Weekly update from Cheshire and Merseyside’s Directors of Public Health – 23rd July 2021

The Cheshire & Merseyside (C&M) Directors of Public Health (DsPH) currently meet weekly. The key messages from the 23rd July meeting are as follows:

  1. C&M Population Health Board year-end report – Eileen O’Meara, SRO for Population Health in C&M, updated DsPH on the Board’s achievements over the last year. Despite the pandemic, the Board has continued to focus on its priorities of CVD/Blood Pressure, reducing harm from alcohol and AMR whilst also working on physical activity, cancer screening and mental health and wellbeing. A more detailed feature will follow in the Champs “Collaborate” newsletter but the DsPH thanked everyone involved for their fantastic work and Eileen for her outstanding leadership.
  2. Marmot initial indicators shared – The Marmot team presented some early indicators for their work on health inequalities following their recent review in C&M. They will now look to reduce down to a set of 12 high level indicators on the social determinants of health. DsPH will nominate a local lead for this work at a Place level and the local workshops to help shape this work will begin in September/October.
  3. PHE COVID-19 update – Richard Jarvis of PHE North West updated that all areas had a high level of cases but they appear to be flattening out. One theory is that people are not getting tested now restrictions have been lifted. There are still issues in prisons, schools and in hospitality settings but schools should alleviate this somewhat during the summer holidays. The recent announcement on certain essential/critical workers not having to isolate is causing confusion with the public and DsPH and their teams are receiving requests and queries. DsPH will prepare a joint holding statement on these exceptions whilst the details are being worked out. They will also agree a common approach in C&M to this issue.
  4. Good news and gratitude:
    1. Ifeoma Onyia has been appointed Interim Director of Public Health in Halton once Eileen O’Meara retires in August. Congratulations to Ifeoma from all DsPH.
    2. Eileen O’Meara has been asked to join the North West Inequalities Hub to support them for two days per week from October.
    3. Dave Bradburn raised that AnneMarie Carr, Vicky Snape and Carole Boyle from Warrington’s public health team are leaving this week to go onto pastures new. DsPH would like to thank them all for their hard work over many years and to wish them all the best.