Duncan Selbie’s Friday Message – 31 July 2020

Pricey everybody

Social care issues

Social care issues as a lot to good well being as healthcare, and social care suppliers play a important position in serving to many get pleasure from a superb high quality of life together with within the final years of their lives. This reality has been dropped at the fore by means of the pandemic with brilliance exhibited by care staff and their leaders in caring for essentially the most weak.

A transparent instance of this has been the sector’s administration of outbreaks. Any outbreak in a care house is one too many and within the first six months of the pandemic, nearly half of England’s care houses have skilled at the least one. The excellent news is that is considerably higher than the expected 90% that modelling prompt and is a direct consequence of the care and a spotlight of every residence, whether or not they skilled an outbreak or prevented one. This has been supported by means of extra speedy testing, the enlargement of complete residence testing, and coordinated motion on an infection management by means of the native Director of Public Well being, Director of Grownup Social Companies, the NHS and PHE native Well being Safety Groups.

The exhausting months are forward of us given the pandemic is much from over, and while plenty of good apply is being unfold all over the place, there might be no complacency.

Hammersmith and Fulham

An exemplar of this has been the work of Hammersmith and Fulham Council and the management of Director of Public Well being, Dr Nicola Lang and Lisa Redfern, Strategic Director of Social Care. They moved early and quick to place an enhanced degree of safety round social care forward of nationwide steering and primarily based on the energy of their native relationships and information about what works. Their achievements embody enhanced testing, monetary help to forestall lack of revenue for care residence workers ought to they should isolate, and as a social companies director group in North West London, the event of ‘sizzling hubs’ – transitional beds for individuals being nursed in isolation till they check damaging and might safely return to their very own residence or care residence. There may be much more to be recognised on their work delivering PPE, organising a Neighborhood Motion Community to help weak residents, and on educational collaboration with Imperial Faculty London.

I thank them and the entire council for a totally instructive and gratifying digital go to this week. They’ve a lot to be pleased with and have undoubtedly saved lives.

Higher Well being

This week we launched the Higher Well being marketing campaign, the nation’s first specializing in grownup weight problems and forming a part of the Authorities’s new weight problems technique. The marketing campaign faucets into the perception that many who’ve been in lockdown or remoted for months are able to reset their lives by being extra energetic, adopting more healthy consuming habits and dropping pounds, and goals to scale back our threat of significant sickness together with COVID-19.

The marketing campaign shall be focused the place it’s most wanted, at teams and communities disproportionately affected by extra weight and weight problems, together with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) populations. It’ll attain these communities by means of promoting on a variety of channels, radio stations and publications in a number of languages, with supportive voices from BAME healthcare professionals, nutritionists and neighborhood organisations. The messaging itself additionally recognises several types of meals, diets and traditions round meal occasions, and is mixed with data-driven native focusing on in areas the place there’s a excessive density of at-risk teams.

A brand new app for the free 12-week NHS Weight Loss Plan has additionally been launched as a part of the marketing campaign, which shot to primary within the app retailer – a superb indicator that many are eager to get going and I encourage you to obtain it if in case you have not already. That is simply the beginning and over time the marketing campaign will give attention to offering recommendation on different points, resembling quitting smoking and taking care of your psychological well being.


From the second we’re born, by means of to previous age, the environments we stay in form our lives and there’s more and more compelling proof displaying that entry to greenspaces actually issues for our well being. Greenspaces can help energetic journey, cut back loneliness, enhance social cohesion and mitigate some harms within the setting, resembling air air pollution and extreme noise.

This week, PHE has printed the Bettering Entry to Greenspaces report, which was written earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic and examines proof displaying that residing in greener communities is related to each psychological and bodily well being advantages. Importantly, it highlights inequalities in entry to greenspace throughout completely different socioeconomic teams, and supplies new proof and actions to assist native areas contemplate how good-quality greenspace can help the supply of well being, social, environmental and financial priorities, at a comparatively low price.

International catastrophe threat discount

The United Nations Workplace for Catastrophe Threat Discount and the Worldwide Science Council’s (UNDRR/ISC) Hazard Definition and Classification Assessment technical report was printed this week, which can help nations to higher assess the pure and human-induced hazards and dangers they face, whereas additionally selling a more practical governance of world and native catastrophe threat. This initiative couldn’t be extra well timed given the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been a reminder of how hazards inside the complicated and altering world threat panorama can have an effect on lives, livelihoods and well being. The report is the fruits of a year-long course of chaired by PHE’s Head of International Catastrophe Threat Discount, Professor Virginia Murray, and was developed collaboratively with over 800 scientists and technical consultants together with many from United Nations organisations and ISC Science Unions and partnerships, demonstrating the facility of worldwide engagement in shaping world science.

Performing arts

And at last, in help of musicians and artists, our scientists at Porton Down are conducting a sequence of experiments alongside skilled singers from Salisbury Cathedral to estimate the unfold of droplets and aerosols produced throughout performances by putting petri dishes and air samplers across the singers. We’re additionally coordinating a second examine on singing and musical devices with Imperial Faculty London and the College of Bristol, and in just a few weeks the findings of those research will inform how far aside performers should be. We’re additionally advising the Division for Digital, Tradition, Media and Sport on methods to safely reopen theatres from tomorrow with socially distanced audiences.

Greatest needs



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