Weekly update from Cheshire and Merseyside’s Directors of Public Health – 30th July 2021

The Cheshire & Merseyside (C&M) Directors of Public Health (DsPH) currently meet weekly. The key messages from the 30th July meeting are as follows:

  1. Physical Activity update
    1. As part of the work of the Population Health Board, the two Sports Partnerships operating across Cheshire and Merseyside have presented an update to Directors of Public Health on their work and ambitions for improving physical activity in the subregion.
    2. Directors also highlighted the importance of mental health and wellbeing and how closely linked it is to physical activity and have assured the Sports Partnerships that they will continue to work with them to drive this work forward and ensure there is little duplication.
  2. PHE surveillance and response to COVID-19
    1. Cases of COVID-19 across Cheshire and Merseyside are following the national trend and dropping considerably. This has raised some questions as the drop is happening quite quicky and doesn’t follow normal epidemiological patterns. Suggestions have been made that the drop is a combination of both the recent football tournament ending and the school holidays starting. PHE will continue to closely monitor the data to see if this reduction will flatline or continue to fall, or if it will start to increase due to the stage 4 unlocking on 19th
    2. Directors of Public Health and local Public Health teams are working on guidance and policies on situations where people may be exempt from self-isolating, namely health and care staff.
  3. DHSC contact tracing programme
    1. Terry Whalley, who has recently joined the Champs Support Team to provide strategic leadership on Contact Tracing gave an update on progress and outlined next steps in formally activating the programme.
  4. Lead DPH roles
    1. Directors of Public Health have agreed on a refreshed set of lead roles for the next year. Please find the full list here.
  5. Good news and gratitude
    1. Ifeoma Onyia will be taking on the role of Director of Public Health for Halton following Eileen O’Meara’s retirement next week.
    2. The Public Health Collaborative’s Spread the Facts campaign has been nominated for a fourth award – Campaign of the Year at the Local Government Chronicle Awards.
    3. Halton has been shortlisted in the Public Health category of the Local Government Chronicle Awards for its COVID-19 response.
    4. Two bids to the NHS E/I targeted prevention fund have been successful. These relate to ‘Improving integration of care for patients with Alcohol Use Disorders and co-morbid Mental Health Diagnosis’ and ‘Improving uptake of NHS Health Check’ have been successful, totalling £400k.
    5. The CM DsPH also wanted to express their sincere thanks to Ann Hoskins who will be leave Public Health England imminently. The CM DsPH sincerely appreciate the support and guidance from Anne during the pandemic and wish her well for the future.