North Yorkshire Outbreak Management Advisory Board


Notes of a discussion held remotely, via Microsoft Teams, on Monday 29th March 2021



North Yorkshire County Council Representatives:

Councillor Carl Les, Leader of North Yorkshire County Council

Councillor Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member, Public Health, Prevention, Supported Housing

Councillor Michael Harrison, Executive Member for Adult Services and Health Integration

Richard Flinton, Chief Executive, North Yorkshire County Council

Barry Khan, Assistant Chief Executive (Legal and Democratic Services), North Yorkshire County Council

Councillor Stuart Parsons, Leader of the Independent Group, North Yorkshire County Council

Louise Wallace, Director of Public Health

Richard Webb, Corporate Director, Health and Adult Services


District Council Representatives:

Councillor John Clark, Ryedale District Council

Councillor Mark Crane, Leader, Selby District Council

Councillor Liz Colling, Scarborough Borough Council

Councillor Angie Dale, Leader, Richmondshire District Council

Councillor Ann Myatt, Harrogate Borough Council

Councillor Stephen Watson, Hambleton District Council


Other Partners’ Representatives:

Sue Peckitt, Chief Nursing Officer, North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (substitute for Amanda Bloor)

Lisa Winward, Chief Constable

Ian Yapp, Head Teacher, Riverside Primary School


In attendance (all from North Yorkshire County Council, unless stated):

Councillor Karin Sedgwick, Chair of the Care & Independence Overview & Scrutiny Committee

Lisa Dixon, Director, Scarborough Borough Council

Patrick Duffy, Senior Democratic Services Officer (Clerk)

Mike James, Team Leader, Marketing and Customer Communications

Diane Parsons, Principal Democratic Services Officer


Apologies received from:

Amanda Bloor, Accountable Officer, North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group

Councillor Richard Foster, Leader, Craven District Council

Ashley Green, Chief Executive Officer, Healthwatch, North Yorkshire

Phil Mettam, Humber, Coast and Vale NHS Test and Trace Lead

Julia Mulligan, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

Caroline O’Neill, Head of Partnerships, Community First Yorkshire

Helen Simpson, Chair, York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership

Sally Tyrer, Chair, North Yorkshire Local Medical Committee














County Councillor Carl Les welcomed Members of the Board and any members of the public or media viewing the meeting.  


He advised that he is the Leader of the Council and Chairs this Board and that:-


-        the main role of this Board is to support the effective communication of the test, trace and contain plan for the county and to ensure that the public and local businesses are effectively communicated with;  


-        decisions of the Board are purely advisory and its recommendations will be considered through the governance arrangements of the bodies represented, which retain their decision making sovereignty;


-        the papers for this meeting had been published in advance on the County Council’s website; and


-        the Board comprises, among others, representatives of the County Council; District and Borough Councils; the NHS; Public Health England; Schools; Healthwatch; the Care Sector; and the Voluntary Sector


The Chair advised that Community First Yorkshire would now be represented by Caroline O’Neill as Leah Swain had taken up a new post. He thanked Leah for her contribution to this Board and other bodies in the county.





As stated in the attendance on the previous page.





AGREED that these were an accurate reflection of the discussion.





There were no declarations of interest.





The Chair asked Members if they could advise him, at this stage, whether they had any item of urgent business they were likely to raise under that heading, so that he could ensure there was sufficient time at the end to consider it.  No Members indicated that they had any urgent business to raise.





Slides were presented by Louise Wallace, which contained data regarding the epidemiology of the pandemic internationally; for the UK; North Yorkshire; and by Districts.


Louise Wallace made the following points, in particular:-


-        Globally, there have now been 2.7 million deaths worldwide, with the UK having the fifth highest number of cases and fatalities


-        Cases and the number of deaths continue to fall but it is important to reflect on the impact on families and friends


-        Cases in North Yorkshire reflect the national improvement, with cases tapering off. The rate of infection is 41.4 per 100,000 people, compared to the England figure of 56.6. These figures are a seven day rate


-        With tests taking place in schools, this increases our potential to find the virus and therefore cases may increase


-        It is important to remember that anyone can be affected by Covid


Councillor Liz Colling asked if there had been any outbreaks in North Yorkshire schools. Louise Wallace advised that there have been incidents but her Team have worked with schools to ensure these are kept under control, with appropriate isolation.


Ian Yapp added that schools have had good contact and advice and support from Public Health. The huge upswing in the number of tests -  on-site initially and now at home - has the potential for false negative results, which will need to be followed up. There have been some bubble closures and the advice received from Public Health has been helpful.


Richard Webb stated that here had been 30 childcare and school related incidents, not all of which were outbreaks; some are individual cases. This is a relatively small number in the context of some 300 schools in the county.


Councillor Mark Crane noted that the number of cases in Selby had gone up and asked if there was anything else people in Selby could be doing?  Louise Wallace responded that the Locality Team is examining the data.  She will keep a close eye on this but is optimistic that the figures will head back in the right direction, as her Team are largely aware of the reasons for the spike and have put mitigating actions in place.







































A draft had been circulated in advance of the meeting.


Louise Wallace advised that Councils had been asked to refresh their Plan, which was initially drawn up last July.  In fact, it is more than a refresh, as new sections have been added – on vaccination, for instance, which is a welcome addition.


The draft captures good practice; incorporates lessons learnt; and looks to the future, to ensure capacity and resilience in the system to enable partners to deal with whatever the next few months holds.


Richard Webb thanked partners for their comments and advised that, subject to any comments from the Department of Health and Social Care and any further comments from Members, the Plan would be published.


Councillor Caroline Dickinson complimented Louise Wallace and her Team for the detailed updated Plan and staff and partners for the work that they are doing. She added that this shows how strong we can be when we work together. We are now moving to a new phase but it is vital that people abide by the hands, face and space maxim. Hopefully, by the end of summer we will see the end of the tunnel.






















Sue Peckitt provided an update.  In summary:-


-         The rollout continues to go exceptionally well. As of 26th March, across north Yorkshire and York, 404,758 and 44,938 first and second doses, respectively, have been administered


-         The National Booking System is up and running


-         Working to get people to come forward who have so far declined to be vaccinated


-         Continuing work to engage with harder to reach groups


-         Some Primary Care Networks have exhausted their eligible cohorts and are asking if they can start vaccinating people under 50. They are being advised not to, as we are aware that not everyone in the nine priority groups has been vaccinated







Mike James took Members through this Item.  Slides had been circulated with the papers for the meeting.


The slides included visual examples of communications.


Mike reminded Members about the aims of the Communications Strategy and the principles behind it and advised that:-


-        Core support revolves around rollout of the vaccine; helping people access testing; and supporting communities and businesses through the Government Road Map


-        Examples of recent activity include taking messages to East and West Yorkshire and parts of the North East, through targeted radio advertising and boosting social media posts in those areas


-        Longer term, there will be a widespread campaign around unlocking summer, encouraging people to take on board positive behaviours that will help our people and businesses. There is a lot of work to prepare for surge testing that may be required and the National Day of Reflection was marked by a Press Conference held by the Local Resilience Forum, which contained several stories looking back over the last year



-        Looking ahead, support for the vaccination rollout and testing will be on-going and the Team North Yorkshire and Buy Local Campaigns will be utilised to support social and economic recovery


Councillor Stuart Parsons asked what work is being done with Teesside, as people from the area had visited Richmondshire in large numbers.  Also, in terms of the Buy Local Campaign, he understood that replacement bollards in Bainbridge had not been bought locally.


Mike James advised that out of area communications are being used – including targeted radio advertising – asking people to be prepared and to keep our communities safe when they visit the area. With regard to the bollards, he is not aware of this matter. The Chair advised that this is being looked into.


Richard Webb added that there has been a lot of work with BBC Tees and BBC York, with good coverage being received. This is allied to targeted efforts with outlets around the county and the use of local media.  Vanessa Glover (Head of Communications) is liaising with other Authorities who have similar issues with people travelling large distances into their area, to see if we can co-ordinate our approach.


Councillor Myatt enquired if there is any advice about the stay local message – how local is local?  The Chief Constable advised that the real distinction is between the act of travelling which, under the Health Protection Regulations is not illegal, against a sensible approach to the spread of infection and protecting people. Therefore, the message, from a personal perspective, is about doing the right thing for your community. In North Yorkshire, there is no set limit on the amount of travel that can be undertaken, but people must factor in that they cannot – save for some very specific reasons – stay overnight.


In response to a comment from Councillor Stuart Parsons, the Chief Constable said that she will look into the signing off by the Police of an order that has been made by Richmondshire District Council to prevent a repeat of incidents last year.


Councillor Liz Colling commented that when people ask her is it OK to, say, travel from Scarborough to Leeds, she responds: Yes, as long as you are happy for them to travel the other way. This acts as a good sense check for people.


Ian Yapp enquired about communications to young people, given the easing of restrictions and the brighter weather.  Schools will struggle to contact trace when they cannot be responsible for what occurs out of school time.  Mike James responded that work has been carried out with the Youth Council as to what messages hit home and which do not. The Communications Team will be working with schools and trusted voices on this.


The Chair mentioned that County Councillor Caroline Dickinson had circulated to County Councillors a one-page Government leaflet, outlining the changes taking effect from today and asked if she could circulate it to the Board.



















































































Patrick Duffy




Care Sector – Richard Webb


-        The position is much improved from January.  There have recently been some Regional Laboratory errors that have led to a  number of erroneous cases.  This is being addressed and people are being re-tested


-        Worked with the Independent Care Group and the NHS to provide discharge beds and Covid contact beds and non-Covid beds. This initiative has come to an end but still being funded with NHS colleagues locally for the next few months.  Will be kept under review


Schools – Ian Yapp


-        Primary Schools reopened on 8th March; Special Schools were mainly open anyway; Secondary School reopened from 8th March, following the huge undertaking on lateral flow tests


-        Primary and Secondary staff are now doing lateral flow tests twice a week at home and Secondary School students have moved to home testing


-        School reopening is based primarily on the same Guidance issued in January, although recent Guidance, received on 26th March, ready for 12th April onwards, allows day visits to recommence from 12th April at Step 2 and for Domestic Residential at Step 3 (17th May) and further reopening of wrap-around provision from 12th April


-        Schools are currently managing contact tracing into the first 6 days of the Easter Holidays


-        As with all businesses, there is some absence due to vaccination appointments and vaccination-related illness








The Chair confirmed that the next meeting will be on Thursday 22nd April 2021 at 2.30 p.m.








There was no other business to consider.




The meeting concluded at 11.46 a.m.