Agenda item

Public Health Report

An update from the Executive Director of Adult Social Care and Public Health, (Gloucestershire County Council), on matters relating to public health, including an update on the response to the COVID-19 Emergency.


A Covid-19 intelligence summary update will be circulated prior to the meeting to provide members with the latest data and information.


The committee received an update from the Executive Director of Adult Social Care and Public Health, (Gloucestershire County Council), on matters relating to public health, including an update on the response to the COVID-19 Emergency. To view the full report, please refer to the link here


Gloucestershire Vaccine Equity Programme

A key aspect of the public health report was a detailed presentation from Katie Hopgood Public Health Consultant and Oonagh Wilson from NHS Gloucestershire Health Care on the Gloucestershire Vaccine Equity Programme. The slides from the power-point presentation are attached to the published minutes of the meeting. The committee welcomed the in-depth presentation and commended the success of the Gloucestershire Vaccine Equity Programme.


The Public Heath report included updates on key public health services delivered by the Prevention, Wellbeing and Communities team, including: -  


Sexual Health Services – members noted information on the impact of the pandemic on sexual reproductive health in Gloucestershire, including the 38% decrease in the diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections during 2019/20. This decrease is comparable with the 32% decrease in England for the same period. It was suggested that the decrease may have been due to changes in behaviour during the lockdown period and a reduction of people accessing or being tested.


Drugs and Alcohol Services – the committee to receive a more in-depth report on adult community drug and alcohol services and the new drug strategy later in the year.


Childhood Obesity and Weight Management Services – the committee to receive a detailed update on the Gloucestershire Child Measurement Programme at the joint committee meeting on 8 March 2022. Members of the Children and Families Scrutiny Committee will be notified of the presentation and invited to join the meeting via remote access to observe the meeting/listen to the discussion on this item. Action by – Jo Moore


Domestic Abuse – under the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, all Tier 1 local authorities have a statutory duty to provide support to the victims of domestic abuse, (and their children), residing in refuge and other domestic abuse safe accommodation. Tier 2 local authorities are required to co-operate with Tier 1 authorities to support delivery of the statutory duty. Gloucestershire County Council, (and its partners), have made good progress in delivering their responsibilities, including the establishment of a multi-agency Domestic Abuse Local Partnership Board (LPB). The County Council will prepare an annual report on the investment required to fulfil the requirements of the new legislation and the impact of the services provided.


Council Motion 890 – Domestic Abuse (please click here for details of the motion)


At the Council meeting on 8 December 2022, it was resolved that the members of the Adult Social Care and Communities Scrutiny Committee and the Children and Families Scrutiny Committee consider the Domestic Abuse Needs Assessment for Gloucestershire and the Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Strategy.


In particular, the two committees were asked to scrutinise the Council’s partnership work on ensuring sufficient accommodation and support is provided for victims seeking safe accommodation, including refuge accommodation.


The committee noted the request, with a suggestion that Ruth Saunders, (Director of Communities at Gloucester City Council and Chair of the County Strategic Housing Group), be invited to attend a meeting of the Adult Social Care and Communities Scrutiny Committee, along with the GCC Commissioners responsible for the delivery of the council’s domestic abuse services. The officers to respond to questions on how the provision of accommodation for the victims of domestic abuse link with the district council’s housing statutory duties.


In addition, it was suggested that, at a future meeting of the committee, a further update be provided to enable the committee to formulate a view in response to the issues raised by Council Motion 890. The members of the Children and Families Scrutiny Committee will be invited to attend the (ASCC) meeting for consideration of this item. Actions by – Executive Director for ASC and Public Health/Jo Moore


Covid-19 Update

Prior to presentation of the Public Health report, members noted the most recent Covid-19 intelligence summary, (circulated prior to the meeting), and a separate update on the county’s response to Covid-19.


Noting the update, members commended the recent response to the Omicron variant and the acceleration of the booster vaccination in Gloucestershire. It was reported that, following the expansion of the vaccination programme, there had been a local call to action to boost capacity at vaccination sites with the use of volunteers across the system and an extension of the existing vaccine inequalities outreach programme. One member requested updates/links to the various vaccination drop in sessions being arranged around the county to enable councillors to cascade the information to district colleagues. The request was noted, supplemented by a recommendation to visit the Covid-19 information and advice webpage on the GCC website for details of vaccination centre locations and other Covid-19 useful information.


The Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Trust continued to deliver Gloucestershire’s outreach programme throughout December and during the Christmas holiday period to those communities and individuals unable to access the vaccination programme via the Primary Care Network. This included home visits, homelessness settings, drugs and alcohol settings, police custody suites and asylum seekers, in addition to people with learning disabilities and mental health issues.


Members noted the government guidance published in December 2021 in relation to self isolation and testing and requested an update on the impact of the easing of restrictions later in the year. Action by – Public Health Team


The report, including the update on the county’s response to Covid-19 was noted.

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