Special meeting will consider how Calderdale has responded to the pandemic

A special meeting of a council’s scrutiny board will consider how the authority and other health and care sector organisations have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wednesday, 28th October 2020, 9:08 am
Updated Wednesday, 28th October 2020, 9:12 am

It will also look at Calderdale’s preparedness for the winter, when seasonal factors are also likely to come into play.

Thursday’s (October 29) Adults Health and Social Care Scrutiny Board meeting will be screened via the council’s YouTube channel from 4pm.

The board will hear evidence from a range of council services and health providers with a focus on the response to health and care needs in the initial phase of the pandemic, said Board Chairman Coun Howard Blagbrough (Con, Brighouse).

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Calderdale Council leader Tim Swift

The key objectives of the review will be a “stock take” of the response of the health and care system to the pandemic, as well as seeking assurances that winter plans are in place and robust enough to respond to what is anticipated to be a very challenging six months, he said.

Coun Blagbrough said the “rapid review” session will assist in identifying any areas for improvement and future opportunities to support Calderdale’s response to the pandemic, and what this means for Calderdale communities.

Following the session, the Adults Health and Social Care Scrutiny Board will meet to determine any recommendations, which will be published in a report made available to the public, he said.

“This year has been one of the most challenging in Calderdale’s history and it is important we acknowledge the hard work and dedication of all agencies in the continued response to COVID-19.

“I welcome the opportunity to hear from and work with partners as part of this significant review.

“We look forward to taking a comprehensive look at how the response to the pandemic has impacted people in Calderdale and how things should be done in the future,” said Coun Blagbrough.

Leader of the Council, Coun Tim Swift (Lab, Town) said the council recognised from the start the pandemic posed a long term challenge.

“Seven months since the beginning of the national lockdown it’s right that we take stock, review what we have done and look ahead at what more is needed.

“As the winter approaches, we’ve sadly seen case numbers rise again.

“We’re doing all we can to prepare, with our partners, for what is likely to be an incredibly busy time.

“We’re anticipating that there will be severe pressure across all our services.”

Coun Swift said the council would continue to call on the Government for an effective test and trace system.

“We risk increased restrictions without this in place.

“We understand that it is very difficult for people with a low income or who are self-employed to self isolate and we will continue to support them as much as we can,” he said.