Weekly update from Cheshire and Merseyside’s Directors of Public Health – 2nd July 2021

The Cheshire & Merseyside (C&M) Directors of Public Health (DsPH) currently meet for weekly calls. The key messages from the 2nd July meeting are as follows:

  1. COVID-19 vaccination programme – Directors were joined by Richard Preece of NHSE/I who updated them on progress of the vaccine roll out. It is good news that over three million vaccines have been delivered in C&M but inequalities exist. There is good uptake among over 50s and uptake among 18-29 year olds is going well but lower uptake in the 30-39 age group. DsPH raised concerns about those that remain unvaccinated. It was agreed to explore maximising community pharmacy delivery across Cheshire and Merseyside.
  2. PHE North West COVID-19 update – Richard Jarvis of PHE North West updated that COVID rates are rising quickly especially in the younger 16-24 age group. There have been a few outbreaks in care homes, mainly with staff testing positive. Schools are a significant problem and outbreaks are being seen in primary schools as well as secondary schools. As a move to a vaccine only strategy post 19th July looks likely, it means that some of the local population will not be protected. It was agreed to review the scenarios from the previous PHE workshops, along with health protection leads, to look at how the risk to these population groups can be mitigated.
  3. C&M health protection system – Julie Webster and Thara Raj reported that the recent workshops with health protection leads and environmental health officers have taken place and also interviews with some key stakeholders. Tricordant, who are leading the stakeholder engagement, will present their initial findings back to DsPH on Friday 9 July.
  4. New C&M health inequalities local authority research network – Ifeoma Onyia from Halton presented an overview of the proposal to develop this network which aims to link local authority public health with academia. The DsPH fully endorsed the proposal.
  5. DsPH strategic planning session – Dawn Leicester provided an overview of the discussion at the session and the next steps, all of which were approved by the DsPH.  The DsPH lead roles list is currently being updated along with the list of participation in other groups, including senior public health leaders. A more detailed update from the session will appear in the next issue of Collaborate.
  6. NHS prevention programme targeted funding projects – Eileen O’Meara provided an overview of the four draft expressions of interest (EOI), which were approved for submission by the DsPH. The EOIs included:
    • Street Doctors programme for young people affected by violence
    • Improving integration of care for patients with alcohol use disorders and co-morbid mental health diagnosis
    • Improving uptake of NHS Health Checks in C&M to tackle inequalities
    • Increasing uptake of preventative services through co-production and physical activity
  7. Good news and gratitude
  • It was confirmed by Eileen O’Meara that the diagnostic review by the Marmot team is close to completion and a set of indicators should be available by the third week of July to discuss with DsPH.
  • Over 370 people have registered to attend Cheshire & Merseyside’s Marmot Community launch event taking place on Wednesday 7th