Agenda item - BHCC Winter Cold Weather Plan

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Agenda item

BHCC Winter Cold Weather Plan

Joint report of Public Health Principal, Public Health, HASC and Regulatory Services Manager (copy attached)


RESOLVED – That the Board approves the content of the report and the actions to be taken by the Council services and partner organisations.


32.1    The Board considered a joint report of the Public Health Principal, Public Health (HASC) and the Regulatory Services Manager setting out the Brighton and Hove City Council Winter Cold Weather Plan 2020/21.


32.2    The Public Health Principal, Becky Woodiwiss, explained that the Plan was updated annually. This year planning for the winter 2020/21 had been in the context of the Covid 19 pandemic, its health and socio-economic impacts, resulting services changes, an expanded seasonal Influenza Vaccination Programme and the UK’s scheduled exit from the EU on 31 December 2020. The Plan localised the Cold Weather Plan for England, both of which sought to prevent avoidable harm to health, by alerting services and people to the negative health effects of cold weather and enabling all prepare and respond appropriately. The main aim of the Cold Weather Plan was to reduce pressure on the health and social care system through improved anticipatory actions with vulnerable people. It was recognised that this year those pressures could include seasonal surge pressures, such as the impact of flu, Covid 19, or the wider circumstances such as the wider impact of the EU Transition Period from 1 January 2021 onwards. The preparation and response for Winter 2020/21 was being co-ordinated with the Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF) and partners across Sussex.


32.3    The Regulatory Services Manager, Annie Sparks, explained that she managed the Emergency Plan and sought to ensure that a co-ordinated response was provided in concert with partners. This was set in the context of the work undertaken with the CCG and NHS and the manner in which it dovetailed with the NHS Plan. Additionally, in response to the current pandemic and the impending final arrangements for exit from the EU needed to be factored into the arrangements being put into place in addition to those to combat the seasonal surge in illness and hospital admissions especially from amongst those who were most vulnerable in the community.


32.4    The key messages were highlighted which included stepping up roll-out of flu vaccination and publicising its availability, also access to assistance with heating and food especially to those who lived in older/poorer standard housing which took greater effort and cost more to heat. Combatting fuel poverty was a significant issue and those suffering from it could be at greater risk of fire hazard. Mr Kemp who was in attendance on behalf of the East Sussex, Fire and Rescue Service explained that advice was available in terms of fire safety and how to stay warm safely. This was publicised and the service was happy to liaise with and advise colleagues in order that they could be signposted to available services.


32.5    The Chair, Councillor Shanks, stated that it was also important for the Council to consider its own housing stock and to ensure that tenants were made aware of the assistance and services available to them. Councillor Bagaeen concurred in that view stating that it was important that the situation was tracked and monitored to ensure that those who were most vulnerable were targeted. It was confirmed that those in the most wards where the greatest levels of deprivation had been identified were deemed to be particularly at risk and that in the current exceptional circumstances ways of advising of and ensuring delivery of services were being assessed to look at how things needed to be done/delivered differently.


32.6    Councillor Nield requested details in relation to the expanded flu vaccination programme and any measures being put into place to encourage take up by those who were vulnerable including care staff, including, carers and hospice carers, those who were shielding, where “hot spots” had been identified or where take up had been patchy and what was being provided needed to be ramped up. It was noted that it was important that phased and targeted delivery was important.


32.7    Lola Banjoko, CCG, explained that in addition to the usual seasonal arrangements provision had been expanded to address the needs of the most vulnerable residents. Currently there had been a 70% take up of the flu-jab by those over 65 years of age this was being monitored and further uptake was being encouraged.


32.8    The Executive Director, Health and Adult Social Care confirmed the on-going support available for those in care homes and explained that due to the SWEP arrangements in place those who had been rough sleeping had been found accommodation which meant that they could be housed and looked after in a covid secure way.


32.9    RESOLVED – That the Board approves the content of the report and the actions to be taken by the Council services and partner organisations.

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