C&M DsPH weekly update w/e 12.3.21

The Cheshire & Merseyside (C&M) Directors of Public Health (DsPH) currently meet for weekly calls. The key messages from the 12th March meeting are as follows:

  1. Sexual health cross charging position statement – Ian Ashworth, DPH lead for sexual health commissioning, Jon Dunn from PHE and Simon Bell from Halton Council provided a paper for DsPH on cross charging for non-contracted sexual health services. The DsPH endorsed the new approach which will commence on 1 July and thanked Jon and the C&M commissioners for their work.
  2. PHE COVID-19 update – COVID-19 cases are still declining and there is a reduction in care home outbreaks. Hospital admissions and mortality rates are also reducing due to the vaccination programme. Some DsPH reported outbreaks in workplaces so are still encouraging everyone to keep to the rules to prevent a rise in infections.
  3. Influencing public health system reform/NIHP development – Following the slide deck produced on the future model of health protection for C&M, which has now been sent to the FPH and the ADPH, DsPH will have an opportunity to raise their views with the Chief Medical Officer at a meeting w/c 15th March. DsPH discussed some key issues which will be fed into the meeting.
  4. Progress on local outbreak management plans – Each local area is refreshing their outbreak management plan and the deadline for submission is Sunday 14th March. It was agreed that common themes from the plans will be compiled into a collective response from the nine DsPH.
  5. Events national pilot – Matt Ashton, DPH Liverpool, updated on Liverpool’s plans to pilot events such as concerts, festivals and sports from 23 April. A combined ticket and Lateral Flow Test will be needed to attend events followed by a PCR test a week later. The pilot will be evaluated by Liverpool University.
  6. Good news and gratitude:
    1. C&M have administered 1m COVID vaccines which is a great achievement to all involved.
    2. Warrington CCG will be the first in C&M to pilot the cervical screening text message reminder service for patients, launching 22 March.
    3. C&M will become a Marmot Community in May this year and a paper will go to the C&M Health & Care Partnership Board for approval. A briefing paper will be developed for circulation to key stakeholders and an event is in plan for the summer with the Marmot team.
    4. Ann Hoskins from PHE congratulated DsPH for their recent slide deck with views on the development of the NIHP and public health system reform. This has been well received.