Monday 22nd June 2020, 12.30pm
Present: Councillor Matthew Winnington (Chair), Councillor Suzy Horton, Councillor Judith Smyth. Roger Batterbury (Healthwatch), Helen Atkinson (Director of Public Health), Louise Wilders (HIVE Portsmouth), Steve Labedz (Portsmouth Education Partnership), Dr Linda Collie (Portsmouth CCG), Alison Jeffery (Director of Children’s Services)
Apologies: Councillor Matthew Atkins, Councillor Luke Stubbs.
1. Terms of Reference
The Board noted the Terms of Reference. Roger Batterbury noted that the membership had been amended at the discussion at the Health and Wellbeing Board and this had not been captured correctly in the circulated Terms of Reference. Kelly Nash undertook to correct this and include the corrected version in the Outbreak Plan.
ACTION: Kelly Nash to amend Terms of Reference to reflect membership as agreed at the Health and Wellbeing Board (annex O of the Local Outbreak Plan).
2. Local Outbreak Plan
Helen Atkinson provided an introduction to the local context of the plan. In the UK, infection numbers are flattening, in a context where CMO is expecting future waves. The South East region is 6/9 lowest for rates of infection currently.
In terms of cumulative confirmed cases at authority level, rates are currently at 245.8 cases per 100,000 residents in Hampshire; 242.1 per 100,000 residents in Southampton; 150.6 per 100,000 in Portsmouth; and 142.7 per 100,000 on the Isle of Wight. It is expected that these numbers rise as the local testing regime intensifies.
The Board agreed that it would be helpful to receive this information, and associated local intelligence, at future meetings.
Helen Atkinson then provided background on the Local Outbreak Plan, which is required for local areas by Government. The purpose of the plan is to mitigate against infection as we come out of lockdown, alongside the national test and trace programme. The plan needs to work across all sectors. Key to the outbreak plans is the underpinning communications plan. We are still awaiting quite a lot of government guidance.
A critical point is that it is really important to encourage residents who become symptomatic to adhere to guidance – they need to stay at home and get tested. It will be important to ensure that the support is in place so that people can achieve that. We must also ensure we are working together with the most at risk populations and settings to mitigate infections.
The plans need to be completed by the end of June, and there is an assurance process that has been developed.
In terms of local management, there is also a local Health Protection Board to ensure high risk settings are covered and external representatives – HIVE, CCG, QAH and Solent. A key addition to be made is an action plan, identifying gaps and what still needs to be put in place in the local plan.
Cllr Smyth said that it would be helpful to see the action plan when it is available, and would also be good to see more in the plan re BAME communities.
Helen Atkinson responded that it is really important that the plan is seen as being about preventing outbreaks, as much as about managing outbreaks. It is important that we continue to keep the numbers down. Also important to recognise that the plan as presented is a technical plan, and there will need to be an overlay of communications to ensure this is fully accessible.
Louise Wilders noted that it would be really helpful to see the communications plan as it is being written to ensure that it reaches the client groups needed. It will be important to take account of the learning from work so far.
Cllr Winnington highlighted that there is no reference to community centres, but that these have a very specific job and need to be treated as a standalone group. Real role in how to manage outbreaks, so noting them in the plan will be helpful.
Cllr Winnington also noted that Annexe E (homelessness and substance misuse) needs to reflect the work currently taking place looking at homeless provision into the future.
Cllr Horton noted that in relation to education, schools should not be lost as an important opportunity to get wider messages out to families and communities.
Louise Wilders asked what the opportunities are for overseeing the plans from PHT and Solent NHS. Helen Atkinson reported that NHS organisations are directly accountable to NHSE/I and are expected to produce their own plans, which includes acute trusts, community trusts and GPs. The Health Protection Board will connect these elements together and ensure there is good data sharing. The acute and community trusts are both represented on the Health Protection Board. However, the engagement board will be able to examine the work of the Health Protection Board and ensure good connection across the city.
Roger Batterbury noted that the communications plan at Annexe L will need to ensure that “fake news” is countered at the local level.
Cllr Winnington drew the discussion to a close, and summarised that the Board formally accepted the draft, and would aim for a future meeting of the board w/c 29th June to look at the finalised draft and to think about the communications element.
It was also agreed that minutes would be published on the PCC website.
The meeting concluded at 1.30pm.