Agenda item

Covid-19 Prevention and Response Plan for the Cwm Taf Morgannwg Region


The Chief Executive presented a report, the purpose of which, was to seek Cabinet endorsement of the COVID-19 Prevention and Response Plan for the Cwm Taf Morgannwg Region.


By way of background, he advised Members that In a joint letter from the Welsh Government Chief Medical Officer, NHS Wales Chief Executive and Director, Local Government on 27 July 2020, Local Health Boards were asked to lead the development of Local Covid-19 Prevention and Response Plans in partnership with Local Authority Chief Executives.


The Public Health Protection Response Plan developed by Public Health Wales (PHW) on behalf of Welsh Government, proposed 3 key elements, as follows:-


1.          Preventing the spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) through contact tracing and case management.

2.         Sampling and testing different people in Wales.

3.         Population surveillance.


These 3 elements had been endorsed by both Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Councils, the Chief Executive added.


Subsequent letters and guidance from Welsh Government and Public Health Wales, set out that effective implementation of an integrated national and local system should be based on six principles, as outlined in the second part of paragraph 3.2 of the report.


The Chief Executive emphasised, that Local Authorities have a central role in the management of the Covid-19 response in Wales. This has been demonstrated in the provision of social care and support to the most vulnerable residents; the childcare hubs delivering support to essential key workers and supporting vulnerable children; the maintenance of essential services and the critical role that local authorities have in the Test Trace Protect (TTP) programme and response to incidents or outbreaks.


He further explained that the Regional Strategic Oversight Group (RSOG), oversees the work of six work streams, namely:



           Sampling & Testing;

           Contact Tracing & Case Management;

           Risk Communications and Community Engagement;

           Protect, and;

           Covid-19 mass vaccination


The Cwm Taf Covid-19 Prevention and Response Plan attached at Appendix 1 to the report, provided a robust approach to how the region has responded effectively to the threat from Covid-19, also setting out clearly how it would continue to do so.


Appendix 4 of the Plan outlined considerations for local enhance measures, where increases in cases required additional measures by which to control transmission of the infection. An Action Plan and associated documentation, also supported the main Plan


The Plan also sets out an overview of the key surveillance indicators and reporting schedule, (Appendix 5 of the report referred).


The Chief Executive advised that there was evidence to show very recently, that the virus was once more starting to spike in parts of Wales, though not so much currently in Bridgend.


The Chief Executive concluded the report, by confirming that there will be regular reviews of the Plan via the Regional Strategic Oversight Group. This will help ensure effectiveness of implementation or the need for change. The plan will also be reviewed in response to any emerging regional issues. Any significant changes will be signed off by the Regional Strategic Oversight Group, with sight of the plan as required, also by individual partners such as the Health Board and Local Authorities.


The Cabinet Member – Wellbeing and Future Generations was grateful for the report and the detailed amount of information that was contained in its supporting documentation. She added that she was also grateful to the 40 Contact Advisors from BCBC who had once more committed their support  to the pandemic situation.


The Cabinet Member – Social Services and Early Help was concerned regarding the recent increase in cases and the situation with Care Homes. He asked if the Track & Trace project (TTP) measures in place were robust enough, bearing in mind the spike in cases within the neighbouring County Boroughs of RCT and Merthyr Councils.


The Chief Executive advised that 8 Education Officers had been added to the TTP teams shared across the above 2 areas and Bridgend County Borough, though he acknowledged that if the spike increased further, more Officers may have to be placed in this role. There was TTP funding available for such staffing reinforcements. Welsh Government were also looking at mutual aid arrangements in order to commit added resources to work corporately across the whole of Wales, as opposed to on a local authority by local authority basis. Public Health Wales had recently advised Bridgend, that people in Care Homes, who were amongst the most vulnerable in society, should not be allowed visitors at the present time, due to the rise in Covid cases.


The Monitoring Officer added that since 1 September the TTP team had been hosted by RCT County Borough Council and a considerable number of the Shared Regulatory Services team had been seconded there to assist in TTP work. Some employees that were originally in the TTP at Bridgend had been seconded to RCT to assist in this work due to the spike in cases and if the spike continued, more BCB employees may be needed to support this work, in due course.


The Leader advised that the lockdown in Caerphilly was a stark reminder of the risks the public faced if the virus was not controlled. Cases were starting to rise slowly in both Bridgend and RCT. He urged the people of Bridgend to play their part in the fight against the virus, as if cases continued to rise here, then action would be required to reduce the number of positive cases, including Bridgend going into lockdown if this was considered necessary.


RESOLVED:                 That Cabinet noted the report and appendices and endorsed the COVID-19 Prevention and Response Plan for the Cwm Taf Morgannwg Region. 

Supporting documents: