Issue - meetings

Covid 19

Meeting: 24/04/2020 - Overview and Scrutiny Management Board (Item 20)

20 Response to Coronavirus / COVID-19 Pandemic pdf icon PDF 163 KB

Please note: a more detailed report will be published w/c 20th April in advance of the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Director of Resources and Head of Paid Service thanked all council staff for their commitment and hard work around Covid-19, and stated that the response from partner organisations across the city had been very positive.

 

The Executive Director of Resources and Head of Paid Service commented on the financial implications of the loss of income streams and the cost of the response to the crisis. There was a need for further financial support from central government to prevent a significant impact on future service delivery.

 

The Director of Policy, Strategy and Partnerships spoke to the report (available in the published pack).  During the ensuing discussion the following points were highlighted;

 

·      Redeployment of Council staff had predominantly been from areas that had needed to be closed temporarily or reduced e.g. libraries and museums.

·      Discussions were underway with the Gypsy and Traveller communities to ensure they could be supported during the pandemic. The Portway vehicle dwellers site was now full; 25 vehicles were on the site which was co-managed between the vehicle dwellers and the City Council.  A second site was planned to open in Bamfield which would provide accommodation for up to 25 vehicles. Water, WC and washing facilities would be provided. Users of both sites would be required to sign up to site license conditions to ensure appropriate site management was maintained.

·      Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) remained a high risk area; the issue had a national profile.

·      Given the present levels of supply there were sufficient amounts of PPE locally external Adult Care Providers could contact adultcommissioning@bristol.gov.uk for PPE and other commissioning requests / contracts related issues. 

·      Direct payment users could email WECIL on dpsupport@wecil.co.uk or call 0117 947 9933 and contact People Plus by email on ilssouthwest@peopleplus.co.uk or call 0330 123 2815 if they required support.

·      Local Authorities could use the new Care Act easements, created under the Coronavirus Act 2020; this related to assessments of care and support, with the duty to meet eligible needs replaced with the power to do so.  The easements were time-limited and to be used as narrowly as possible.

·      There was a discussion about discharging patients from hospital to care homes; Members were advised that there were concerns about the risk of transferring Covid-19 in to care homes.

·      Hospital occupancy levels had 50% bed availability.  The Nightingale Hospital near Bristol meant there was also additional capacity, so whilst discharge to care homes could not be ruled out there was not such an urgent need for that now until there was full confidence that patients were clear of Covid-19.

·      Members asked for clarification about any changes to decision-making and delegated powers for allocating Council finances.  Officers said that everything would continue to be reported at Cabinet meetings.  It was considered important to ensure central government had a clear understanding of the impact on local finance within the context of increased reliance on local income streams over the past 10 years. 

·      All channels available to the Council were being utilised to engage  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20