What is the Outbreak Control Plan & why have you done it?

  • The government has asked councils to produce Local Outbreak Control Plans to help monitor the rate of coronavirus in that area and respond quickly to any places where two or more people are confirmed as having coronavirus to help stop the virus from spreading to lots more people. This is important as lockdown restrictions ease and is a key part of trying to return to a more normal way of life.
  • The plan builds on other health protection plans that are already in place and sets out the steps that need to happen if a coronavirus outbreak occurs and who needs to do what. It looks at what is already in place and what else needs to be done.
  • There are 7 themes that every plan must include:
    • Care homes and schools: setting out how to monitor and respond to outbreaks in these places
    • High risk places, locations and communities: identifying what these are and how we’d manage outbreaks in these places
    • Local testing capacity: making sure local testing exists that all Portsmouth residents can access quickly and that provides swift results to help identify positive cases and contain the spread of the virus
    • Contact tracing in complex settings: identifying places in Portsmouth that might be more complicated if positive cases were found there, for example if lots of people come and go from that place like the Port, a hotel or a church, and making sure there are clear plans in place to be able to trace anyone who has been in close contact with positive cases there
    • Data integration: making sure we have access to all the national and local data we need to help keep the spread of the virus low in the city. This will involve working with lots of other organisations.
    • Vulnerable people: making sure the plan works for the needs of different vulnerable groups, for example older people, disabled people and those who are homeless. This includes making sure support is available if people in this group need to self-isolate for 14 days, for example bringing them food and medicines.
    • Local boards: setting up two boards; one to develop and deliver the plan, and one to make sure the plan is working and to communicate with residents.

How will the plan work?

  • The council will work closely with Public Health England’s local health protection team to monitor cases of coronavirus in the city.
  • If an outbreak occurs (2 or more confirmed cases in the same setting) the council will work with the local health protection team to manage the situation to prevent further spread.
  • The council and the local health protection team will be responsible for working with the place where the outbreak happened to tell them what to do next e.g. if anything needs to shut or anyone needs to go home, what cleaning needs to be done etc. based on the level of risk.
  • This plan will see close working with national government, other local councils, the NHS, GPs, businesses and employers, voluntary organisations, other community partners and residents.
  • A Local Health Protection Board made up of people from the council
    (including public health, housing, education and leisure), voluntary sector and wider healthcare organisations representing GP surgeries, QA Hospital and St Mary’s Hospital will be responsible for implementing the plan. This board will meet weekly but more frequently if needed.
  • A Local Engagement Board has been set up to help make sure the plan is working. This is made up of a mixture of people including Councillors, the Director of Public Health, a Headteacher, a GP and representatives from Hive Portsmouth, Healthwatch and Shaping Portsmouth to ensure that the plan meets the needs of everyone in the city. This board will meet monthly but more frequently if needed.