yet produced the details.
Passenger services returned to London Southend Airport yesterday, when the Ryanair flight to Malaga in Spain took off, and at London Luton Airport, EasyJet flights took to the skies again.
But for Elizabeth Jerome-Smith, who works in a hospital theatre, lockdown hasn't seen her able to learn new skills such as baking bread.
"This sums up my ‘lockdown’: No baking cakes, no homeschooling, no treasuring unexpected time to make memories with my children, the memories my children will have of lockdown is an exhausted mother with a sore face.
"Covid isn’t over, we are still working long shifts and extra hours like this in hospitals across the country, to look after the ill and injured, and to try and catch up with the backlog of urgent surgical patients that had to be cancelled to make capacity for Covid patients.
"Please don't forget this as lockdown relaxes and you get back to 'normality'. For some of us this is our new normal, so please, wear a mask, keep your distance, stay safe and enjoy the freedom that relaxing lockdown brings, but don’t forget that Covid is still here."
It is hoped a further 44 libraries can reopen on 16 July, but the reopening of the remaining 14 libraries will be kept "under review".
Susan Barker, cabinet member for Essex Libraries, said: "It has been vital to plan to reopen sites in stages in order to ensure that we could carry out appropriate risk assessments and put procedures in place to ensure our customers and employees remain safe."People will be able to return and borrow books, as well as have some limited time to browse the shelves.