C&M DsPH weekly update – week ending 19.2.21

The Cheshire & Merseyside (C&M) Directors of Public Health (DsPH) currently meet for weekly calls. The key messages from the 19th February meeting are as follows:

  1. COVID-19 rates – Rates continue to decline overall but the speed of decline is varying across C&M. Most areas have a rate of less than 200 per 100,000 of the population. There are still outbreaks in some settings. With schools returning on 8th March (subject to the Government announcement) DsPH are keen for communications to the public to be ramped up over the next two weeks focusing on testing and COVID-safe behaviours in an effort to reduce rates as much as possible.
  2. Living with COVID – Developing a North West roadmap for 2021 – Ann Hoskins from PHE talked through the development of a roadmap to navigate the next 12 months. It will set out an approach highlighting different scenarios for living with COVID. The approach is being developed in collaboration with senior leaders in both Liverpool City Region and Cheshire & Warrington with support from the DsPH. Further meetings are scheduled in the next two weeks with the intention to embed within local systems.
  3. Health and care white paper – DsPH discussed the NHS white paper and agreed to work on a collective response from public health.
  4. Population health bid to C&M Health & Care Partnership (HCP) – Eileen O’Meara presented a summary paper setting out the priorities for the forthcoming proposal to the HCP focusing on population health. This will be discussed at the Prevention Board meeting next week
  5. Good news and gratitude:
    1. Thank you to the Sefton team for their hard work on the surge testing for the South African variant.
    2. The DsPH paper on workplace outbreaks has been shared and well received.
    3. The DsPH “stepping down from lockdown” paper has been well supported locally and will be shared with North West DsPH for information.