Southend Hospital has welcomed the arrival of a new lead chaplain, Reverend David Childs who was a former parish priest in Essex and Oxfordshire.
He will help deliver a 24-hour on-call service to make sure someone is available day and night.
“I may be the lead chaplain or the face of chaplaincy but there’s a really good team of people around me. It’s a privilege to be in a role where I meet people of every possible outlook, background. You realise ‘wow’ humanity is exciting. I’m also looking forward to getting to know the staff. "
Southend Hospital has declared a critical incident because of the large number of patients needing admission.
The hospital is already operating at full bed capacity.
At the beginning of this week, the site downgraded its alert from "critical" to "black" in time for the junior doctors' strike but its chief executive said the situation had deteriorated.
“Like other trusts across Essex and the wider region, we are continuing to see large numbers of acutely unwell patients coming into hospital and needing to be admitted. “Our staff continue to work extremely hard to cope with the current pressures while maintaining high standards of care, and I’d like to thank them for their commitment during this difficult period.
“However we have had to escalate our status again to ensure the safety of our patients as we continue to work with our partners in the community.”
"The emergency department is very busy and we have to warn patients that those attending with 'non-urgent' conditions will wait much longer than usual as patients are prioritised according to how unwell they are."
The hospital has advised people with non-urgent conditions to call 111 or speak to their GP or pharmacist rather than going to A&E.
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Part of Southend's beach has been sealed off after an unexploded device was found there.
A 100m cordon has been put in place near the Breakwater cafe.
A safety cordon is in place on beach between Breakwater cafe & opp gas works jetty as unexploded ordnance assessed and dealt with #southend
Bomb disposal technicians are currently dealing with the ordnance.
Plans for a new 21,000-seater stadium for Southend United go on show tonight.
The club is proposing a move from its current site at Roots Hall to Fossetts Farm on Eastern Avenue in the town.
The new stadium would include shops and restaurants plus a hotel and cinema.
Southend United would also like to build two "soccer domes" - one for use by the community and one for its own training. The club says it would be a boost to their hopes of creating an academy to develop young talent for the future.
A couple have been robbed of their Chinese takeaway as they walked home in Southend in Essex.
The robbery happened between Guildford Road and Prittlewell Street on Monday 19 October 19.
DC Richard Siggers, from Essex Police, said: "The couple had just bought a takeaway of four dishes and costing £13.90.
"The thieves initially demanded cash but when the husband resisted he was assaulted. The thieves then grabbed the bag of food and fled.
Anyone with information is asked to call Rayleigh CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
A pedestrian who was injured in a collision with a car in Southend has died.
The man is believed to be in his early 20s, collided with a car in Victoria Avenue on October 15th.
He was taken to Southend Hospital before being transferred to the Royal London Hospital where he died last night.
The driver of a blue Seat Leon, a 24-year-old man from Southend, was arrested on suspicion of causing serious injury through dangerous driving and has been bailed to January 17.
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