C&M DsPH weekly update w/e 5.3.21

The Cheshire & Merseyside (C&M) Directors of Public Health (DsPH) currently meet for weekly calls. The key messages from the 5th March meeting are as follows:

  • COVID-19 vaccination update – Dianne Draper from PHE updated the DsPH on progress with the vaccine roll out, nearly 1m vaccinations have been completed in C&M. New tools have been developed, one to map areas of deprivation and where BAME communities are located and another which looks at vaccination uptake broken down by STP/local authority. The next push will be for the second doses of the vaccine during the month of April. A steady supply of vaccine is expected during the next few weeks.
  • Vaccine hesitancy among BAME groups – Edna Boampong from the C&M Health & Care Partnership (HCP) joined DsPH to talk them through the findings of the recent insight work, co-funded by DsPH, with all ethnic groups across C&M. A campaign, targeting eight priority groups who are “vaccine hesitant”, will begin on Monday 8th March tackling the issues highlighted in the insight. The HCP will provide local communications teams with campaign assets that can be tailored and shared locally.
  • PHE COVID-19 update – Dr Sam Ghebrehewet, PHE NW, informed DsPH that every area, apart from two, is now below 100 cases/100K of the population and rates continue to decline. Hospital admissions and care home outbreaks are also reducing. Under 12’s and the over 75’s current have the lowest rates.
  • Drug and alcohol detox funding – Julie Webster and Lucia Scally talked DsPH through options for the inpatient grant funding available and it was agreed to progress with a C&M consortia. Further discussions will be held with PHE and the substance misuse commissioners.
  • NW Test, Trace and Contain (TTC) Framework workshops – Julie Webster shared information on forthcoming PHE workshops, led by Angela Hardman, designed to think through a new TTC framework. The information from these workshops will be important for the C&M Contact Tracing Hub and local areas.
  • Future model of health protection – A slide deck was agreed by DsPH which will be sent to Professor Maggie Rae at the Faculty of Public Health for sharing with national colleagues working to influence the design of the National Institute of Health Protection. In the document, DsPH have asked that they are engaged in the design of the future model and retain local and sub-regional health protection capacity. DsPH will share the final version with their CEOs.
  • Good news and gratitude:
    • Sue Forster, DPH in St Helens, who is retiring in April, announced that Ruth Du Plessis has been appointed as their new DPH. Huge congratulations to Ruth from DsPH and colleagues.
    • The DsPH would like to thank Andrew Turner, Health Policy Lead and Public Health Specialty Registrar, who is finishing his placement at Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
    • Thank you to C&M immunisations teams and school nurses who have kept administering vaccinations for children throughout the pandemic.
    • A big thank you to Edna Boampong and colleagues for the insight work with BAME groups and very best wishes to Edna as she leave the C&M HCP at the end of March.