Venue: Remote Meeting held via Microsoft Teams
Contact: Patrick Duffy
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 Chair of this Board and Leader of the Council. 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
Apologies for absence
As stated in the attendance on the previous page.
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 be 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:-
- Globally, the UK has the seventh highest number of cases and number of fatalities
- This is still very much an active pandemic
- Cases have been high but have declined in recent days. It is too soon to say if this is a downward trend and, despite the reduction, cases remain high, so we should all exercise caution
- Thankfully, the death rate has reduced markedly but every single person that dies is a loss and has a massive impact on family and friends
Road Map Step 4 and what it means for North Yorkshire - verbal report by Louise Wallace, Director of Public Health and Richard Webb, Corporate Director, Health and Adult Services
Louise Wallace confirmed that the Public Health Teams are still offering support to all sectors.
Andy Robson, advised that, locally, we are working within national policies and guidance, to protect our communities. For example, with Safety Advisory Groups to ensure events are held safely.
Richard Webb commented that rates of infection have increased since restrictions were eased and we should expect some turbulence for the next 9 to 12 months. A lot of people are presenting to Health and Adult Services.
He added that small businesses are asking people to continue to social distance and to wear a facemask and asked Members to use their influence to encourage people to get both doses of the vaccine and the booster jab when it is available.
Barry Khan advised that the Council’s statutory duties would continue. There are a number of tools available to stop or place restrictions of events should there be an imminent threat of the spread of Covid. We continue to work with colleagues to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place.
Vaccination Update - verbal update by North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group
Andrew Dangerfield updated. In summary:-
- The programme continues to progress well, with 571,000 first doses and 479,000 second doses administered
- 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
- Continue to encourage people to accept the vaccine and target lower uptake groups
- There are mostly walk in services now, as well as a number of pop up clinics
- Some drop off in uptake from younger people, but over 70% of people aged 18 to 30 have been vaccinated
- Detail awaited about the booster programme but anticipated it will be early to mid-September
In response to questions from Councillor Liz Colling, Andrew advised he was not aware of any significant difference in gender uptake although he did not have the figures to hand. Staff have a conversation with anyone who is concerned about infertility. The staff are specifically trained, so we are doing all we can to overcome people’s anxieties.
In response to a question from Councillor Helen Grant, Andrew advised that young people aged 12 to 18 with an underlying condition or who are part of an immuno compromised family, can access the vaccine.
Victoria Turner added that final guidance from the JCVI is awaited. They are awaiting further evidence on any potential side effects. It will come down to risk-benefit.
In reply to a question from Councillor Clark, Andrew said that people who go to A&E can be referred to a vaccination site. Councillor Clark made the point that we need to actively market the vaccine in A&E and elsewhere.
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:-
- The Respect and Protect Campaign would run into the autumn. This sets out the behaviours we want people to support
- Continuing to work with partners via the Local Resilience Forum (LRF). For example, to publicise information on Walk in Vaccination Centres
- Work on communications to support local outbreaks is on-going
Richard Webb added that there is still an extensive NHS campaign on vaccination. The LRF is supporting this.
Partner Updates (on an exception basis):
· Business / Local Enterprise Partnership
· Care Sector
· Local Government
· Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner
· Public Health England
· Voluntary & Community Sector
Business – Helen Simpson
- Refreshed data on businesses expected end of July.
- Staycations stepping up
- Hospitality has seen an uptake but shortages of staff an issue
- Logistics causing difficulty e.g. shortage of drivers and some reshaping of business channels, which brings both opportunity and risk
- Business failure has reduced but this may be masked by furlough
- Start-ups remain high
Care Sector – Beverley Proctor and Richard Webb
- Main concern is workforce and keeping safe
- A demand that staff be vaccinated could create problems as some may leave, but the Sector is working on creative solutions
- 48 of the 235 Care Homes in North Yorkshire have cases – 16 outbreaks and 41 cases
- Care Home Regulations, which preclude staff from working across more than one Home, is causing blockages in the system, which we are working to address
- Expanded our Quality Improvement Team to work with the Independent Care Group and Care Providers. Providing intensive support to Care Providers – this is not unique to North Yorkshire
- Self-isolation is not affecting front line services
- Demand into the Control Room has increased recently
Schools – Ian Yapp
- The last half term has been challenging, with significant absences of staff and students.
- Thank you to the North Yorkshire Teams for their help
- Step 4 Guidance received on 6th July gave schools the opportunity to leave existing measure in place to the end of term – that is what occurred
- The Guidance also contained Guidance for September which includes the need to do two Rapid Flow Tests on site, 3-5 days apart, as students return
- Step up/step down contingency plans will still be required
Voluntary Sector – Jane Colthup
- Results of resilience Survey and Economic and Social Impact Report will be available in August. These will be shared with the Board
- Some reports that testing kits are becoming scarce and that there may be a cost to them at some point.
Next Meeting - Friday 27th August 2021 at 11.30 a.m.
The Chair confirmed that the next meeting will be on Friday 27th August at 11.30 a.m.
Any other business
There was no other business to consider.