The UK has been responding to coronavirus (COVID-19) from the end of January 2020 and there have been several variants since the original virus emerged. Coronavirus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 11 March 2020. The next day, on 12 March, the UK government moved to the ‘delay’ phase of its response. Greater Manchester declared a major incident on 20 March 2020.
It has been just two years since Salford’s first case of COVID-19 during which time, Salford experienced over 73,000 reported cases in five distinct waves with the latest surge being driven by the Omicron variant. In ten days over the New Year period more than 10,000 residents of Salford tested positive, four times the peak level seen in previous waves. In some parts of the city, three out of 100 people tested positive in a week; not counting those who were not tested and reinfections.
Some of our communities have felt the impact of coronavirus more than others. COVID-19 has exposed existing disparities and exacerbated historical inequalities – including the vulnerabilities of older people and care home residents, of BAME staff, volunteers and communities, and the impact on families, young people and children, and on livelihoods.
The pandemic has brought local services even closer together as a whole Salford system. The Spirit of Salford Helpline was established in the very first days of the pandemic and coordinates our humanitarian support to vulnerable people across the city, including where necessary to provide local support to those who are most clinically vulnerable.
In addition to the practical and financial support, Salford partners have rolled out the PCR testing, LFD testing, the successive doses of the COVID vaccines and have kept essential services going along with the army of volunteers who came forward to support people in the city. Examples of good practice include the individual risk assessments, the COVID secure setting and service risk assessments, and the COVID risk health checks for frontline workers taking account of their job roles, ethnicity and health conditions.
As we move forward, we will continue to respond to emerging variants and support our businesses, the NHS and social care go through a difficult winter and the rest of 2022. The focus on individual and setting risk assessments will continue, balancing business continuity with the additional restrictions that will be necessary as a result of intense community transmission and/or outbreaks in settings.
In early June 2020, the government asked all upper tier local authorities to put in place a COVID-19 outbreak management plan, explaining how we will manage the spread of the virus, to minimise its prevalence and the impact of coronavirus within our communities.
This plan is Salford’s response - it sets out: the arrangements in place to prevent, control and reduce transmission of the virus; to protect the vulnerable; to prevent increased demand on health care services; and to address health protection, infection control and environmental health associated impacts which will support the city’s social and economic recovery. It also sets out the additional work to get the COVID booster to everyone who is eligible working with the local community groups to engage and support those who have yet to be vaccinated.
Salford’s COVID-19 outbreak management plan sits alongside the Salford emergency response and recovery plan. Strong collaboration and partnership working sits at the heart of both plans, including collaboration with other local authorities and health partners across Greater Manchester.
All areas refreshed their plans in 2021 and we have reviewed our focus for 2022 to continue to tackle the virus with particular emphasis on the disproportionate impact of inequalities. COVID vaccination inequalities plan will direct the different Contain measures for different geographical areas and the diverse community groups. As the national restrictions are being lifted, we continue to work to keep settings safe, manage outbreaks and protect the most vulnerable.
Provide an overview of the key proactive and reactive control measures in place across priority and high-risk settings in Salford, including care homes, schools, businesses, locations, places and communities.
Our approach has been co-designed with sector, organisational and community leaders. At all times and in all settings, risk assessments along with local public health advice are at the core of our response. Set out in sections three and four of the plan, we have developed setting specific standard operating procedures (SOPs) to support our end-to-end response from safe operating and opening, first reports of suspect symptoms, arranging tests, support for individuals and settings if a positive test result is reported, including health protection and infection control measures, to ongoing support for specific settings and community.
Support vulnerable people across the city.
The Spirit of Salford helpline was established in the very first days of the pandemic and co-ordinates our humanitarian support to vulnerable people across the city, including where necessary to provide local support to those on the government’s shielded list. The helpline has continued to support vulnerable people during waves of the pandemic, alongside our core services in the city and the army of volunteers that have come forward to support people in the city. Arrangements are set out in section five of this plan.
Ensure a consistent approach to compliance and enforcement.
Section six sets out our approach to compliance so as to respond to the evolution of COVID regulations, with lockdown easing and tightening over time, by maintaining a consistent style and tone of ‘Engage – Explain – Encourage – Enforce’. As well as the focus on personal measures, we are engaging with businesses, public settings and high-risk areas on COVID secure measures as part of the responsibility for health and safety.
Outline the specific responsibilities of the Director of Public Health, local authority and local partnerships for delivery of local testing arrangements to support this plan, and the interface between these and Greater Manchester and national arrangements and guidance.
Set out in section seven of this plan, we outline how we are making maximum use of local and national testing and vaccination capacity. Local testing arrangements are in place for NHS, care, education and other critical frontline workers in the city, and rapid testing is in place to support the daily decisions needed to keep vulnerable people safe and prevent transmission when someone is most infectious.
Set out the timely and responsive testing, contact tracing and consequence management capacity needed to ensure effective delivery of this plan.
Section eight and nine of our plan sets out the roles and responsibilities of the Salford case and consequence management team (CCMT) who are leading in all aspects of test, trace, contain and enable in Salford. The initial contact team from the council’s contact centre staff are skilled in building trust and gathering information from the public. Specialist health protection, infection control and environmental health staff then deal with the case and consequence management providing guidance, advice and support to complex settings, businesses and communities across the city and liaising with the Greater Manchester integrated hub and with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA formerly PHE).
Roll out the vaccination programme.
We have rolled out the vaccination programme to the priority groups in Salford and currently rolling out the booster and catching up with the vaccination programme for people not yet vaccinated, and in particular to tackle vaccine hesitancy. Section 10 outlines the Salford approach to vaccination which is ‘local first’. The evidence highlights that closer to home, the higher the uptake. Salford is fast catching up on the vaccination programme by planning family vaccination clinics for ages 12 and above, drive-through, walk-in, and local pharmacy and GP arrangements alongside the national booking offer and NHS 119.
Outline the governance arrangements in place to oversee and steer this work locally.
Our health protection board is providing leadership for delivery of this outbreak plan. The board is chaired by the Director of Public Health or their Deputy, and members convene from across the health, care and community partners in the city. The Board reports to the Salford Health and Wellbeing Board as one of its subgroups.
Ensure robust information is in place.
We have strengthened the data and intelligence for Salford ensuring we capture real time information about all reported and suspected cases of the virus in city, and building a robust picture on settings, communities and areas of the city that continue to report new or suspected cases. We have used soft intelligence from local community engagement and data sets like Mosaic alongside the national systems. This allows us to plan areas and communities to work with to promote testing and additional vaccination clinics.
Set out communications and engagement arrangements to support delivery of this plan, including any potential disproportionate equality impacts from the plan and how they will be mitigated.
Our approach to engagement and communications is outlined in section 13. Maintaining the support of partners and the consent of our residents in the control measures set out is paramount. This includes continued adherence to testing, face coverings, ventilation, social distancing and hygiene measures. The key messages for infection control have been ‘Hands- Face- Space- Vaccinate- Ventilate’. In particular, our emphasis to isolate when unwell has been key to reduce the risk of transmission even before someone develops one of the classical symptoms. The sooner we identify a case even without or before symptoms, the sooner we can trace their contacts and advise self-isolation. This then rapidly protects others from being exposed to the virus.
Set out the financial and legal framework that enables delivery of this plan.
It will be important that we can sustain our approach through the winter and for the next 12 to 18 months as we continue to live with COVID-19. The plan outlines the funding received and the next steps in the government road map. An assessment of risks and equality impacts are also included.
We are committed to effectively and proactively managing the spread of the virus, to minimise its prevalence and the impact of coronavirus within our communities. This plan is Salford’s response – it is a whole council, whole system response. Together with people across the city we will do all we can to prevent, control and reduce transmission of the virus; to protect the vulnerable; to prevent increased demand on health care services; and to address health protection, infection control and environmental health associated impacts which will support the city’s social and economic recovery.
If you are unable to view documents of these types, our downloads page provides links to viewing software.
This page was last updated on 26 January 2022