The Cheshire & Merseyside (C&M) Directors of Public Health (DsPH) held their weekly call, with colleagues from PHE North West on Friday 4 December. The update is as follows:

  1. C&M Blood-Borne Virus (BBV) Guidelines and consensus statement – Susan Barton-Johal from PHE presented an update on this programme of work which is currently in place in Greater Manchester and for which there is an ambition to roll out in C&M and the North West region.  The DsPH were in support of this scheme and Sarah McNulty has agreed to be the BBV Champion for C&M. It was agreed that updates will be provided at future meetings on pathway development.
  2. Exceedance report / Hub update - Sam Ghebrehewet from PHE NW highlighted that cases are going down in all areas but are still high in the over 60’s in some areas due to care home outbreaks. The C&M Intelligence Network have been asked to liaise with CIPHA to produce a situational report based on the five indicators for each of the nine local areas across C&M. This report will be used by the JBC on the tier system review planned for 16th December. Case studies on contact tracing for local areas and the Hub will be written up by LJMU.
  3. Data management system update – Julie Webster and Ravi Menghani presented a review of progress to date on Microsoft Dynamics, the new IT system that will support the Hub and local contact tracing. There have been some changes to the scope of the project over time driven by national policy and to make it more relevant to the local system. It was agreed to provide a further update in two weeks’ time. Wirral, St Helens and Cheshire West & Chester will go live before Christmas.
  4. Testing roll out – DsPH discussed targeted testing, testing in the wider community and the logistics of running testing programmes. It was agreed that communications need to be consistent across C&M and build on the excellent work in Liverpool.
  5. Care home visiting – DsPH wish to establish a consistent approach across C&M for visits to care homes and learning from the model currently being piloted in Liverpool. DsPH to have a further discussion about this w/c 7 December.
  6. Good news and gratitude - The launch of the ‘Spread the facts - not the virus’ COVID campaign, aimed at 20-30 year olds, has been well received across the region, with 14,000 YouTube video views and 8,000 Snapchat video views in the first few days and lots of engagement from partners. It was suggested that this campaign is built upon to address misinformation around vaccines, which can be explored with the C&M Health & Care Partnership who are leading the work on COVID vaccinations.  The DsPH expressed their thanks to those involved in the development and delivery of the campaign. www.spreadthefacts.co.uk