Key messages from the Directors of Public Health 27.05.22

The Cheshire and Merseyside (C&M) Directors of Public Health (DsPH) currently meet fortnightly. The key messages from the 27 May meeting are as follows:

  1. UKHSA update – Monkeypox remains a concern and a North West Incident Management Team has been set up. There are no confirmed cases in C&M. Covid cases are reducing with most cases being seen in the over 60s. Covid variants are being monitored. There are also increasing numbers of Chickenpox cases and iGAS infections. Colleagues are currently planning ahead for Winter.
  2. Screening and immunisations update – NHSE/I updated DsPH on plans for the screening and immunisation programmes. The team has been focusing on recovery and restoration of services following the pandemic and is now planning to move to business as usual. Key priorities include reducing variation, tackling inequality and ensuring quality. A workshop will be held with stakeholders in the near future to look at immunisations in schools.
  3. Public health intelligence apprenticeship programme – DsPH received a paper with a proposal for developing a pipeline of public health intelligence specialists in local authorities. There is a skills shortage of analysts particularly in local authorities in the North West. DsPH endorsed the paper and the next steps will be taken forward by the Champs Collaborative Workforce programme led by DPH Matt Tyrer of Cheshire East Council.
  4. Population Health update – Ian Ashworth, DPH lead for Population Health in Cheshire and Merseyside gave DsPH a summary of the work of the population health board, including the Marmot programme, the NHS Prevention Pledge, reducing alcohol harm, increasing physical activity, NHS Health Checks and workforce development.
  5. Good news and gratitude:
  • A fantastic launch event for nearly 500 people took place for the All Together Fairer Marmot report for Cheshire and Merseyside. DsPH would like to thank Sir Michael Marmot and his team, the Marmot local leads and the Champs Collaborative support team for their hard work and dedication. You can watch the event and view the report here
  • Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine has begun a community development programme around vaccine hesitancy which could be expanded to other conditions and PCNs
  • A workshop was held with UKHSA colleagues to help develop the future health protection system which generated great ideas and discussion. The outputs will be taken forward by Thara Raj, DPH lead for health protection and the health protection leads.
  • Cheshire East Council’s Swab Squad have extended their work to providing Covid vaccinations and blood pressure checks on their health and wellbeing bus.
  • Well done to all colleagues who attended the recent garden party at Buckingham Palace in recognition of their public service.