Agenda and minutes

Venue: Teams Meeting

Contact: Karen Strahan  Email:

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No. Item



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The Chair reported the retirement of Rhys Roberts (Visit Devon) and appointment of Simon Fishwick and asked that a letter of thanks be sent to Rhys for his service to the Board. 


Notes of the Previous Board Meeting pdf icon PDF 347 KB

To approve the notes from the meeting of the 15 March 2022

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The notes of the previous Board meeting on 15 March 2022 were endorsed.


Urgent Items from the Health Protection Board

The Director of Public Health or their representative to report.

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

escalation from the Health Protection Board.



Report / Presentation from the Health Protection Board pdf icon PDF 1 MB

A Report from the Health Protection Board on current issues, data and matters for information.


This will focus on a number of other data sources (e.g. ONS), rather than a reliance on testing data, which has previously been the benchmark for the Board.

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The Board received a Report from the Health Protection Board on current issues, data and matters for information.


Matters included in the Report were as follows.


·         explanation of the slides (attached) relating to updated monitoring processes as a result of the introduction of LFT test charges and resulting reduction of widespread testing within the community and the Devon dashboard would be updated accordingly;

·         the new monitoring data provided by ONS Infection Surveys and as shown in the presentation slides included deaths; admissions to hospitals, and positive rates, and the divergence of the positive test data against the ONS Infection Surveys;

·         positive rates were decreasing but remained relatively high and death rates were now consistent with the seasonal average and not excessive as they had been prior to the vaccination programme; and

·         health and care staff would continue to be tested twice weekly and results reflected the community trend in line with the ONS surveys with infections remaining relatively high (1 in 12 people).       


The Board noted the position.  


The dashboard pages could be found here:


UK summary: UK Summary | Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK (

Devon Dashboard: Coronavirus dashboard and data in Devon - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus dashboard and data in Devon - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Devon detailed age breakdown: Cases in Devon | Coronavirus in the UK (

Interactive Map: Interactive map of cases | Coronavirus in the UK (



NHS Update

The Chair of the CCG or a representative to present on NHS pressures, admissions and vaccines data.

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The Chair of the Clinical Commissioning Group presented to the Board data on NHS pressures, admissions, hospitalisations and vaccines.


Of note, he highlighted that:

·         the number of positive cases in hospitals echoed community prevalence  and the majority of admissions were non-COVID-19 related, but the virus could contribute to the severity of the primary condition faced by the patient;

·         a small proportion of patients with COVID-19 was in intensive care (2 of 209 (acute Trusts) but there was a significant impact on efficiency (with the covid safety precautions in place);

·         the number of staff absences (600 across the Trusts) as a result of infections remained significant and twice weekly testing was underway and results aligned with community rates and the impact on the NHS was reducing overtime and the backlog (waiting lists) was being addressed but this remained a significant issue across the NHS;  

·         the vaccine booster programme for over 75s, care home residents and those with immune suppressed conditions was rolling-out successfully, and vaccinations for children 5-11 years was ongoing (18% to date in Devon) and was lower than other age groups but relatively high against other areas;  and

·         there were extended treatment options within acute settings which later were likely to be extended into the community.


Questions from Board Members related to:


·         community injections programmes by the NHS (in Tesco shops for example) remained in place for use for anyone eligible for a vaccination;

·         the impact in Schools with the return from half term and continued testing and positive rates were likely to reflect community prevalence (and the Director of Public Health undertook to provide more information on this);

·         the level of anti-bodies within the community (99%) and the impact of this and whilst it did not appear to prevent second or more infections it did appear to reduce significant illness; however the impact of future variants was unknown;  

·         the rate of vaccinations for children 5 – 11 years at 18%; and

·         large employers who were still voluntarily testing and there was national guidance available and whilst test suppliers were not named or signposted Employers should ensure supply from reputable and appropriate channels and Trading Standards would also be able to advise (and this should be included in communications).


AGREED that the Director of Public Health supply further information about infection rates and impacts in Devon Schools. 



Public Questions / Other Questions for the Board

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No questions were raised



Key Messages to be Communicated

The Board and Head of Communications and Media to consider any key messages to be communicated.


Messages to be agreed should focus on key public health messages whilst ‘living with COVID’.

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The Board and Head of Communications and Media considered the key messages coming from the meeting.


This included:


We may all be learning to live with Covid but it hasn’t gone away and there are still a very high number of cases across all our communities in Devon.


People need to remain mindful and continue to help in protecting others, especially the most vulnerable.


This means:


·         Staying away from other people if you feel unwell

·         Continuing with basic infection control measures such as washing hands, etc

·         Getting a jab or a booster if/when eligible


AGREED that Communications include reference to advise from national guidance and local Trading Standards for Employers continuing to test voluntarily and their suppliers.     






Date of Next Meeting

Scheduled for 24 May 2022 @ 10.00am

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Members noted the date of the next meeting as 24 May 2022 @ 10.00am