New Covid response service plans to be outlined by county council

Nottinghamshire County Council is to set out plans for a dedicated Covid-19 response service which, if approved, will operate over the next 24 months.

Sunday, 6th June 2021, 2:00 pm

The Government’s Contain Framework sets out the responsibility which local authorities must continue to exercise for the prevention and management of Covid-19 outbreaks in their areas.

National ring-fenced funding has been made available to local authorities.

The county council has published its Local Outbreak Management Plan and is putting arrangements in place to meet the new requirement.

New plans about how Nottinghamshire will be able to move forward post-pandemic are to be discussed soon by the county council.

The adult social care and public health committee will meet on June 14 to consider the Covid-19 response service and its role in delivering the Local Outbreak Management Plan as the council shapes Nottinghamshire’s recovery and builds resilience following the pandemic.

The Covid-19 response service will deliver public health activities that ‘seek to prevent, reduce and contain infection’.

This work will include acting to protect people’s health, supporting people to protect themselves, their families and their communities and building confidence by sharing information, communicating and engaging with residents.

Services which will be involved in supporting the Covid-19 response service include: dedicated Public Health Covid-19 response team, community symptomatic and asymptomatic testing, swabbing services for community testing, doorstep contract tracing services, data analysis and outbreak investigation and communications and engagement.

Coun Boyd Elliott, chairman of the adult social care and public health committee said: “Over the last 18 months or so, thanks to the efforts of our colleagues, Public Health England, partners across the Local Resilience Forum and volunteers, we have collectively addressed and responded to Covid-19 outbreaks in multiple settings and locations.

“Through our community hub we have assisted those who have had to shield, we’ve supported staff and residents in our care homes and home care settings and developed a community testing offer. We have seen the development of vaccines and our NHS colleagues have administered more thanr 900,000 vaccinations.

“We’ve said in our Local Outbreak Management Plan that even with the widespread uptake of effective vaccines, Covid-19 will continue to circulate for some time to come. So, we need to put arrangements in place to ensure that people can live safely whilst avoiding the need for general lockdowns.

“This is what the Covid-19 response service will help us to achieve. It will help us to remain on the front foot through its monitoring, surveillance, testing, contact tracing, infection control, engagement and other activities and have the right resources in place to address any emerging issues.”

It is proposed the Covid-19 service be funded by the national Test and Trace Grant and Contain Outbreak Management Fund, at a cost of approximately £6,480,276 over two years.

The service will include 41.3 FTE posts.

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