Agenda and draft minutes

North Yorkshire Outbreak Management Advisory Board - Wednesday, 23rd June, 2021 10.30 am

Venue: Remote Meeting held via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Patrick Duffy 

No. Item




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


He advised that he is the Vice-Chair of this Board and the Executive Member for Adult Services and Health Integration. He also chairs the North Yorkshire Health and Wellbeing Board. He added 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 welcomed Jane Colthup, Chief Executive, Community First Yorkshire and Simon Dennis, Chief Executive, at the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.


Apologies for absence


As stated in the attendance on the previous page.


Notes of meeting held on 21st May 2021 and any matters arising pdf icon PDF 409 KB


AGREED that these were an accurate reflection of the discussion.


Declarations of interest (if any)



There were no declarations of interest.


Notification of Any other business


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.


Update on the current position in North Yorkshire - Louise Wallace, Director of Public Health

Given the dynamic situation, the most up-to-date information will presented at the meeting


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 made the following points, in particular:-


-          Cases are increasing across the county


-          Globally, the UK has the seventh highest number of cases and fifth highest number of fatalities


-          In the UK, there were 55,216 cases and 66 deaths last week


-          In North Yorkshire, the 7-day incidence rate of cases per 100,000 population is 76.2.  This is below the England rate of 96.9, although some Districts are above it


-          The increased transmissibility of the Delta Variant makes it even more important for people to be double-vaccinated


-          There have been outbreaks (of two or more people) in some settings


-          The basic message remains the same – it is safer to meet outdoors and maintain hands; face; space; and fresh air. It is important to remember, too, that anyone can catch coronavirus


In response to a question from the Chair, Sue Peckitt reported that, as of yesterday, 23 people were in Hospital - up from 12 the previous week. So the figure is relatively low and the majority of people are requiring general hospital care, rather than intensive care,


Councillor Liz Colling asked where the spread was emanating from.  Louse Wallace said it is a mixed picture; we are seeing community transmission, as well as transmission in educational settings; clusters in workplaces; and some in care settings.  The data is examined daily to look for patterns/trends.


Councillor Colling also asked about whether there had been a shift in the age range of people in Hospital. Sue Peckitt advised that the age profile is mixed. It is, however, difficult to identify a trend, given the current low numbers.




Events - Katie Needham, Public Health Consultant pdf icon PDF 1 MB


Katie Needham presented this Item.  Her presentation had been circulated with the papers for the meeting.


Katie’s presentation covered the following areas:-


·           An overview of the Government Road Map in relation to events


·           How the County Council and its partners are working with Events Organisers and the criteria used


·           The Public Health principles that Events Organisers must adhere to


·           Our local approach to Events


·           Examples of some forthcoming Events


Katie highlighted a number of aspects, including:-


-          The Government is piloting Events as part of its Research Programme - feedback is awaited


-          At Step 4 of the Road Map, no earlier than 19th July, all Events will be permitted to go ahead. This is dependent on the Government’s four tests being met


-          We want Events to take place, as we recognise their value, but they must be held in a covid-safe way


-          Two Covid Support Officers have been appointed


-          Liaison takes place with the Communications Team to produce messaging around Events


-          People are encouraged to test themselves before attending an Event and not to attend if they display any symptoms of Covid


-          A risk matrix has been developed to assess the level of potential Covid risk


The Chair asked what are the thoughts, post Road Map, as to the promotion of best practice, given that many lessons will have been learnt and these should not be lost.  Katie stressed that this will always depend on the level of risk.  She envisaged that much of the best practice that has been developed will continue, as we move through the Road Map and beyond.


In response to a question from Bev Proctor, Katie confirmed that any events involving health and care staff would be subject to the same rules and she would encourage the organisers to contact their local Safety Advisory Group.




Vaccination Update - verbal update by North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group


Sue Peckitt updated.  In summary:-


-           On course to meet the target that all adults aged 18 and over should have had at least one dose by 19th July – depending on vaccine supply


-           As of yesterday (22nd June 2021), across North Yorkshire and York,  534,450 people have had their first dose and 418,191 have received two doses


-           The target is for the gap between first and second doses to be reduced from 12 to 8 weeks – arrangements are in hand for this to occur, with people being contacted accordingly


-           A lot of work has taken place to ensure that everyone has access to the vaccine early – this includes establishing a number of walk-in and pop-up clinics


-           National push to get young people vaccinated


-           Everyone is urged to come forward for their vaccine, as the more people who are vaccinated the more this will help reduce transmissibility


The Chair asked if there is any evidence of reluctance to have a particular type of vaccine and, when infections are confirmed, is there any track and trace to establish whether it is someone who has been vaccinated.  In response, Sue Peckitt advised that there is not a reluctance, as such, but an increasing number of people are asking questions about the long-term effects of vaccines. Individuals are supported when they ask these questions and they then receive the vaccine. With regard to the second question, through Track and Trace, there is some evidence of cases amongst people who have had a vaccine.


In response to a question from Councillor Mark Crane, Sue Peckitt outlined how work is being undertaken to encourage the travelling community to get vaccinated.


Councillor Crane also asked about the rate of outbreak in schools. Louise Wallace advised that work is undertaken, in conjunction with the Department for Education.  Each outbreak is examined closely with the school concerned to agree on the best response in each case.


Ian Yapp commented that outbreaks in schools were having an increasing impact. The support of the County Council’s Health Improvement Officers continues to be outstanding, but there is a wider footprint to consider.


Richard Webb added that he had had a recent conversation with Janet Waggott, Chief Executive, Selby District Council and with the Office of Nigel Adams, MP.  The comments about the travelling community have been noted and the Locality Group will be asked to look at this in more detail.



Communications Update - Mike James, Marketing and Customer Communications Manager pdf icon PDF 1 MB


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 Communication Priorities and the principles behind these and advised that:-


-          In terms of activity, the Unlock Summer Campaign continues, focusing on behaviours we want people to adhere to.  A range of communication tools are being utilised


-          The communications campaign has been adapted to focus on testing, via “Testing Tuesday” and “Flu Test Friday” – via our social media and local radio


-          Response to local outbreaks includes the promotion of local testing arrangements, working with District Council Communications Teams and local influencers.


-          The level and type of activity depends on the needs of each outbreak but we can offer a set of communications actions to support the different needs and different types of outbreak


Mike expressed his thanks to District colleagues for their support in what is a real  joint effort.


Sally Tyrer mentioned that GP Practices are seeing a lot of people who are relying on Lateral Flow Tests to give them confidence that they do not have the virus.  Symptoms can be different with the Delta Variant. There is a lot of work to be done by everyone to encourage people to take a PCR test and not rely on a Lateral Flow Test.


In response to a question from Councillor Colling about local branding being used to garner the maximum impact, Mike advised that this is part of our thinking, as part of a holistic approach.


Richard Webb added that we are trying to be more nuanced in our approach to communications. However, co-ordination of messages to ensure they are factually correct is crucial in a public health emergency.




Partner Updates (on an exception basis):


·         Business / Local Enterprise Partnership

·         Care Sector

·         Healthwatch

·         Local Government

·         NHS

·         Police

·         Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

·         Public Health England

·         Schools

·         Voluntary & Community Sector


Schools – Ian Yapp

-          Clarification received on School Sports Days. Parents can now be involved in multiple groups of up to 30, provided that each of those multiple groups are separated in their multiple groups


Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

-           HMI of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Service has reported overnight on the Police response to domestic abuse throughout the Pandemic. The Commissioner has commented on this and highlighted the support services available in North Yorkshire and the City of York


Care Sector – Richard Webb

-          8 of the 235 Care Homes in North Yorkshire currently have one or more cases and there is one outbreak. Some cases involve people who have been double vaccinated, which illustrates it is still possible to catch the virus – although the impact is less


-          There have been no outbreaks currently in Home Care or Supported Living settings, but we need to stay vigilant


-          Partners continue to meet regularly to monitor the situation and provide support to Care Providers.  The Independent Care Group, as the umbrella organisation for providers, is working hard on this too


-          40% of the deaths in North Yorkshire have been in care settings


-          There is pressure on the system caused by people with non-Covid concerns.  More children and young people are presenting with issues as well


Regarding the final point, above, the Chair commented that this illustrates that, as restrictions ease, support offered to people across the system cannot just stop.




Next Meeting - Wednesday 28th July at 2.30 p.m.


The Chair confirmed that the next meeting will be on Wednesday 28th July at 2.30 p.m.



Any other business


There was no other business to consider.