To consider a joint report by the Executive Director – People (Cumbria County Council), Chief Operating Officer - North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group and Chief Officer - Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group (copy enclosed).
Members considered a joint report by the Executive Director – People, Cumbria County Council, Chief Operating Officer – North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group and Chief Officer - Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group which set out the steps that were being taken across the Health and Care systems to prepare for the expected Winter pressures, highlighting the interdependencies between the response to COVID 19 and the management of those pressures.
Members were informed that in addition to addressing system flow through the acute and community hospitals, work had also been undertaken to analyse and address the impact of COVID-19 within the wider community, specifically including impacts on unpaid carers and their support over this period. It was explained there was also recognition of the extreme pressures the COVID-19 pandemic had placed on some care providers and the heightened need to monitor and support the care market through this challenging period.
The Board noted that in order to address those issues, considerable work had been undertaken across the North and South Health and Care Systems. It was explained that as a result of the proactive work undertaken, many of the actions in the winter plans incorporated a response to COVID-19, the work to implement the previous Department of Health and Social Care discharge guidance or were part of the rapid improvement workstream already initiated by the system.
Members were informed that North Cumbria had taken a risk based approach when preparing their Winter Plan, highlighting a number of workforce issues which included managing absences. Officers highlighted the partnership working which was being undertaken to ensure hospitals were ready to meet demands and were able to provide care for those with the highest clinical needs.
The Board was informed of the expanded flu vaccination programme with Programme Board oversight to clinically vulnerable, at risk and extended groups with preparations also underway to deliver a COVID vaccine.
Members noted that the current pandemic was having a significant impact on the social care capacity and vital collaborative working with a number of agencies was being undertaken to support and manage this fragile sector. Officers highlighted the priority across the system for ‘Home First’ and informed the Board of the investment which had been made in home care and interim care beds.
The Chair, on behalf of members and officers, asked that their thanks and appreciation be relayed to all colleagues for their incredible contributions during a very challenging situation.
(1) that it be noted that in order to meet national requirements the following actions have been taken (as set out in section 4.19 of the report):-
(a) in both North Cumbria and Morecambe Bay the new discharge arrangements are being introduced;
(b) system winter plans have been prepared for North Cumbria and Morecambe Bay and have been submitted through the relevant ICS and Regional assurance processes;
(c) in? line with the National Phase 3 requirements, partners across Cumbria have been restoring non-COVID activity since July and have submitted their 2020/21 recovery plans to the ICSs in late September;
(d) a consolidated Adult Social Care Winter Plan has been produced and agreed by the County Council;
(2) to note and endorse the considerable amount of locally initiated improvement work that has taken place to prepare for winter in addition to these national requirements.