Agenda and draft minutes

Outbreak Control Engagement Board
Monday, 1st November, 2021 1.30 pm

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

Contact: Emma Powley  Governance Officer

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies were received from:


Councillor Eunice Campbell Clark

Andrew Hayes

Sarah Storey



Declarations of interest (items 3-8)


Although not formally required to do so, during consideration of the minutes, Cllr Adele Williams informed the Board that a member of her family was working at one of the sites which may be referred to during the meeting. This did not preclude her from speaking.



Public Minutes pdf icon PDF 288 KB

To confrim the public minutes of the meeting held on the 28 September 2021


The minutes of the meeting held on 28 September 2021 were confirmed as a true record.



Local Outbreak Management Plan Update pdf icon PDF 165 KB


Lucy Hubber, Director of Public Health for Nottingham City Council, delivered a presentation, a copy of which is included with the initial publication of the minutes.


The following points were highlighted:


a)  case rates remained steady over summer months at around 350 per 100,000 per population which is top of the national table. However, local rates declined to the 250s during October whilst rates in other areas in country increased. Currently at 290.4 cases per 100,000,  Nottingham is now experiencing an ongoing increase in case rates, mainly in the adult age group and rising whilst in the rest of the country, rates appear to be falling;


b)  there doesn’t appear to be any outbreak connection to venues or age groups but it is vital that everyone remains vigilant as we enter the Christmas period where socialising and social contact increases;


c)  from mid-September to mid-October there was a rise in case numbers as children returned to school, particularly amongst secondary school children who were requested to test regularly. Adults case rates also increased steadily during this period, although the sharpest increase in cases was amongst those aged 60 years and over although this is quite a small group so small numbers will have a higher impact on rates. The 40 to 59-year-olds group showed the second largest increase;


d)  case rate increases appear to be linked to behaviour change and increased mobility as citizens go out and socialise more. Rates are lowest amongst the student age group of 18 to 22 years which is a very well vaccinated group within the City;


e)  testing across all ages remains consistent.


Questions from Board Members were responded to as follows;


f)  continued testing is vital. Although not specifically required, primary school children can also be tested, especially when mixing at school and socially and then returning to households with older family members who may be more at risk. Tests are still freely available, once registered online issued with the code which can be taken to pharmacies;


g)  if people are experiencing even mild symptoms such as a cough, they should take a test. The more of us who wear face coverings, the more protected we all are particularly in enclosed spaces. Vaccination is vital, if eligible, it’s is strongly suggested to accept vaccine booster.


Members made the following comments:


h)  it’s interesting how the increase is related to general transmission with behaviour changes and mixing more, particularly in indoor spaces, and not to any events. This underlines the importance of maintaining such easily adaptable measures as face coverings and regular hand washing, which previously kept transition rates low;


i)  the thanks of the Chair are passed to Councillor Adele Williams for writing to the Secretary of State requesting that control measures for public transport and in enclosed public spaces are formally imposed. Maintaining high standards is important and it’s disappointing that some of the mandatory requirements retained in Scotland, Wales, such as face coverings in enclosed public spaces, have not been retained  ...  view the full minutes text for item 310.


Board Member Update - Environmental Health

·  Environmental Health

·  NHS


Paul Dales, Environmental Health Manager, provided following update: 


a)  as previously stated, there is very little that the team can do regarding formal enforcement under the current regulations, but good practice is strongly promoted to businesses, with an emphasis on staff and customer safety to reduce the risk as much as possible;


b)  Environmental Health colleagues continue to work with Public Health colleagues to produce incident reports on premises identified as common to multiple cases, to help determine if any further targeted support or advice is required to mitigate risks;


c)  the Health and Safety Executive’s approach is also promoted regarding the at work risk for staff and customers, emphasising that businesses need to ensure they are doing all they can to prevent transmission of the virus and highlighting the potential impact on a business if affected by an outbreak.


Paul Dales responded to Board member’s concerns as follows:


d)  during of the busy period around Christmas, citizens are advised to wear face coverings where possible. If attending events they are requested to take a lateral flow test in advance and if positive, take a PCR test and self-isolate if the test is positive. Be mindful of space guidelines set by venues which are in place to protect customers, workers and the businesses;


e)  there is concern that some venues are likely to be crowded on the build up to Christmas, particularly after the financial impact of lockdown, but they still need to be mindful of space and ventilation requirements.  Environmental Health colleagues encourage businesses to continue to comply and possibly warn customers of the need for ventilation and look for their co-operation if the venue is not as warm as expected, especially as we enter the colder time of year.


Members commented that:


f)  it is a concern that wearing a face mask is a personal choice when not doing so and not following guidelines could endanger other people. Everyone needs to remember that they can carry and transmit the virus without feeling unwell themselves so we need to protect ourselves and each other by wearing face masks and testing regularly.




Board Member Update - Access to NHS asymptomatic testing - Community Collect pdf icon PDF 237 KB


Roz Howie, Covid-19 Programme Director and Senior Responsible Officer for Testing, provided a presentation updating the Board on access to symptomatic testing and the local Covid-19 testing strategy. A copy of the presentation is circulated with the initial publication of the minutes.


The following points were highlighted:


a)  within the City there are facilities for symptomatic testing (PCR), asymptomatic testing (lateral flow), with asymptomatic testing in vulnerable settings, outbreak testing, community collect, and events testing;


b)  there are 8 PCR testing sites within the City including: Winchester Street, Spondon Street, Forest Park and Ride, University Park Car Park, Duke Street Car Park, Jubilee Campus Car Park, Southglade  Leisure Centre Car Park, NTU Clifton Campus Car Park;


c)  asymptomatic testing using a lateral flow test identifies one in four of all cases reported daily and continues to be the main tool for the autumn and winter strategy in Nottingham to identify cases;


d)  the Community Collect testing strategy focuses on the disproportionally affected and underrepresented, higher risk groups;


e)  lateral flow tests are available form schools for secondary school pupils, and from 28 sites including Community Collect and testing sites. Citizens can receive a set of 7 self-test kits;


f)  community testing cannot be provided for event goers so a separate budget is applied. To date testing for 8 different events at the National Ice Arena has been supported with approximately 90 people requiring specific tests for each event;


g)  Pharmacy Collect is a separate funding stream. Previously citizens could just collect a box of testing kits, but as of 4 October, a QR code was required after online registration or from 111, before tests could be issued. However, following the expression of strong concerns that this complicates access and may deter uptake, pharmacies have now been instructed to issue tests on request, even if a QR code is not provided. This reversal has been welcomed by Health colleagues;


h)  not all pharmacies are registered to issue kits so citizens need to go online to identify those which do. Promotion of regular use and easy access to home testing kits and mobile testing sites is issued almost daily through a variety of media communication routes (including taxi drivers and doctor’s surgeries) to reach as many citizens as possible;


i)  several private workplaces across the city are registered to undertake LF 23 testing;


j)  specific community collect sites have been established to encourage engagement disproportionately impacted and underrepresented groups. These sites include, the Indian Community Centre and the Chayah Project (black Caribbean food bank), but tests are also available through services provided to housebound and physically disabled residents, such as meals at home, in addition to some Leisure Centres and Children’s Contact Centres in low uptake areas. Tests are available from all Nottingham City Council libraries;


k)  for vulnerable citizens and those with complex needs, on-site testing is available for users of the three asylum seeker hotels, the refugee hotel, domestic violence refuges, and to contact services for homeless and rough sleepers,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 312.


Vaccination programme update pdf icon PDF 366 KB


Hazel Buchanan, Associate Director of Strategic Programmes and (EPRR) Emergency Preparedness and Response Package, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG, delivered a presentation, a copy of which is circulated with the initial publication of the minutes.


The presentation highlighted the following points:


a)  with regard to hospitalisation, for the last four months, within small variations, numbers had been fairly stable but is currently rising, with 12 % of those being critical patients;


b)  cases are increasing in the age group 45-74 years of age, whilst other age groups are fairly stable;


c)  vaccination uptake has been very good, but the 20-45 year olds have seen the most resistant uptake rate although vaccination continues to be available and is promoted and  encouraged;


d)  at 15 of the 21 City and county secondary schools, vaccinations have been available to 12-15 year olds, with the remaining 6 schools scheduled for vaccinations soon. Uptake in each school varied between 19-65% so further promotion will take place at schools with the lower uptake;


e)  uptake for 16-17 year olds has been 41% with a variety of access opportunities which are available to the general population, but also including the vaccine bus visiting colleges;


f)  vaccine boosters are now available for those who received their second vaccine more than 182 days prior, initially prioritising those at higher risk or in constant contact with vulnerable citizens, such as working in care homes, with access initially by invitation to book on line or call 111;


g)  if more than the 182 days since the second vaccination, all citizens can book online or visit the Forest walk-in vaccination site where uptake has been significant at over 1,000 citizens vaccinated to date;


h)  119 pharmacies across the city and county are providing boosters;


i)  Citizens are being encouraged to have the flu vaccine, particularly those at higher risk of complications, and it is possible for some citizens to have both the flu and Covid-19 vaccinations at the same time.


Members of the Board and those in attendance commented as follows:


j)  it is a concern that the online booking system was incorrectly rejecting some citizens’ requests to book a booster, even though they had met the requirement of 182 days from their second vaccination. Not everyone refused will return if they believe they are not eligible, so the additional promotion and encouragement would be welcomed;


k)  the high uptake of 18+ young people is welcomed and it is hoped that the trend will continue with younger groups, particularly with the broader social and economic impact of Covid-19, it is crucial that we all work to get the virus under control.




Exclusion of public


Agreed to exclude the public for the remainder of the meeting.


Declarations of interest (items 10-12)


See confidential minutes.


Confidential minutes

To confrim the confidential minutes of the meeting held on the 28 September 2021



See confidential minutes.


Access to asymptomatic testing and uptake of vaccinations


See confidential minutes.