Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Notes of the Previous Board Meeting pdf icon PDF 628 KB

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The notes of the previous Board meeting on 29th July 2020 were endorsed.


Feedback / Urgent Items from the Health Protection Board

The Deputy Director of Public Health to report.

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The Deputy Director of Public Health advised that there were no urgent items for

escalation from the Health Protection Board.


Local and National Updates

The Deputy Director of Public Health to report.

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The Deputy Director of Public Health advised on the recent announcements relating to locally supported contract tracing. This had been a change in national direction from Public Health England (PHE) to enhancing local support.


There were a number of Local Authorities who were in pilot schemes across the country, although Devon was not part of those.


He advised that there had been excellent working relationships with Public Health England colleagues and that the South West was doing well with contact tracing. This was also the case in more complex settings such as schools.


There were no further local updates to report.


Covid-19 Statistics and Analysis

The Consultant in Public Health to present.

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The Consultant in Public Health presented the new public dashboard, and Board Members noted that the Council’s coronavirus webpages included the link.


Points of note from the presentation included;


  • that information from a number of sources had been brought into the dashboard;
  • that the data covered Devon, Torbay, Plymouth and Cornwall;
  • the data included the latest weekly figures including confirmed cases, deaths and cases per 100,000 as well as cumulative totals to date and trends over time;
  • the ability to look at data per district area, which showed there had been no clusters of infection to date and the cases seemed to be isolated (i.e not linked);
  • the pages also referenced other data sources for further interrogation such as that from Public Health England and ONS for example; and
  • all of the information and data was therefore in the public domain and accessible.


Members of the Board commented that the data was very reassuring, particularly in advance of schools fully opening and thanked officers for their hard work in this area.


The pages could be found here and feedback was welcomed from Board Members.


Devon County Council Coronavirus Live Website

Head of Communications and Media to present.

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The Head of Digital Communications presented the Council’s current Coronavirus Live Website.


He commented that he had been an evolution to where it was now and reflected the move to local management with the website at the centre of the Council’s communications.


There had been three strands to those communications of prevention, trust and confidence and a strong message that Devon was ready to respond rapidly to any outbreak or situation.


The previous agenda item had covered the data element which had been introduced some two weeks previous. There was signposting from the home page of the website so it was very clear in terms of the direction and navigation. 


The Head of Digital Communications further reported that Devon and one of the first Authorities to publish their Local Outbreak Management Plan online and had received recognition from national leads for this.


As part of the website, there was a section ready for any outbreak details. This outbreak box led into maps and other spatial information and allowed the public to search by postcode for any issues in their neighbourhood. Following on from that, if there was an area with an outbreak, then there was targeted information available to those people.


Work was ongoing to ensure data and information was available in different languages as well as information for particular sectors and communities.


Members of the Board commented on the high quality nature of the site and asked questions around the usage statistics and how this might be monitored as well as accessibility and the work in term of search optimisation and all the other communication strands that formed part of the whole strategy, for example social media and press releases.


The Head of Digital Communications thanked the Board for their kind comments and invited feedback of any areas where improvement could be made.


Communications Standards Operating Procedures

Head of Communications and Media to update.

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The Head of Communications and Media gave an update on the Communications Standing Operating Procedures, highlighting that this was work in progress, but would address how communication might work across different scenarios and sectors, learning lessons from elsewhere and taking best practice.


It would also highlight various roles and responsibilities as well as key players in different settings and at different stages of a proves.


The Communications Standing Operating Procedures had been drafted but were currently being tested.


Agreed – that the Communications Standing Operating Procedures would be brought to a future board meeting for discussion and endorsement.


Public Questions / Questions for the Board

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Other questions raised for the Board included;


  • what information (intelligence) was required from the community and how that would be done;
  • an understanding of what scenario planning was going on in relation to schools and colleges and other educational settings; and
  • 'softer intelligence' gathering – and the use of data for those symptomatic, but not tested as positive.


Key Messages to be Communicated

Head of Communications and Media to report.

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Key messages to be communicated from the 12th August 2020, included:


·         there hadn’t been much change in the last two weeks with cases low and no linked cases;

·         work continued on the standing operating procedures working with local data and intelligence;

·         continuation of the joint partnership working and to keep this up, given the benefits that had been realised;

·         a core message was that Devon would not hesitate to take proportionate local action if this was needed;

·         the importance of children returning to school and the ongoing work with transport and headteachers;

·         in relation to the tourism industry, there was close working for good practices to be in place, ensuring compliance and the targeting of businesses in any hotspots and at all times respect for local host communities; and

·         for health, the NHS was open for business and it was important that people kept appointments, particularly for matters such as tests and scans.


Date of Next Meeting

Scheduled for 26 August 2020 @ 11.00am

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Members noted the date of the next meeting as 26 August 2020 @ 11.00am