To consider the report of the Chief Executive providing an update on the actions of the Leeds Health and Social Care system and Leeds City Council, working with broader partners, in response to and facilitating the recovery from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
(Report to follow)
Further to Minute No. 117, 10th February 2021, the Chief Executive submitted a report which provided an update on the response to the Covid-19 pandemic across the city including vaccination rollout, outbreak management, service impacts, and current issues and risks. The report focused upon the plan for the year ahead, in line with the national roadmap for exiting restrictions. The report also noted that the city’s multi-agency command and control arrangements continued to be used with the Response and Recovery plan, aiming to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on those in the city, especially the most vulnerable.
With the agreement of the Chair, the submitted report had been circulated to Board Members as a late item of business prior to the meeting for the reasons as set out in section 11.9 of the submitted report, and as detailed in Minute No. 134.
By way of introduction to the report, the Leader highlighted that it was approximately 12 months since the city’s response to Coronavirus had begun.
The huge impact of the pandemic upon the city was recognised, with the Board being provided with an update on the number of people who had died in Leeds as a result of Coronavirus to date.On behalf of the Council, the Leader extended his sympathies to the families and loved ones of all those who had lost their lives, with it being noted that at the appropriate time, a fitting memorial would be put in place for the deceased.
Responding to a Member’s enquiries regarding the provision and take up rate of grants to support businesses during the Coronavirus restrictions, the Board was provided with further detail on the actions being taken by the Council on such matters including the additional resource introduced to administer the grant process. An update on the provision of additional restriction grants was also provided, and with regard to the provision of grants generally, it was highlighted that the Council aimed to strike the correct balance between efficiently delivering the grant system whilst ensuring that appropriate checks of applications were also in place.
In response to a Member’s enquiry, the Board received an update on the current position regarding the recently announced scheduled closure of the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Harrogate, and also with regard to the additional mortuary facilities which had been established in Leeds in response to the pandemic.
Reflecting upon the progress being made on vaccination delivery and lateral flow testing, in response to a Member’s enquiry, the Board was provided with an update on the data that such processes had revealed, and how that would inform strategies such as encouraging vaccine take up rates moving forward.
(a) That the full range of activity which has taken place in the last month, together with the work that is underway to prepare for the safe reopening of services and the economy in the coming months, be noted; with the continued need for everyone to play their part while restrictions remain in place, be recognised;
(b) That the refreshed Response and Recovery Plan, as detailed at Annex A to the submitted report, which includes a focus upon planning for the year ahead, be noted; and that agreement be given for the progression of the approach towards planning and reporting, as detailed;
(c) That it be noted that planning is underway for the lifting of restrictions, whilst work continues to: roll out vaccinations as quickly as possible, control the spread of the virus and its variants, undertake local contact tracing and asymptomatic testing, protect the health service, undertake compliance and enforcement activity, and deliver support to vulnerable people and businesses;
(d) That in respect of the financial implications for the Council arising from the Coronavirus pandemic, the contents of the submitted report be used as context when the Board considers the more detailed finance based report, as presented elsewhere on the Executive Board agenda.