Agenda item

An update on matters impacting on the NHS and CCG, to include;


·                   Current pressures;

·                   Vaccine programme for 12-15 year olds;

·                   Booster vaccine programme; and

·                   Flu vaccine programme.


The Board received update on matters impacting on the NHS and CCG.


Current pressures


The South West had seen an increase rate in Covid admissions into hospitals, which had been steadily increasing since September, with high predicted rates for the winter season.


The Chair of the Devon CCG advised that hospitals could just about cope with 150 Covid beds if other services were cancelled; however projections showed that increasing to 200 covid beds would be more than hospitals could cope with under current resources.


All other non-Covid services were experiencing extreme pressures and facing an increase in demand.  The NHS was under more pressure now in comparison to last year and previous lockdowns, with the combination of the flu season and Covid cases putting extreme pressure on NHS workers and resources. 


It was also noted that the number of people waiting for routine operations had also risen significantly, with an extra 2,000 patients now having waited longer than a year for their appointments.


Vaccine programme for 12-15 year olds


The School immunisation Team had not yet updated the vaccination data on the health records, but was expected to do so by the end of this week. However, it was noted that they were still on target to have offered vaccines to all 12-15 year olds by end of November – the uptake was likely to be lower than anticipated, driven by positive test results for Covid as individuals could not have the vaccine for some time after being positive with Covid.  Some catch up would therefore need to take place.  The Board was advised that the large vaccination sites would be opening up to 12-15year olds during half term, rather than just waiting for school vaccinations.  These included Greendale, Homepark and the English Riviera Centre for vaccination for 12 – 15 year olds from 23 October.


Booster vaccine programme


With regard to the overall vaccination programme, data showed that there was 2 ½ times more infections in the community than in December 2020, however hospitalisation numbers were half than those seen in December 2020 – therefore the vaccination programme had had a significant impact on the numbers of people being referred to hospital with the virus, especially in over 80 category – which was very positive news.  40% of those individuals in hospital with Covid had not been vaccinated, particularly within the younger age groups.


In response to Cllr Bailey’s question: The Booster Vaccination take-up had not been as high as hoped.  There were plenty of empty slots and enough capacity to give boosters, however there had not been the numbers of people coming forward to receive them.  42% of those eligible had received their booster vaccination, appointments were still available for those 58% who had yet to receive it.  Devon County Council and the NHS were working on communications to the community to encourage individuals to come forward for their booster vaccine.


Flu vaccine programme


Up to date data on flu vaccinations was currently unavailable; however it was believed that uptake was lower than this time last year in all groups apart from health and social care workers.  This was believed to be due to less availability of vaccines and less ability to deliver vaccines, with the supply not as rapidly available as in previous years. There had also not been the usual national campaign for flu vaccination compared with previous years – affecting overall the uptake numbers.