Agenda item

The Health & Wellbeing Board's role in addressing COVID-19 - including potential role relating to 'Test & Trace' - Alice Wiseman


The Board received a report and presentation on the Board’s role in addressing Covid-19.


From the presentation the Board were provided with an overview of confirmed Covid-19 cases across Gateshead by ward. It was also highlighted that recent reporting in the local press had highlighted deaths in the borough at MSOA levels; it was noted that the presence of a care home in an area can result in higher numbers of deaths. It was also highlighted that Crawcrook Greenside MSOA covers both Addison Court and Lindisfarne Chopwell nursing homes where 30 deaths had been recorded.


It was agreed that at the next meeting a more substantive update on care homes will be presented.


The Board were presented with information comparing Covid-19 deaths versus Flu deaths by age. From the presentation the Board were provided with a summary of the 7 themes related to the Outbreak Control Plan; a more detailed draft of the plan was appended to the agenda pack.


The Gateshead Covid-19 control plan approach also highlighted areas of work in policy/strategy, evidence-based prevention and the collaborative work being done for health and wellbeing. The Board acknowledged that although the pandemic is not over, joint working across partnerships is going well.


A comment was made that one amendment to the plan be made under ‘Communications’ Guiding Principles; it was noted that the first bullet point referred to ‘help to rebuild trust’.  It was suggested that this be changed to ‘help maintain trust’


It was highlighted that a Gateshead COVID Control Board will be established to take management responsibility of the Gateshead Outbreak Control framework and overall management of the local response. It was further noted that membership of this Board will include representatives of Gateshead Council, the Gateshead Housing Company, Newcastle Gateshead GGC, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, Cumbria Northumberland and Tyne and Wear Foundation Trust and Northumbria Police. It was also noted that the membership of the Health and Wellbeing Board is to be reviewed to ensure the most effective representation across partners in delivering the new Health and Wellbeing Strategy.


The Board noted that caution must be taken on the approach to test and trace arrangements. The Board were also provided with an overview of the proposed governance arrangements for the local COVID-19 Control Board


A discussion took place on inequalities across Gateshead; it was noted that those from the most deprived areas are most likely to be adversely affected by the pandemic. It was also highlighted that minority groups such as those classed as BME were higher risk. It was also stated that referrals for mental health support have become more complex in nature since the lockdown measures were introduced.


It was suggested that more work can be done on prevention. It was highlighted that care homes continue to be a high-risk area and a a pro-active approach is needed.


A comment was made noting that sub-regional work and opportunities have arisen to influence the national team about the areas of local concern. It was also stated that discussions had taken place with leaders of the North ICP on the matter. 


It was noted that the presentation and report would be taken to the Gateshead Health NHS Trust's Corporate Management Team and Gateshead Care Partnership.



(i)               Approved in principal the draft COVID control plan for Gateshead.

(ii)              Agreed the proposed governance arrangements for the local COVID-19 Control Board.

(iii)            Delegated responsibility to update the finalised plan to the Director of Public Health.

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