COVID-19 peer support for directors of public health: testing, contact tracing and outbreak management

As part of a sector-led improvement approach the LGA is working with the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) to provide a bespoke support offer to directors of public health and their teams for testing, contact tracing and outbreak management.

Background

In June 2020 local government and directors of public health were identified as critical in managing the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic: testing, contact tracing and outbreak management. All upper tier councils have been tasked by Government to:

  • establish a member-led Local Outbreak Control Board 
  • establish a director of public health-led COVID-19 Health Protection Board
  • develop a Local Outbreak Control Plan. 

The director of public health has a crucial role in the design and delivery of the local public health response and will build on long standing health protection experience and good practice. The council is expected to have a tailored outbreak control plan focusing on identifying and containing potential outbreaks in places such as schools, care homes and workplaces, and will work closely with the NHS, Public Health England and other local partners to achieve this. The key outcome is a well-organised local system that works in tandem with Public Health England health protection teams and other relevant partners, with a key role for councils in communicating effectively with their local population to respond to the action needed for managing a local outbreak.

Support offer

As part of a sector-led improvement approach the LGA is working with the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) to provide a bespoke support offer to directors of public health and their teams for testing, contact tracing and outbreak management. This support aims to create additional capacity, with health protection expertise, as part of the local response to COVID-19.

Our approach is to deploy an experienced public health professional to provide flexible peer-based support. We will work with you to co-produce an appropriate support offer for your councils’ requirements and context.

The LGA support offer forms part of a wider ADPH-led programme aimed at facilitating links between directors of public health and experienced public health professionals with the expertise and capacity to support local public health teams during the COVID-19 outbreak. Further details about the full ADPH support scheme can be viewed on their website.

Audience

This support offer is for directors of public health and public health teams. The offer is not limited to individual councils, and we can provide assistance to those covering more than one council area where this has been determined locally.

We have complementary offers regarding testing, contact tracing and outbreak management for elected members and senior management, which can be found on the LGA's website.