Key messages from the Directors of Public Health 15.10.21

The Cheshire and Merseyside (C&M) Directors of Public Health (DsPH) currently meet weekly. The key messages from the 15th October COVID-19 response meeting are as follows:

  1. Contact tracing update – The DsPH received an Integrated Contract Tracing monthly status report from Terry Whalley which included some of the feedback from the recent workforce engagement sessions. The design working group, who have been working on the options for the future operating model of the new contact tracing system, provided their recommendation of a “Cheshire and Merseyside shared service” which was endorsed by DsPH with some flexibility for local differences.
  2. Vaccination uptake – An update was given by NHS England that 10 million vaccines have now been administered in the North West, 3.8 million in Cheshire and Merseyside. 162,000 boosters have also been delivered which equates to 46% of the eligible population. Uptake in the older age groups is high but more work is being done with younger age groups. Pregnant women will also be a focus through maternity units and increased communications activity. An urgent priority for the booster is care home residents and health and care staff.
  3. UKHSA COVID-19 update – Rates in Cheshire and Merseyside are similar to the North West and England figures, high in most places but with some variation from area to area. The highest rates are still being seen in secondary schools with over 60s also going up.
  4. Good news and gratitude:
    1. Huge congratulations to Matt Ashton, DPH in Liverpool, who has received the President’s medal from the Faculty of Public Health for his leadership in the pandemic. This honour is very well deserved.
    2. A meeting of the Population Health Board took place on 13.10.21 with new Chair Ian Ashworth, DPH Cheshire West and Chester. The meeting showcased all of the excellent work so far on tackling health inequalities and looked at priorities going forward. Thank you to all involved.
    3. Suicide prevention training for “blue light” services has reached nearly 100 people, with others receiving “train the trainer” courses. Well done and thank you to everyone who took part.