Agenda item

Update from the Local Outbreak Engagement Board

Sharon Kemp, Chief Executive RMBC, to provide verbal update


Sharon Kemp, Chief Executive RMBC, together with Ben Anderson, Director of Public Health, and Chris Edwards, Chief Operating Officer RCCG, gave the following verbal update on behalf of the Local Engagement Board:-


The country had gone into another national lockdown as from 4th January, 2021.  Briefings had taken place across the different partners in terms of  the new rules and guidance.  In terms of the current restrictions, Legislation had been laid until March with review periods within which allowed different restrictions to be put in place if the Government deemed it.


Rotherham Incident Management - activity continued with the Bronze Group meeting on a daily basis; this Group met with a range of partners looking at key local issues and ensured that actions was taken. 


Health Protection Board – Ben Anderson now Chaired the meeting which continued to meet weekly.  The Outbreak Engagement Board meeting every 2 weeks.


Testing Facilities - There were still 4 testing facilities in Rotherham – Midland Road, Forge Island, Dinnington and Maltby.  There was capacity within the system so no challenges were being seen within those testing centres.  A lateral flow testing facility had now opened in Riverside House.


Community Testing - Announcements had been made recently with regard to community testing focussing on those who had to go to work and were asymptomatic.  The prospectus from Government had only been received the previous evening so was currently being looked at to ascertain what was being offered to local areas and would be considered at the Local Outbreak Engagement Board.


Epidemiology – As of 6th January, the current data report showed that the case rate was 307.4 per 100,000 down on the previous 2 days i.e. 326 cases as of  4th January. 


This level put Rotherham mid-table for Yorkshire and Humber and in the bottom 25% nationally.


With regard to the over 60’s, the rate was 250.6 per 100,000, significantly lower than the national average but still a high rate and the age group which put most of the pressure on to the Trust.  However, there were very high rates in younger adults.  Currently the average age of patients in the Trust was in the high 50 age group rather than the over 60’s.


Prevalence of the new variant of Covid in Rotherham – Data received from Public Health England this week showed that at the end of December up to ¼ of Rotherham’s cases were of the new variant.  It was really important for the Board to be aware that the new variant was in Rotherham but not the most prevalent variety at the moment but, because of the evolution of the disease, it was expected to become predominant over the new few weeks/months with the effects of lockdown reducing the spread.  It was likely that the lockdown would reduce the spread of the old variant because of it being less transmissible.


All the health and social care workforce needed to be made aware of existence of the new variant as its high transmissibility rate did mean that any lapse in PPE and good Covid safe practice was more likely to have worse consequences.  That also applied to the rest of community in terms of individuals and wider workplaces, education settings etc.


Vaccinations – There were 6 vaccination sites in Rotherham – the Hospital (focussing on health and social care staff) together with 5 primary care GP-based vaccination centres – Bramley, Anston, Wath, St. Ann’s and Rawmarsh – which were patient focussed.  It was a real success story with general practices in Rotherham having done a fantastic job. 


The latest figure was that in South Yorkshire 72,000 people had been vaccinated already.


It was expected that Rotherham and South Yorkshire should be able to meet the Prime Minister’s target of all the 4 top groups vaccinated by mid-February.



That the update be noted.