Agenda item

Health Protection Strategy 2017-21

Progress update – Nadia Inglis


Nadia Inglis, Public Health, WCC introduced this item. It was reported that the Health Protection Strategy (HPS) was an overarching strategy that encompassed a wide range of multi-agency programmes and strategies. Itset out the partnership approach, specific aims and seven priorities for health protection activities across Coventry and Warwickshire for 2017-2021. The HPS supported the local authority statutory duty to “ensure there were plans in place to protect the health of the population”.


Progress against the strategy was monitored by the Coventry and Warwickshire Health Protection Committee and when required by the two health and wellbeing boards. Action plans and work-streams/partnership boards were in place, working to support the seven priority areas. Progress against the priorities was summarised in a table within the report and a link was provided to the health protection dashboard.


As a partnership approach it required commissioning of some frontline services and programmes. Individual commissioners or organisations agreed and procured those services within their organisation’s agreed financial capacity and they were the responsibility of that commissioning organisation. There were also options for partners to apply for external funding to support some of the strategy objectives.


A presentation was provided to supplement the HPS report, pulling out the key messages. The slides covered the following seven priority areas:


·         Air quality

·         Hepatitis B/C

·         Tuberculosis

·         Screening and immunisations

·         Infection control

·         Emergency planning

·         Excess winter deaths


Questions and comments were invited. There were concerns about air quality, with points raised about the need for effective communication and partnership working with districts and borough councils, to avoid duplication. The monitoring of particulate matter and air quality monitoring in more rural areas was discussed, specifically for the North of Warwickshire. It was confirmed that there was some monitoring equipment in that area and endeavours were being made to engage with the Borough Council. Reference was made to an air quality management zone located close to a school in Nuneaton. There was concern that despite numerous strategies, there was no evidence of infrastructure changes being implemented and school children were walking through this area twice daily. The points raised were acknowledged.


The fall in take up of MMR immunisation was raised, with officers explaining the range of actions being taken in conjunction with Public Health England, CCGs, local GPs and engagement work in areas of low immunisation. It was questioned if there was lower take up in some communities, for example BME groups and traveller communities. The Director of Public Health advised that the local data followed the national trend and there were a range of factors which contributed to lower immunisation rates. It would require work with the GPs and clients in areas where there was a low take-up of immunisation. There were differing views amongst board members about the ability of traveller communities being able to access GP practices and a need to ensure all communities had access to immunisation.


The HPS was physical health focussed and it would be good for future refreshes of the strategy to balance physical and emotional health and wellbeing, especially for the younger generation, given the need to build their emotional resilience[1].


The Chair welcomed this useful report and suggested that annual updates be provided.



1.       That progress in Warwickshire in relation to the Coventry and Warwickshire Health Protection Strategy 2017 – 2021 is noted.

2.       That Health and Wellbeing Board Members consider providing enhanced support in some key areas where there are ongoing risks and opportunities. In particular:                                                                    

·      Working not only to improve air quality as Anchor Institutions through championing active/sustainable travel strategies and programmes for their own organisations, but considering the development of a system-wide response to the environmental sustainability challenge.

·      Ensuring appropriate staff are taking an active role in the local, sub-regional and regional work that has been initiated to support the uptake of childhood/adult screening and immunisation programmes, as well as requesting the support of health and wellbeing partnerships in public engagement and campaign activities. 

·      Supporting the progress of the Coventry and Warwickshire-wide Anti-Microbial Resistance Strategy through ensuring appropriate senior level support for this area of work, recognised as a priority in the NHS long term plan, and in our local 5-year plan.

·      Commitment to the development of appropriate system-wide public health emergency plans (including pandemic flu), as well as ensuring appropriate organisational and frontline support for outbreak responses.

·      Ensuring all frontline staff are aware of and referring vulnerable individuals to local authority commissioned support and advice services related to affordable heating, with a particular focus on young people and families, alongside older people.


[1] Clarity has been provided on this comment, that emotional health and wellbeing is picked up within Mental health Strategies.

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