[Electoral Divisions: All South Lakeland]
To consider a report by the Executive Director - Corporate, Customer and Community Services
This report details the Public Health Activity undertaken by the South Lakeland Area Support Team and Locality Public Health Manager
A report from the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services was considered regarding an update on Community Development and Public Health Activity. The report drew attention to key Community Development and Public Health Activity undertaken by the South Lakeland Area Support Team and the Locality Public Health Manager.
The Locality Public Health Manager explained that due to the governance process, the report had been drafted three weeks ago so gave an update on a number of areas of activity. Members were informed that the number of daily average cases had increased from 54 to 70 cases. Rates were particularly increasing in 10-14 year olds. It was thought that Lateral Flow tests were being performed but not reported so numbers would be higher than reported. PCR testing had increased by 13% since the report was written. The number of case rates were reported and it was noted that there had been little progress made on the number of 1st vaccinations. Information was provided on Community Vaccine Training Programme and how it was supporting people who were anxious to have their vaccinations. School children were now being vaccinated. High infection rates made it likely that some would present with infection before they had developed immunity in response to vaccination. Members were reassured that the Community Team was working hard to support community vaccination.
In relation to 25 - 40 year old vaccination take up rates, a member asked how South Lakeland compared to other areas and what was being done to increase take up rates. The Locality Public Health Manager explained the complexity in identifying the reasons for vaccination take up rates but noted that South Lakeland was better than some areas in the country. He felt that some in this the age group were taking an active stance about not being vaccinated but hoped that people being trained to support the community with its vaccinations could have an influence on this age group.
A member asked for the Committee to be informed if there was a spike in the number of children not attending school due to COVID infections. He referred to a leaflet regarding mental health and wellbeing and asked that it be circulated in South Lakeland. Reference was made to people who had received both vaccinations but still had still caught COVID. The Locality Public Health Manager explained that vaccination reduced the rates of sickness and death in older people rather than stopping the transmission of COVID.
The high uptake of second dose vaccination in Eden was highlighted a member. It was queried whether South Lakeland could learn from best practice. The Locality Public Health Manager explained the work being undertaken by the NHS in vaccination roll out and that everything was being done to increase vaccination uptake numbers.
A member queried why young people did not want to be vaccinated. The Locality Public Health Manager outlined a number of reasons for slow uptake such as the message conveyed early in the pandemic, that COVID mainly affected older adults. A member thought that the spread of false information on social media and a lack of knowledge about the effects of COVID could be stopping younger people being vaccinated.
It was highlighted by a member that people were dying from illnesses other than COVID and requested that excess death figures be included in future reports to the Committee. The Locality Public Health Manager advised that current excess death figures were lower than 2020 and would provide further detail for the next meeting.
The Chair proposed that the report be noted. This was agreed by assent of the Committee.
(1) the content of the report be noted;
(2) excess death figures be included in future reports to the Committee