Presenter: Dr Jane O’Grady, Director of Public Health
Buckinghamshire Public Health team have been at the forefront of the local response to the pandemic, providing epidemiological analysis and clinical public health expertise across the health and care system. The Director of Public Health will present an overview of the impact of Covid_19 in Buckinghamshire, including what we know about the current situation and future impact at the meeting.
Recommendation: The Health and Wellbeing Board is asked to note and discuss the information covered in the presentation at the meeting.
Dr Jane O’Grady, Director of Public Health, provided a presentation (slides 1-19 of the full slide pack appended to the minutes) and highlighted the following points:
- The first coronavirus case in the UK was identified on 31 January 2020. The first death in the UK was on 5 March 2020.
- The first case in Buckinghamshire was identified at the beginning of March with the first death occurring on 9 March 2020.
- There had been approximately 1600 cases in Buckinghamshire with 383 deaths; however, the number of confirmed cases underestimated numbers as testing was limited early on in the pandemic.
- 72 new cases had been identified in the period 14-27 June 2020, however, the real number was likely to be four times higher due to people not coming forward for testing.
- Approximately one in five people diagnosed with Covid-19 became more seriously ill. One in ten people were thought to be suffering symptoms for many weeks after the illness.
- There had been some ‘positives’ in the response to Covid-19 e.g. Mobilisation of society to protect the vulnerable increased community cohesion and resilience.
- Homeless were sheltered.
- Decreased traffic and increased air quality.
- Home working for some improved work life balance.
- More partnership working.
- Increased use of digital technology services and connections.
- A survey was being carried out in Buckinghamshire, on the impact of Covid-19 in Buckinghamshire, which would be circulated after the meeting; members of the HWB were asked to promote the survey as widely as possible, particularly to the less frequently heard groups.
ACTION: Katie McDonald
- The recovery would be complex, the initial priorities were listed; further priorities would be recognised after the listening exercise.
- The Health Protection Board had been set up to prevent any resurgence in infections.
- Work would be carried out with the Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community who were recognised as being at increased risk from COVID.
- A Covid-19 Mental Health Strategy Response Group had been established.
- The importance of social distancing as the virus was still circulating was stressed.
G Williams presented slides 20-22 on the work carried out by the Communities Team and highlighted the following points:
- Eight local support hubs had been set up by 23 March 2020 to respond to the Covid-19 crisis to provide support to shielded individuals with underlying health conditions.
- An explanation of the role of the community hubs, volunteers and the VCS.
- The partnership work with charity foundations to distribute nearly £1m to local groups to support community responses to Covid-19.
The following point was raised and discussed by members of the HWB:
- In response to being asked whether the local authority was receiving the pillar one (health settings) and pillar two (community setting) test and trace data, Dr O’Grady advised that the first download of the post code data had been received. Some key data was missing, such as ethnicity, but Dr O’Grady expected the situation to improve and was expecting data on a weekly basis.
RESOLVED: The Health and Wellbeing Board NOTED and DISCUSSED the information covered in the presentation at the meeting.