The Cheshire & Merseyside (C&M) Directors of Public Health (DsPH) met for their weekly calls on Friday 30th October and Friday 6th November. The update from these calls is below.

  1. Strategic intelligence - Sharon McAteer, lead from the C&M Intelligence group, shared a paper with DsPH with an update on the current work of the strategic intelligence team. Sharon thanked colleagues from the Combined Intelligence for Population Health (CIPHA) for their quick turnaround of the new COVID dashboards.  
  2. COVID data - Jim Hughes and Sarah Adams from CIPHA took the DsPH through progress to date on the COVID dashboards which provide consistent data on infection rates, hospital admissions etc across C&M. There are some interesting developments in the pipeline for new data and DsPH can log in to the system to enable them to delve deeper into their local data.
  3. C&M Integrated Contact Tracing approach – Julie Webster updated DsPH on a paper developed for LCR. It was agreed to add the development of a training programme and work towards an aligned C&M model overseen by the new Hub Programme Board.
  4. Mass Testing – Terry Whalley, C&M Director for Testing, joined the call to update DsPH on the mass testing pilot in Liverpool and other developments, including the deployment of 35 additional mobile testing units for standard testing. There is an ambition to extend the Liverpool pilot for longer than the 10 days planned and following the learning, roll out a similar approach in other areas.
  5. Exceedance report – There was a discussion on the reduction in testing rates and potential causes such as the half term holiday, a genuine reduction in positive cases or reluctance from the public to get tested.
  6. Care home visiting – Margaret Jones and Donald Read will review whether further C&M guidance is required for care home visits.
  7. Good news and gratitude – The DsPH wish to thank colleagues in the Champs support team for their hard work supporting DsPH and teams. A special thank you to Pat Nicholl and colleagues for re-launching the Stay Alive app and planning a mental health champions event for elected members on 12 November. The DsPH would also like to wish colleagues well in Liverpool as they pilot mass testing and look forward to hearing the learning.