Agenda item - Chair's Communications

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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.



A Year of Lockdowns


50.1    The Chair, Councillor Shanks, explained that23 March marked a year since the first lockdown and to commemorate that there was to be a national day of reflection to think about those who have lost their lives to Covid and organised by the Marie Curie Foundation. In our City 449 people had died from Covid-19 and 126,000 nationally. It was appropriate to reflect on the sadness of the last year but also to champion the incredible efforts of key workers in our city. Whether it was in relation to food, transport, or health, many had worked to keep the city going. Thanks were due to everyone for everything they needed to continue to do to follow the guidance and keep Covid-19 cases low – and as we reflect its was vital  that everyone kept up these efforts, to help prevent more deaths.


6-12 March Social Worker Week


50.2    The 6 – 12 March was Social Worker Week and provided the opportunity to acknowledge the important work Social Workers do. The social care workforce had made enormous sacrifices during the pandemic, primarily in terms of those who have lost their lives caring for others, but also in terms of the impact on the wellbeing of the workforce and their friends and families.


50.3    It has been a long year for everyone and all were looking forward to being able to meet our friends and family again, she was missing her own grandchildren especially. The Chair stated however that she had been lucky in that she had been able to work from home. The inequalities of the impact of Covid have exposed existing ineqaualties of heath wealth, race, status and made them worse. Basic needs of tackling deprivation and income inequality needed national action but locally everyone in the health and social care sector could do their best as our health and wellbeing strategy outlined but also by looking at how staff were paid to ensure they were adequately rewarded and were able to take time off if they needed to isolate.




50.4    The Chair urged anyone who had already been offered their vaccination and had not yet taken it up to make an appointment as soon as possible. Anyone who was aged 50 or over this may be lower by Tuesday, was at higher risk from coronavirus, or looked after those at higher risk, as well as frontline health & care workers could book on the national site.


          Regular Sympton FreeTesting


50.5    Those who needed to leave home for work or to look after someone, or you who had children at school or nursery were encouraged to make regular symptom-free testing part of their weekly routine. Anyone who did not have access to a home test through their work or because they had school age children could book free appointment at pharmacies or test sites in the city.


          Update on Knoll House Development


50.6    In January 2020 this Board had agreed that the preferred option for the Knoll House building was to look in detail at the cost and feasibility of developing supported housing for people with physical disabilities and brain injuries. Engagement with the local community had indicated that this was their preferred option too. This detailed work had been paused from March to October as the Covid-19 pandemic had put significant strain on Health & Adult Social Care resources and had resulted in the Council and CCG considering other emergency uses for the building. Brighton & Hove CCG had explored using the building as a dementia care unit and a step down from the hospital but concluded that the extensive work required to meet infection control and safety standards would be expensive and time consuming. The building therefore remained closed with a Guardian Scheme providing security and bringing a small income to the Council as the Guardians paid a fee to live in the property. In November 2020 the feasibility work had resumed and it had been planned to present a report to Health & Wellbeing Board at this meeting with the outcome and recommendations. This work had yet to be completed and would include looking at costs of both refurbishment and rebuild options. It was proposed that the presentation of the business case and recommendation will now go to the 8th June Health & Wellbeing Board and then onto the 8th July P&R Committee


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


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