The Cheshire & Merseyside (C&M) Directors of Public Health (DsPH) currently meet for weekly calls. The key messages from the 21st May meeting are as follows:
- PHE health and wellbeing update – Rebecca Wagstaff, Paula Hawley-Evans and Peter Varey joined the DsPH to give an overview of recent team changes at PHE and future priorities, which include a focus on Marmot/tackling health inequalities. There will be a further discussion to look at aligning priorities. DsPH also raised the importance of local liaison with each place going forward for health improvement.
- New population health dashboard – Jim Hughes, Rachel Joynes and Sharon McAteer joined the DsPH to run through plans for a C&M population health dashboard. It will be based on a Public Health Outcomes Framework type model using publicly available data in the first instance. It will contain a suite of indicators along a life course approach, including those from the Marmot team. It will be launched end July/early August. DsPH agreed to support the production of the dashboard and input ideas.
- PHE COVID-19 update – Sam Ghebrehewet from PHE advised that C&M case numbers remain low with all but Sefton under 25 per 100,000 of the population. Regionally, the B1.617.2 variant (first identified in India) appears to be taking the place of the Kent variant as the dominant variant with an increase in case numbers being mostly in the younger age groups (10 -19 and 20- 29years), particularly in schools, however hospital admissions remain stable. Whilst B1.617.2 is more transmissible, there is no current evidence that it causes more serious illness or evades the vaccine.
- Recognition and accreditation for outbreak work –The potential to develop professional accreditation to recognise the health protection learning of colleagues during the pandemic was discussed. Thara Raj, DPH Warrington, agreed to progress this with colleagues.
- Event guidelines – The development of C&M guidelines for safely holding events was discussed and it was agreed that national guidelines are required. Matt Ashton, DPH Liverpool, is currently working with the ADPH at a national level around this and agreed to feed in DsPH comments.
- Good news and gratitude – The DsPH shared items of good news:
- A successful vaccination drop in session was recently held in Warrington with approximately 110 people being vaccinated in one morning and also receiving a health and wellbeing check.
- The Liverpool annual report was recognised by the ADPH, with comment being made that it was an ‘innovative masterpiece and an excellent case for the role of the DsPH as system leaders’. Well done to colleagues in Liverpool.