Director of Public Health Annual Report 2021-22:
The COVID-19 Pandemic Response
Read the Executive Summary below.
The full report is available in PDF format:
The Annual Director of Public Health Report for 2021-22 is designed to take readers on Richmond Upon Thames’ journey through the world-changing pandemic. The report reflects on the local authority public health response in 2020-21, examines the local experiences and lessons learned and advocates for the essential role of the local authority public health in responding to future outbreaks.
An overview of the sections of the report is outlined below:
The background to the pandemic – the story starts with the background to the pandemic and its detection in the borough, where the risk posed to residents is understood through demographic data. Chapter three concludes with a view of what the data told us, and how that informed a response and local decision making.
The emergency response to the pandemic discusses how systems and structures were established that enabled effective delivery. Public Health had a central role within a complex network, working laterally with borough partners and residents, and vertically into sub-regional, regional and national structures. Public Health working with the Corporate Communications team ensured that elected members were well briefed, to understand the issues and response which in turn supported them to engage and assist local residents.
The Local Outbreak Management Plan Working Group was initially established as a strategic oversight group before the Local Authority Gold Command took over. Subsequent to the publishing of Local Outbreak Management Plans, the working group became the main mechanism for the planning and coordination of delivery of all aspects of outbreak management. This included mobilisation of test sites, delivery of test kits, support for schools and care homes, businesses and local services. Other key aspects included support to the NHS to deliver the vaccination effort, and the development and delivery of the communications and engagement plans.
There has been a great deal of learning from the pandemic, the report highlights some of the reflections. From adaptions and innovations made to bring services closer to residents, increased responsiveness through creative solutions that reduced delays, to collaboration with partners enabling delivery of a truly joined-up response. This learning will be built on to improve future preparedness and resilience, enabling continued protection of residents from future threats to the public’s health.