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Local Outbreak Engagement Board

(Health and Wellbeing Board subcommittee)

Tuesday 30 June 2020, 12.30pm


  • Councillor Matthew Winnington (Chair)
  • Councillor Suzy Horton
  • Councillor Judith Smyth
  • Councillor Luke Stubbs
  • Cllr Jeanette Smith
  • Roger Batterbury (Healthwatch)
  • Helen Atkinson (Director of Public Health)
  • Steve Labedz (Portsmouth Education Partnership)
  • Alison Jeffery (Director of Children’s Services)
  • Cheryl Scoot (PCC communications)
  • Natasha Edmunds (Director of Corporate Services)
  • Matthew Gummerson (Strategic Lead for Intelligence)
  • Kelly Nash (Strategy Unit, PCC)


  • Councillor Matthew Atkins
  • Louise Wilders (HIVE Portsmouth)
  • Dr Linda Collie (Portsmouth CCG)
  • Stef Nienaltowski (Shaping Portsmouth)

1. Notes of last meeting (22 June 2020)

The notes were agreed as an accurate record of the meeting.

2. Local Intelligence Summary

Matthew Gummerson provided a presentation on the current data picture in Portsmouth, covering infections, deaths and emerging test and trace data.

It was reported that only one new infection had been identified from “Pillar 1” testing in the past two weeks. There had been no Covid-19 related deaths at PHT since the first week of June, and the peak of deaths was recorded on 9 April.

In the city, the total number of deaths each week was higher than an average week from the end of March to early May, although since w/c 15th May, total deaths have been below average.

Test and Trace data is starting to become available but not for wider sharing. However, this is important as developing the understanding of the data and sources will inform future outbreak planning.

Roger Batterbury noted that in an interview with the Mayor of Leicester, there were references to data delays, and asked if that was also an issue for Portsmouth. Matt responded that a data agreement was received and submitted in the previous week, so this now seems prompt, but issues around delay may have preceded any data agreement. The opportunity was also taken to highlight that some media statements circulating, referencing Portsmouth as being on the brink of a local lockdown, were incorrect and based on a misinterpretation of publicly available data. It was agreed that a press statement would be issued to address this issue.

The Chair thanked Matthew Gummerson for the presentation.

3. Local Outbreak Plan

Helen Atkinson introduced the plan, which would be put on the PCC website and submitted to wider assurance arrangements by the end of the day. It was noted that following the previous LOEB conversation, a section had been added on health inequality and some specific wording on reducing rather than exacerbating inequality. A section had also been included on the next steps around accommodation for the homeless community.

Community centres were referenced as part of the high-risk settings issue.

The LOEB had commented on the communications strategy and this would be discussed in more depth later in the meeting.

Action cards had been completed for Solent NHS, QAH and the PHE SOP was included. It was reported to the Board that there is representation on the Health Protection Board from both NHS Trusts.

Cllr Smith asked why there was not reference to the HIVE leading the BAME agenda for the city. Helen Atkinson responded that the HIVE has a wider and significant role around support for vulnerable people, and Natasha Edmunds set out that there are a number of engagement and other pieces of work with the BAME community that are taking place, some through the HIVE and others taken forward differently, and the organisations are working together to ensure good information flow and that there is not duplication. Cllr Smith stated that some communities in Portsmouth don’t trust the council, and that was why the HIVE should be leading on the work. It was accepted that there was a need to work together to ensure that all vulnerable groups and individuals have their needs understood and met.

Cllr Smyth noted that it is important that good data is collected about the impact of services, and that this information is not available anymore.

Members of the Board noted the adjustments that had been made to the plan since the previous meeting, and agreed the Plan.

4. Communications – discussion item

Cheryl Scott outlined the approach regarding the approach to communications. It is recognised that many partners have contributions to make to the wider approach to engagement. It is proposed to circulate a draft strategy document with sections for completion by the various partners and suggestions around particular campaigns and actions that might be required. The aim is to have a body of material available that can be used in a range of scenarios and situations, with the necessary tweaks; and also linked into the other LRF authorities to ensure that there is coherence in messaging across the region. There will also be a need to link with national messaging and communication assets. The importance of joint working with partner organisations such as the HIVE was noted, and the feeling from the Board is that the HIVE membership of the LOEB will be helpful in ensuring the local join up.

5. Assurance Process

Helen Atkinson provided an overview of the assurance process in place for the Local Outbreak Plans, and reported that Portsmouth had self-reported a good level of preparedness in most areas, but with some work to do in areas relating particularly to high risk settings, data sharing, testing and contact tracing.

Future meetings will receive reports around the state of readiness and actions being taken to address these.

The meeting concluded at 1.45pm