Venue: Remote - To be held remotely via Zoom - https://www.youtube.com/user/NottCityCouncil. View directions
Contact: Jane Garrard Senior Governance Officer
Apologies for absence
Kate Meynell – Steve Cooper attended as a substitute
Declarations of Interests for agenda items 3-8
To confirm the Minutes of the public section of the meeting held on 10 November 2020
The Board approved the minutes of the public section of the meeting held on 10 November 2020 as an accurate record.
Nottingham's Outbreak Control Plan update
Alison Challenger, Director of Public Health, gave an update on the Outbreak Control Plan. She highlighted the following information:
a) There have been 752 cases in the last seven days, which is a rate of 225.9 per 100,000. This is an improving position compared with a rate of 270.7 per 100,000 population for the previous seven days, and below the national rate of 240 per 100,000 population.
b) The rate of infection has reduced in most adult age groups.
c) Public Health England has made some changes to the way in which cases are recorded so that it records the location of the individual at the point of testing rather than their location according to their NHS patient record. This change was made on 16 November and will be applied retrospectively to data since 1 September. Locally this means that the peak of cases was even higher than previously thought.
d) The local Covid-19 dashboard is now available on the Council’s website. It is updated daily and will replace the weekly surveillance reports. Further developments and improvements to the dashboard are being explored.
e) Details of which tier Nottingham City will be placed in at the end of the national lockdown are awaited.
Board Member updates
a) Environmental Health
b) Nottinghamshire Police
Paul Dales, Safer Business, Food and Health and Safety Manager, Nottingham City Council, gave an update on the work of the Environmental Health, Community Protection and Trading Standards Teams. He highlighted the following information:
a) Between 5 - 22 November, 272 business compliance checks were carried out with an additional 19 compliance visits undertaken in response to complaints. From these compliance checks, 23 businesses were found to be non-compliant and corrective actions were enabled, usually at the time of the visit. There have also been 35 business requests for advice about the regulations and associated issues. There have been 80 complaints received, primarily relating to allegations of non-Covid secure business environments. During this period 1 Fixed Penalty Notice has been issued and there is 1 pending.
b) There has been a shift in focus from the hospitality to the retail sector, as much of the hospitality sector is currently closed.
c) Discussions have taken place with sectors who have tried to use the exemptions to remain open e.g. selling hardware. The issues have been explored with businesses to ensure a consistent application of the rules. Where necessary this has been supported by the Trading Standards Team.
d) Nationally there is discussion about whether spectators will be allowed to return to attending sporting events. In preparation for this potentially being allowed, work is taking place with local sporting venues to consider how they would manage this in line with the associated guidance.
Steven Cooper gave an update on the work of Nottinghamshire Police, highlighting the following information:
e) In the week up to 22 November there were 100 Covid-related incidents, mainly gatherings of too many people, individuals not self-isolating and individuals not wearing face coverings when required to do so, although there has been a significant improvement in compliance on this.
f) 100 Fixed Penalty Notices of £200 fines were issued, mostly to white men under 30 years. This increase in Notices issued reflects that following the considerable amount of advice and engagement work that has been undertaken, there is now a move towards greater enforcement. Individuals are still given opportunity to comply but if they don’t, then enforcement powers will used earlier.
g) Routine work is continuing, with night-time economy patrols taking place. There have only been a couple of calls related to licensed premised and generally there is a very high compliance with the restrictions.
h) There have been two protests managed recently. One which caused no disturbance and another that was dispersed without any Notices being issued.
i) Preparations are taking place for the end of the national lockdown on 2 December and preparations for the December/ Christmas period are underway, although it will be very different from previous years.
Amanda Sullivan gave an update from a health perspective, highlighting the following information:
j) The number of new hospital admissions has decreased but those who have been admitted are significantly unwell, and there are still high rates of admissions. There were 310 admissions related to Covid-19 in the ... view the full minutes text for item 127.
Local Testing Strategy
Mandy Clarkson, Consultant in Public Health, updated the Board on the local testing strategy. She highlighted the following information:
a) There are two main strands of testing: symptomatic and asymptomatic.
b) There is a national testing strategy for symptomatic testing, that those with symptoms should book a test. These tests are processed under Pillar 2 testing at a laboratory (part of a national network of laboratories) and are accurate. There is a regional testing site at County Hall, a network of seven local testing sites, a mobile testing site that is moved around the City depending on need and community testing will be introduced over the next few weeks.
c) The capability and capacity of symptomatic testing is good and there has recently been excess capacity so individuals should not have a problem accessing testing. Laboratory capacity has also increased.
d) Asymptomatic testing is done with the use of lateral flow devices, which are processed on site and give rapid results (within 20-30 minutes). The speed of results is beneficial but the results are less accurate and a positive result needs to be confirmed by the more accurate test.
e) The Director of Public Health has been allocated an initial allocation of 10,000 lateral flow tests and a further 33,000 tests per week can be applied for. This would cover approximately 10% of the population.
f) Nottingham University Hospitals Trust and Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust are testing staff weekly.
g) There are a number of asymptomatic testing pilots taking place across the country, covering residential care settings, primary care, emergency services, community care and mental health and the wider NHS. Locally, learning from these pilots will be used to inform decisions about how best to use the allocation of tests.
During the subsequent discussion there was a question about promotion of community testing options and it was confirmed that the Testing Co-ordination Cell is looking at the logistical arrangements and working is taking place through the Council’s colleagues working in local communities and other local networks e.g. faith communities and community groups to make citizens aware.
Covid-19 Vaccination Plan
Sarah Carter, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, gave an update on the Covid Vaccination Plan. She highlighted the following information:
a) There have recently been a number of positive announcements about the potential of forthcoming Covid vaccines, and a range of companies are reporting high efficacy rates. There are currently at least seven vaccines in development.
b) The Government has instructed the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to review these vaccines with a view to approval.
c) Work is taking place in parallel to this approval process to prepare for delivery of a vaccine, which will need to take place on an unprecedented scale.
d) Across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, approximately 1.3 – 1.4 million vaccines will need to be delivered over a concentrated timeline.
e) Prioritisation of who will receive the vaccine first is being developed. The highest priority is likely to be older adults in residential settings, those aged over 80 and health and social care workers, those aged over 75, those aged over 70, those aged over 65, high risk individuals under 65 years, moderate risk individuals under 65 years, and then age cohorts down to 18 years.
f) A collaborative system plan is being developed, aligned to national plans. There will be one vaccine supply and two mass vaccination sites, in addition to satellite vaccination sites, roving vaccination delivery and delivery at GP practices.
g) Work is underway to recruit people to support with delivery.
h) The aim is to have arrangements in place by 1 December and to start administering the vaccine on 9 December, assuming an approved vaccine is available.
During the subsequent discussion the following points were raised:
i) Some population groups, such as older people, may find it difficult to go to vaccination sites. There will be roving services to support housebound individuals, but one of the challenges with this is that some vaccines have to be stored in very specific conditions e.g. at very low temperatures which makes transportation very difficult.
j) Work is taking place through primary care networks to ensure a local primary care offer for delivery.
k) There needs to be strong communications to ensure that people know what to do if they can’t access a testing site.
l) There is potential for confusion amongst the public about the different vaccines, alongside concerns about potential side effects. This is acknowledged and work is taking place to try and address this.
Looking ahead - 'end of lockdown'
Councillor Sally Longford, Chair of the Board, outlined current thinking on looking ahead towards the end of the national lockdown on 2 December. She highlighted the following points:
a) At the end of the national lockdown, areas will be placed in the strengthened tier system.
b) Areas will be allocated to a tier based on local data about pressures on hospitals, infection rates and trends in infection rates and levels of positivity.
c) Nottingham is not expected to be in tier 1 but, given the economic benefits, it would be good for Nottingham to be in the lowest tier possible.
d) Previously each area was able to negotiate its own restrictions but this time the same restrictions will be consistent across tiers.
e) Once Nottingham’s tier is announced, there will be communications about the restrictions that apply locally.
f) Tiers will be reviewed every 14 days.
g) Exceptions will be made for the Christmas period and further details of this are awaited.
h) There has generally been a high level of compliance with the restrictions in place by Nottingham citizens. This has been hard so thank you to everyone.
During the subsequent discussion the following points were made:
i) Local leaders know their area best and it is disappointing that they have no influence over their own restrictions.
j) The geography over which a tier will be applied is not yet known.
k) The Council has written to the relevant Minister asking for the guidance for universities to be updated on the arrangements for the start of term as soon as possible.
Exclusion of the public to move into the confidential section of the meeting
The Board agreed to exclude the public to move into the confidential section of the meeting.
Declarations of Interests for agenda items 11-13
See Confidential Minutes
To confirm the Minutes of the confidential section of the meeting held on 10 November 2020
See Confidential Minutes
Situational round up
See Confidential Minutes
Covid-19 Vaccination Plan
See Confidential Minutes