COVID Outbreak Plans – Mutual Aid in Yorkshire and the Humber

21 July 2020

Local First

Although they cover the same ground, the Outbreak Control Plans (PCPs) of each upper tier local authority are all tailored to the specific contexts of their localities. They are based on detailed community understanding and the use of established networks, as well as the mechanisms of testing, contact tracing, communications, and interventions specific to the nature of outbreaks.

They set out outbreak responses that are led by DsPH and their teams, working with local authority officer and member colleagues, PHE regional specialists, and local networks.

The need for cross-border collaboration

Outbreaks are likely to extend across local authority boundaries. The PHE monitoring and mapping work will ensure that the relevant geographies and linkages are identified.

When there is a need, there will be immediate collaboration between neighbouring local authorities, led by the relevant DsPH. The LRF Strategic Control Group will also be briefed, via the lead Chief Executive.

Sharing learning and effective practice

The region will ensure that learning is shared as experience is gained, through:
· discussion mediated through ADPH structures
· use of the weekly Track, Trace and Contain Co-ordinating Group and the digest it distributes
· use of the fortnightly Chief Executives COVID discussions

The Regional DHSC/JBC/PHE team will ensure that details of relevant national webinars are shared.

Yorkshire and Humber shared learning and discussion webinars will be organised by LGA colleagues, following a programme which responds to local consultations.

Mutual aid and surge capacity

Where the nature of an outbreak calls for responses that can draw on specialist knowledge of contexts and successful practice, DsPH will call first on their regional ADPH and PHE colleagues to find sources of expertise and direct help. Where appropriate the call will be extended through that route to national networks

The nature of outbreaks – their scale, their intensity, their timelines – may be such as to require resources beyond those that can be mobilised locally through the OCP processes. When it is clear that such circumstances are being reached, there is commitment to mutual aid across the region, managed through a geographically-based hierarchy:

  • The first level of response will be co-ordinated by the relevant LRF SCG, via the LA Chief Executive representative
  • If support is required from beyond the relevant LRF, it will be arranged through the T,T&C Coordinating Group, working with the ADPH
  • If PHE surge support is required, this will be arranged with the Regional PHE Director
  • National resources, if necessary, will be sought via the DHSC Regional Convenor and Regional PHE Director

Longer term attrition and resilience

However well an outbreak is being managed by the local team responsible for the OCP, there are likely to be impacts over time on the resilience, effectiveness, and well-being of key individuals. It is important that these impacts are watched for – primarily by the Local Authority Chief Executive as part of their constant management and leadership responsibilities.

Where there is concern, that can be shared with the DHSC Regional Convenor and his colleagues – confidentially if that is appropriate. Every effort will be made to ensure an effective response, drawing on the wider resources with in the LRF and region in the first instance.

(Adopted by the Y&H Test, Trace and Contain Coordinating Group: 17 July 2020)

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