Agenda item

Health Protection Board - Covid-19 Response and Recovery Issues


Mr Dan Kennedy, the Council’s Director Planning, Environment, Education and Community Services, advised that the rates of COVID-19 infection had been steadily reducing since the publication of this report and was now at 68.8 per 100k population.  This had been lower than the London average of 74.6 per 100k population.  Measures that had been put in place had been working but it would be important to not become complacent. 


Work had been undertaken to understand the trends with regard to infection rates in the Borough.  It was suggested that the infection rates had slowed since the closure of schools as households were no longer mixing at the school gates.  Data had indicated that outbreaks were often geographically clustered and were likely to have resulted from households mixing. 


The Health Protection Board continued to meet on a monthly basis.  Hillingdon had achieved its vaccination target by 14 February 2021 and performance had been better than the other areas in North West London. 


Although the focus had been on the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination, there had previously been a huge effort to increase the take up of the flu vaccination.  Although the target had been to achieve around 70% take up, Hillingdon had achieved more than 95% for the over 80s. 


Intelligence had been received with regard to areas and groups with lower levels of take up of the COVID-19 vaccination.  Action could therefore be targeted to encourage these individuals to have the vaccination.  Joint working had been undertaken between health partners and the local authority with around 150 faith and community leaders.  Some of these leaders had made videos for their communities to allay fears and rebut myths and some had offered their premises for use as vaccination centres.  The current focus was on a speedy roll out of the vaccine.  As such, the work being undertaken with faith and community leaders would be key. 


Community Champions were being recruited and marshals were being deployed to provide advice and guidance.  Public Health had been providing advice and support and social care had also been providing support to care providers in the Borough. 


Contact testing and tracing had been well established in the Borough.  Since it had started, the Council had tracked more than 2,000 residents to ensure that they were abiding by the guidelines. 


Partners had been quick to respond to outbreaks of COVID-19 across the Borough and enforcement action had been taken when needed.  Meetings continued to be held three times each week with the police and approximately 100 fixed penalty notices had been issued for COVID rule breaches. 


Mr Kennedy advised that Healthwatch Hillingdon had undertaken a survey to understand the fears and concerns that would prevent residents from having the vaccine.  The results of this survey had been shared with North West London to address these concerns and inform future publicity.  For those residents who had been concerned that the vaccine was not safe, further information had been provided and the take up had increased as a result.  As Sipson had been identified as an area with lower testing, a targeted letter and information drop had been undertaken in the area which had resulted in a step change increase over the previous weekend with regard to the take up of testing.  Engagement and early intervention appeared to be working. 


RESOLVED: That the work to date and underway by the Council and Board Members to prevent and control the spread of the COVID-19 virus be noted.

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