Agenda and minutes

Outbreak Control Engagement Board
Tuesday, 9th February, 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: Remote - To be held remotely via Zoom - View directions

Contact: Jane Garrard  Senior Governance Officer

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Hugh Porter


Declarations of Interests for agenda items 3 - 7




Public Minutes pdf icon PDF 237 KB

To confirm the minutes of the public part of the meeting held on 27 January 2021


The Board approved the minutes of the public section of the meeting held on 9 February 2021 as an accurate record.


Nottingham's Outbreak Control Plan update


Alison Challenger, Director of Public Health Nottingham City Council, gave an update on Nottingham’s Outbreak Control Plan, highlighting the following information:


a)  There have been 1,113 cases in the last seven days, which is a rate of 334.3 per 100,000 population. 


b)  This compares to a rate of 347.0 per 100,000 population for the preceding seven days, so there has been a small reduction in the rate of infections.


c)  The Nottingham City rate is higher than the England rate of 222.7 per 100,000 population, and the infection rate is reducing more slowly in the City than England as a whole.  There has been a fall of 17% in the City’s infection rate since the last Board meeting, compared with a fall of 45% in England.


d)  The slight reduction and plateauing of infections has been consistent across all age groups.  The highest infection rate is in the working age population of 23-59 year olds.


During subsequent discussion the following points were made:


e)  There is no single place primarily responsible for transmission but higher rates amongst the working population mean that those individuals may transmit infection to their households.  Some industries are having significant numbers of employees having to isolate.


f)  The progress of the vaccination programme is encouraging but not sufficient yet to make a difference, so it is important that everyone continues to do as much as possible to reduce transmission by challenging themselves on the need to leave home and carrying out individual risk assessments to tighten their approach as much as possible.


g)  More information on the end of the current lockdown period is expected from Government on 22 February.  It is anticipated that if infection rates are still high then some form of restrictions will continue.



Board Member updates

a)  Nottinghamshire Police

b)  Environmental Health

c)  NHS


Steven Cooper, Nottinghamshire Police, gave an update on the work of the Police in the City since the last Board meeting.  He highlighted the following information:


a)  Since 15 January, 269 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) have been issued.  There have been 8 repeat offenders and some venues/ events with multiple people receiving FPNs. 


b)  Since the last meeting, a fine of £800 has been introduced for people attending gatherings of 15 or more people, and a number of these fines have been issued.  The most high-profile gathering was at Castle Boulevard, when 21 fines were issued.


c)  There has been a slight increase in calls regarding Covid incidents but they remain small in number.  The Police have been responding to these calls with colleagues from Trading Standards and Environmental Health Teams as appropriate.


d)  The Police have also been providing a response to medical settings when required e.g. the Police recently responded to an incident of a violent patient with Covid-19 at Queens Medical Centre. 


e)  There continues to be low staff absence rates so the Service still has flexibility to deal with normal business and respond to requirements of the pandemic as part of Operation Bion.


During subsequent discussion the following points were made:


f)  The Border Force has primary responsibility for ensuring individuals comply with the requirement to self-isolate following foreign travel.  However, if they have been unable to check on individuals, for example because the contact details they have for them are incorrect, then the Police carry out checks to make sure individuals are complying.  This activity can range from 2-35 checks per day, and generally very few breaches and attempts to avoid checks have been found.


g)  The Force does have drone capability but it has not been deployed in relation to the pandemic.


h)  The Police have a protocol for dealing with situations when they are required to enter homes or have close contact with individuals and this follows advice from Public Health England.  If officers are likely to be closer to individuals than 2metres then they wear masks, and additional personal protective equipment is available depending upon the situation.  Staff have been trained in the requirements and there is plenty of equipment available.


i)  Police officers are not in the highest priority cohorts for vaccination and this is understandable.  However, if having first made it available to health and social care staff, if there is spare vaccine available that would otherwise be wasted, some officers have been invited to get vaccinated.


Paul Dales, Chief Environmental Health Officer Nottingham City Council, gave an update on the work of the Environmental Health Team.  He highlighted the following information:


j)  The Team has been supporting investigations into outbreaks in workplaces such as day nurseries, manufacturing businesses, call centres and hotels to review risk assessments, identify any issues etc.  Businesses are often making good efforts to comply but typical issues identified include lack of social distancing, car sharing, small businesses with a number of employees from the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 179.


Local Testing Strategy update


Mandy Clarkson, Consultant in Public Health Nottingham City Council, gave an update on the Local Testing Strategy, with a focus on community and workforce asymptomatic testing.  She highlighted the following information:


a)  The asymptomatic testing programme is focused on providing testing for those people who are unable to work from home.  It is not a replacement for the standard measures of social distancing, wearing a face covering and hand washing.


b)  Apart from the national programmes, asymptomatic testing can only take place at testing sites and is not available for home use.


c)  There two pathways for asymptomatic testing: institutional testing and community testing.


d)  Institutional testing is a nationally-led programme for large organisations with a workforce of over 50 people.  There has been feedback that the requirements are onerous and can be difficult for relatively small businesses to manage and therefore this pathway is best suited for large organisations.


e)  Community testing is carried out at local community testing sites.  Local authorities have been asked to focus community testing on population groups at higher risk or groups that are less likely to get tested.  The first such site opened in the City at Djanogly Leisure Centre on 20 January.  Accessing testing at such sites is more suitable for small businesses, self-employed people and sole traders etc. 


f)  Anyone in the City can get tested at Djanogly Leisure Centre.  It is open 9:30am to 6:30pm Monday to Friday and 9:30am to 2:30pm on Saturday.


g)  There are currently four community testing sites in Nottinghamshire County and more are planned.  City residents can get tested at a site in the County if that is more accessible for them.


h)  There was initially a slow start to testing at Djanogly Leisure Centre, possibly due to levels of awareness and understanding about what was available.  So far testing at the site has identified 17 people with the virus who might not otherwise have been identified.  Early evidence shows that the site is reaching those people who have been targeted: 81% of those attending are employed (the most common sectors are Nottingham City Council, education and manufacturing); and 25% of those attending live in the NG5 postcode area.  For those whose ethnicity is recorded, 16% attending are from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.  Of those attending for a second test, 68% plan to get tested regularly.


i)  In addition to the community testing site at Djanogly Leisure Centre, the first vulnerable user setting opened on 25 January at London Road Hostel.  A similar approach will be extended to other settings soon.


j)  The next steps in the programme are to extend community testing sites to Clifton, the Meadows and Top Valley/ Bestwood.  The location of sites is informed by demographic information and data about positivity rates.  Four other testing sites in Nottinghamshire County are also planned.


k)  Local businesses are also being supported to test their own workforce where they can or encourage employees to access the community testing network.


During subsequent discussion  ...  view the full minutes text for item 180.


Local Covid-19 Vaccination Plan update


Sarah Carter, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, gave an update on the Covid-19 Vaccination Plan.  She highlighted the following information:


a)  Letters inviting people to book a vaccination appointment have been sent out to all those in the top four priority cohorts.


b)  As of 7 February, 186,000 vaccinations had been delivered across the system and delivery is on track to meet the national target for vaccinating those in the top four priority cohorts.


c)  At close of play on 7 February, in the City 81% of over 80s had been vaccinated; 77% of over 75s had been vaccinated; 63% of over 70s had been vaccinated and all residents in older adult care homes had been vaccinated (or there were plans for the roving service to deliver a vaccination if they had been unable to due to infection prevention and control measures in place).


d)  Nottinghamshire County Council Contact Centre is contacting those in eligible cohorts who have not yet received, or booked to receive the vaccine.


e)  Later this week the next cohort will be contacted about booking their vaccination appointment.


f)  Over 50,000 appointments were available across the City and County during the following week.


g)  An Equalities Group has been established to review uptake data, identify areas of low uptake and make recommendations for increasing uptake through hyper-local solutions.  This may include use of a roving service, pop-up clinics and support with pharmacy applications to deliver the vaccine. 


During subsequent discussion the following points were raised:


h)  It was always known that there would be variable levels of take-up and some of the reasons for that were predictable.


i)  All housebound individuals should have received letters about the options available to them and GPs are also contacting individuals who they know may face particular difficulties.  The roving service is currently in operation and individuals can contact the Nottinghamshire County Contact Centre about accessing this.


j)  Vaccination rates in the City have been lower than elsewhere in the country.  Progress is being made every day but as numbers of unvaccinated people in a particular cohort become smaller it becomes more difficult to continue delivering vaccines at the same rate.  It isn’t expected that a 100% vaccination rate of all those in the top four priority groups will be achieved – the aim is to get mid-90% vaccinated by the national target date.  There are sufficient appointments and vaccine to achieve this.


k)  There may be challenges in understanding information, booking appointments and responding to reminder calls for those who do not speak English as a first language.   


l)  It is good to have City-specific data on vaccinations and it was confirmed that this can be made available on a regular basis.


m)  When they receive their first vaccination, everyone gets a date for their second vaccination appointment and capacity for delivering second vaccines is built into the programme plan.


n)  Voluntary sector organisations were asked if they had any workers eligible to be in the Priority Cohort  ...  view the full minutes text for item 181.


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 10 - 13


See Confidential Minutes


Confidential Minutes

To confirm the minutes of the confidential section of the meeting held on 27 January 2021


See Confidential Minutes


Situational roundup


See Confidential Minutes


Local Testing Strategy update


See Confidential Minutes


Local Covid-19 Vaccination Plan update


See Confidential Minutes