Agenda item

Agenda item

Manchester's 10 Point COVID-19 Action Plan

Report of the Director of Public Health & the Consultant in Public Health


In July the Committee received the Manchester Local Prevention and Response (Outbreak) Plan.  At the end of July the Government announced the new restrictions that would apply to Greater Manchester and this was followed by the declaration of a major incident on Sunday 2nd August.


The attached 10 Point Plan builds on the Prevention and Response Plan and sets out the key actions that have been progressed over the month of August.  Many of the actions in the 10 Point Plan will continue throughout September and the plan will be updated regularly. 



The Committee considered a report of the Director of Public Health that presented the 10 Point Action Plan that built on the Prevention and Response Plan that had been considered by the Committee at their meeting of 21 July 2020 (See HSC/20/28). The report set out the key actions that had been progressed over the month of August, noting that many of the actions in the 10 Point Plan would continue throughout September and the plan would be updated regularly. 


The Consultant in Public Health delivered a presentation that included the latest available comparative data and intelligence.


Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -


·         What work was being done to address the concerns of residents living in areas that also housed large numbers of students who would be returning to the city;

·         Noting that guidance issued by Government to schools had been issued late;

·         Thanking all of the staff working in Public Health on behalf of the residents of the city;

·         Was it anticipated that the reported increase in positive COVID-19 cases would translate to an increase in hospital admissions;

·         Noting that the messages issued regarding local lockdown changes issued by Government was confusing for residents; 

·         Appropriate funding should be allocated by central government to support and increase local testing and tracing services;

·         Was it appropriate to establish a test centre at the Abraham Moss site noting it’s close proximity to both the school and the leisure centre;

·         Questioning the validity of the statement that residents would be no more than twenty minutes walking distance from a testing site;

·         How many of the national track and trace cases were referred to the local service, and how many of those resulted in contact being made with individuals;

·         What guidance was provided to chilled or frozen food businesses;

·         What advice had been provided to schools regarding staggering start and finish times;

·         Noting the recent press reports regarding the transmission of COVID-19 cases connected to a flight destined for Wales, what work was being undertaken with the aviation industry to mitigate the risk of further infection; and

·         What work was being done with care homes to ensure contact with family members was maintained with residents in such settings.


The Consultant in Public Health advised the Committee that work was underway with the local Universities and the Student Partnership to prepare for the imminent return of students. She further acknowledged that this was a concern for some residents with students moving into communities from other areas of the country. She advised that communications regarding the work undertaken with the student population would be shared with residents and this would also be provided to local Members.


In regard to the number of positive cases identified in Manchester, the Consultant in Public Health stated that the increase in cases could be linked to the relaxation of lockdown restrictions and this trend was reflected nationally. She stated that the increase of positive cases were related to community and household transmissions, rather than transmissions in settings such as care homes as had previously been witnessed. She said that the effect of COVID-19 on younger people did not appear to be as severe and hence these cases did not translate into hospital admissions, however the risk remained that this could then be spread to older / more vulnerable people that could then result in an increase in hospital admissions. She stated that this landscape continued to be closely monitored, both locally, nationally and internationally, especially as the winter and flu season approached.


With reference to the testing centre located at the Abraham Moss site, the Consultant in Public Health informed the Committee that the decisions as to where to locate these sites was undertaken in consultation with Public Health Teams, the Department for Health and Social Care and the Council and all facilities had been appropriately risk assessed. In response to the specific question regarding the number of cases referred to the local tracing service from the national service, she stated that approximately 50% of cases were referred from the national service, and of these, 99.5% had resulted in a successful contact. She further stated that whilst the local service were able to utilise their local knowledge and contacts, the ability to undertake additional test and tracing would require adequate resourcing.


In regard to national guidance, the Consultant in Public Health stated that this was updated regularly on the Public Health England website and advised that she would enquire as to any specific guidance for frozen food businesses. With reference to staggered start and finishing times for schools she advised that all schools would plan to mitigate the risk of infection and had been supported to devise plans that were most appropriate to their setting.


The Consultant in Public Health advised that Public Health England were working nationally with the aviation industry to ensure the correct advice and information was provided to both staff and passengers, and that appropriate contact details were obtained to assist with track and tracing in the event of an outbreak.


The Deputy Director, Adult Social Services addressed the issue of care homes by stating that whilst the importance of maintaining family contact was acknowledged the challenges that COVID-19 had on the ability of sites in maintaining this was recognised. He described that regular contact was made with individual settings and providers to ensure they were adequately supported at this time. He advised that care homes had facilitated visits in a number of imaginative ways, such as using video calls, supporting visits at a safe distance where appropriate and facilitating socially distant visits in parks. He advised that good practice would continue to be shared between sites to help support this activity. In regard to the specific issue raised by a Member he advised that this would be looked into following the meeting, adding that staff absence could impact on a settings ability to safely manage and facilitate a visit.


The Executive Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing advised the Committee that she was pleased to advise that there had been no significant issues reported over the bank holiday weekend. She paid tribute to the residents of the city for adhering to the lockdown restrictions and thanked all of the staff working in the Public Health team for effectively communicating key messages.


The Executive Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing advised that the 10 Point COVID-19 Action Plan helped Manchester manage and respond locally, noting the importance of local decision making. She further stated that the Government needed to commit to fully resourcing all local Council’s in recognition of the financial demands and pressures COVID-19 had placed on already pressured budgets.




To note the report.


[Cllr Wills declared a personal and non prejudicial interest as he is employed by the Manchester Metropolitan University.]


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