The Cheshire and Merseyside (C&M) Directors of Public Health (DsPH) currently meet weekly. The key messages from the 19th and 26th November meetings are as follows:
- UKHSA COVID-19 update – C&M is replicating the national trend, with a shift towards an increase in the number of positive cases amongst younger age groups (4-10yrs) and reductions amongst older people (0ver 60s). Some concerns are the large cohort of the population that, while vaccinated, will soon have waning immunity and have thus far not been offered a booster vaccine, as well as the expectation of a large number of people moving across the country during the Christmas period (eg. Students). UKHSA is closely monitoring the new variant (originally identified in South Africa) and will continue to provide advice and guidance as the situation unfolds.
- COVID-19 interventions – DsPH considered and debated future Covid response interventions with Sam Ghebrehewet and Richard Jarvis from UKHSA. DsPH acknowledged the Contact Tracing pilot is a real opportunity to build a flexible and skilled team with Local Authority and Hub staff working together to serve Cheshire and Merseyside.
- Strategic Intelligence – DsPH heard updates on the OHID Local Knowledge and Intelligence Service (LKIS) and the C&M Health and Care Partnership’s System P/ACE platforms and will explore opportunities to strengthen the collaborations. Discussions were focused around ensuring that the various digital and data projects happening in the subregion are connected and that a collaborative approach is taken to ensuring that detailed data is available for various public health purposes.
- Future campaigns – The DsPH discussed a proposal around future Collaborative campaigns and agreed to another phase of Spread the facts, focusing on vaccine uptake. A second phase of the Kind to your mind mental wellbeing campaign will also be planned for next year.
- Dental survey for 5 year olds – The DsPH discussed commissioning a C&M-wide dental survey to measure levels of decay in the population.
Good news and Gratitude
- The “Getting under the skin” COVID-19 vaccination campaign, which was co-funded by DsPH won “NHS Communications Initiative of the Year” at the HSJ awards. It also won in the “Best health campaign” category at the Prolific North Marketing awards. Congratulations to everyone involved.
- Well done to NHS Cheshire CCG who were highly commended at the HSJ awards for their “Spreading the vaccine, not the virus: “A network of networks” campaign.
- A copy of the interim Marmot report has been circulated with positive feedback being received to date. The DsPH expressed their gratitude to those who have been involved in arranging the Marmot workshops.
- The NHS Galleri Trial cancer screening van, which has been based in St Helens over the few days, has received a good response from the public with many coming forward for a blood test.
- The DsPH offered their congratulations to Richard Jarvis as he moves into his new role in OHID and expressed their gratitude for the support and commitment he has provided to the DsPH and local areas.