Agenda item - Chair's Communications

skip navigation and tools

Agenda item

Chair's Communications

The Chair of the Board will start the meeting with a short update on recent developments on health and wellbeing.


11.1    The newly appointed Chair, Councillor Shanks welcomed  those attending the meeting, commended the work of Councillor Moonan during her period in the Chair and outlined the housekeeping arrangements in place for the effective running of this virtual skype meeting.


          Covid 19 – Current Position


11.2    The Chair thanked everyone who has been playing their part to support a healthier, stronger and safer city. Whilst the number of cases across the city remained low. here compared to other areas of the UK it was important for everyone to continue to help control the virus in every way that they could. Those present would hear more about the current Covid position and the Local Outbreak Control Plan as separate items elsewhere on that afternoon’s agenda.


11.3    The Chair took the opportunity to remind everyone to practise good hygiene, with regular hand washing and using hand sanitiser whenever people were out. Although there had been some confusion around the exact distance we should be keeping, she wanted to encourage everyone to still maintain 2m distance from others not in their households wherever they could and at least 1m otherwise. Face coverings must now be worn in shops as well as on public transport and in our hospitals, for everyone who is able to. It was important to remember however that some people were not able to wear one and it is not always obvious why, so it was necessary to be understanding of that.


          NHS Test and Trace


11.4    It was essential that anyone who developed any of the symptoms of Covid-19 took a test immediately and self-isolated at home. The quicker people who may have been at risk of infection could be identified, the more effectively we could reduce the spread of the virus. Whilst some people had concerns around the NHS Test and Trace service contact tracing was not new. It was a well-established method of preventing and controlling outbreaks from measles and TB through to sexually transmitted infections. Information would be handled sensitively and confidentially. If people were contacted by Test and Trace it was important that the advice given was followed as this was the best way to look after yourself and your loved ones, and also to protect the city’s most vulnerable communities.


          Shielding Guidelines – Easing


11.5    As everyone was heading out more, the restrictions for the clinically extremely vulnerable residents who were asked to shield back in March had also been gradually easing. They could now:


          gather in groups of up to six outdoors with distancing;

          create a support bubble with one other household if you live alone or are a single parent;


          From 1 August they could also:


          visit shops and places of worship, with distancing;

          return to work, if they could not work from home and the workplace was covid-secure;

          Although government support was coming to an end at the end of July, extra help was still available locally for those who needed it from our community advice and support hub.


Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment – Closure of Boots 119-120 London Road


11.6    The Chair stated that she wished to give a detailed update on this matter. A report was submitted to the Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) 10th September 2019 as part of its Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) responsibilities. The report updated the HWB following the previous information in July 2019 that the Boots in the London Road was moving premises from its current address to across the London Road. The PNA was a comprehensive statement of the need for pharmaceutical services of the population in its area. The National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013 (“the Regulations”) set out the legislative basis and requirements of the Health and Wellbeing Board for developing and updating the PNA as well as the responsibility of NHS England in relation to “market entry”.NHS England holds the contract for community pharmacy. By the NHS Pharmaceutcial and Local Pharmaceutical Services Regulations, the provision of NHS Pharmaceutical Services in community pharmacies is a controlled market. If an applicant wants to provide NHS pharmaceutical services, they are required to apply to NHS England (NHSE) to be included on a pharmaceutical list. Since April 2013 pharmaceutical lists are compiled and held by NHSE. NHSE will use the PNA when making decisions on applications.


11.7    HWBs have the requirement under the regulations to carry out and publish a PNA for its population at least every three years and publish supplementary statements stating any changes to local pharmaceutical services. Due to the impact of the COVID19 pandemic on local authorities, the national requirement for the next PNA to be published in 2021 had been extended to 2022.


11.8    At the July 2019 HWB meeting Public Health advised that this relocation did not represent a gap in provision because the relocation was 100 metres across the same road and would provide the same level of service and opening hours. Since July 2019 the situation changed. The relocation of Boots pharmacy did not occur, due to difficulty finding a suitable alternative site before their landlord terminated their current lease. The Boots at 119-120 London Road closed on September 20th 2019. and the contract with Boots has now been terminated. Boots therefore requested a 6 month suspension of their contract from NHSE. The COVID-19 regulations caused a suspension of all work relating to market entry for NHSE, and the Boots contract suspension expired at the end of March. NHSE confirmed this to Boots as soon as market entry work recommenced. Brighton and Hove City Council Public Health team have remained in contact with NHSE who have confirmed that Boots have not been able to find premises within the six month period since. The implication of this is that any pharmacy, including Boots, could now apply for market entry to supply a pharmacy in this area. NHSE consider the closure of Boots could be considered as leaving a gap in service in relation to the Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) and will be seeking to fill the gap as soon as possible. The PNA Steering group has previously conducted an EIA on the impact of the closure of Boots London Road and concluded that there was not a significant gap in pharmaceutical services because there were 7 other pharmacies within 0.5 miles providing the same range of services. The time lapse since the start of the closure meant it was likely patients had already found alternative pharmacies to use. The PNA Steering Group did not think the closure of Boots requires a new PNA to be published immediately. In the interim it has issued a further Supplementary Statement to reflect the recent changes to pharmacy services and will issue a full PNA in 2022.


Disability Learning Week


11.9    In closing, the Chair informed the Board that since its we last meeting we had celebrated Learning Disability Week. During the week we had connected with all the teams across the city who worked with people with Learning Disabilities and Autism and had found new and creative ways to provide information, offer support, run activities and help keep people in touch with friends. An estimated 5861 adults lived with a learning difficulty, disability or Autism in the city. Physical distancing and understanding the ever- changing guidelines could be particularly hard for this community.


11.10  RESOLVED – That the content of the Chair’s Communications be received and noted.




11.11  All items on the agenda were called for discussion.


Brighton & Hove City Council | Hove Town Hall | Hove | BN3 3BQ | Tel: (01273) 290000 | Mail: | how to find us | comments & complaints