The effectiveness of the LOMP requires financial resource and capability as well as staff skills and expertise.
Nationally, £300million has been allocated for local authorities to support the additional public health capacity required to develop and implement the plans to mitigate against and manage local coronavirus outbreaks.
Devon County Council’s share of the Local Authority Test and Trace Service Support Grant Determination is £2,618,508.
The Department of Health and Social Care has also created a Contain Outbreak Management Fund to support proactive containment and intervention measures. This funding is based on a one-off payment of £1 per head of population for local authorities in alert level medium, £3 for high and £8 for very high.
While the response to a local outbreak needs to be led by public health, the skills and expertise within the local system are required to effectively manage outbreaks, working as a ‘system within the local system’.
Public health within the County Council and Public Health England do not have the capacity, skills or expertise alone.
Resources and input will be needed from organisations and professional groups, such as (amongst others):
- environmental health officers
- infection prevention and control
- health and social care
- the NHS
- communications officers
- data and intelligence analysts
- health and safety officers
The precise additional resource required locally will be dependent upon the number and complexity of coronavirus outbreaks.
There will be a need to increase wider public health capacity to support testing, contact tracing and to provide advice and guidance.
There will also be additional resources required to support vulnerable people who are instructed to self-isolate.
If the local system requires extra ‘surge’ capacity to effectively respond to outbreaks, this request will be routed through the Local Resilience Forum.
The Strategic Co-ordinating Group (SCG) of the Local Resilience Forum has the responsibility to agree and co-ordinate strategic actions by Category 1 and 2 responders for the purposes of the Civil Contingencies Act in managing demand on systems, infrastructures and services and protecting human life and welfare.
A Tactical Coordination Group (TCG), working to the objectives set by the SCG, has crucial capabilities in aligning and deploying the capabilities of a range of agencies at local level in supporting the prevention and control of transmission of COVID-19.
Activation of a SCG and TCG will require a declaration of a major incident in accordance with Operation Link.