Local COVID-19 outbreak plan to go before Health and Wellbeing Board

A plan to supress future COVID-19 outbreaks in Swindon will be presented to the town’s Health and Wellbeing Board next week (30 June).

Published: Thursday, 25th June 2020

The Government has instructed all local authorities to devise Local Outbreak Management Plans (LOMP) to prevent and control local outbreaks of the virus.

Swindon Borough Council, which has a statutory role to protect health, will lead the response to local COVID-19 outbreaks through its Director of Public Health and will work with the regional Public Health England health protection team and local partners.

The Council has been given £900,000 by the Government to implement its tailored outbreak management plans, which will focus on seven key themes. These include:

1) Care homes and schools

2) Planning for prevention and management of outbreaks in other high risk places, locations and communities

3) Ensuring local testing capacity

4) Leading contact tracing in complex settings

5) Integrating national and local data for scenario planning and responding fast to outbreaks

6) Supporting vulnerable local people to get help to self-isolate

7) Establishing local boards to oversee prevention and control of Covid-19.

The Council will use the national test and trace services in the Borough, including the regional testing centre at the former Wroughton Park and Ride site, to reduce the risk of the infection.

As part of the plan, containment and response cells will also be set up to respond quickly in the event of a virus outbreak, whether it be in a care home or educational setting.

The Council will use its own local knowledge and that of partners and third sector groups to quickly identify and manage new outbreaks affecting vulnerable people.

Swindon’s Health and Wellbeing Board will be asked to endorse the Local Outbreak Management Plan at next Tuesday’s meeting.

Steve Maddern, Director of Public Health at Swindon Borough Council, said: “I want to reassure local residents that we are working hard to help prevent and control outbreaks of COVID-19 here in Swindon.

“Protecting the health of the public is one of our key priorities and this new local outbreak management plan is the next phase of supporting those at higher risk of infection to apply prevention messages and to also act fast on local information to manage and prevent the spread of outbreaks as lockdown measures reduce.”

Councillor Brian Ford, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “Although nationally the number of COVID-19 cases is falling we are acutely aware that we are far from the end of this crisis and there is potential for further spikes in the disease.

“We therefore have to do everything we can to ensure that here in Swindon we put a lid on any new outbreaks as soon as they occur. We are fortunate to have the regional coronavirus testing centre at the Wroughton Park and Ride site and that will allow us to very quickly establish if we have any new outbreaks and to then carry out a rapid track and test process.

“In Swindon local residents have done a great job in observing the Government’s guidelines and I would just encourage people to keep following the advice so we continue to keep the cases at a low level.”

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