London Covid-19 Response: Bulletin 9
From the Funding, Community and Voluntary Sector cell of the London Covid-19 Strategic Coordinating Group. This weeks bulletin includes a report by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, the Thrive LDN Communications Toolkit for Public Mental Health messaging and a timeline for when retailers can open.
Plans announced for London’s Covid-19 recovery
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, announced plans for how the capital’s transition out of the Covid-19 crisis will be managed. The new London Transition Board, co-chaired by the Mayor and the Secretary of State, will be made up of senior leaders from across the city, including councils, business, health, police and the community and voluntary sector. It will remain in place until the end of 2020 to co-ordinate London’s response to trends, issues and risks as London emerges from lockdown and begins to reopen its economy while controlling the virus.
Until the end of the year, the London Transition Board will run in parallel with and complement the establishment of the London Recovery Board, chaired and constituted by the Mayor of London and Cllr Peter John, the Chair of London Councils. The Minister for London, Paul Scully, will attend the Recovery Board on behalf of government. The London Recovery Board will plan and oversee the capital’s wider economic and social long-term recovery, developing a strategy and plan of action to reshape London to be fairer, more equal, greener and more resilient than it was before the crisis. The work will be carried out in partnership with organisations from across sectors and across the city, and will include opportunities for Londoners to be involved in setting priorities and shaping London’s recovery and renewal, as equal partners.
Elements of the Strategic Co-ordination Group (SCG), of which the Funders, Community and Voluntary Sector sub-group forms part, will remain as the operational arm to the Transition Board. It will report directly to the board as it continues to support London’s recovery and its ability to step up to deal with a second wave of infections, should they arise. To reflect its new role the operational group will be called the Transition Management Group (TMG). Underpinning the work of the TMG will be a number of sub-groups and further details on these and the new structures will follow in due course.
The Department for Health and Social Care announced funding of £300 million for local authorities to support the new test and trace service across England. Every local authority will be given funding to develop tailored outbreak control plans, working with local NHS and other stakeholders. The plans will focus on identifying and containing potential outbreaks in locations such as workplaces, housing complexes, care homes and schools. In London, Camden, Hackney, Barnet and Newham councils are tasked with sharing best practice with others in the initial stages.
The new NHS Test and Trace service has launched across England. The service forms a central part of the government’s coronavirus recovery strategy. Anyone with symptoms will be tested and their close contacts will be traced. New guidance means those who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive must isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms, to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus.
The government is launching a new national anti-body testing programme to provide tens of thousands of tests a day across the UK from next week. In England, NHS and care staff will be prioritised for testing. The test will be able to tell if someone has already had the virus and this will help the ongoing response to the pandemic.
Adoption support partnership announced
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, 23 councils have joined together for a new ground breaking partnership as Adopt London, to commission a bespoke therapeutic support service for adoptive families and for families caring for children under Special Guardianship Orders. Utilising part of a national £8m fund announced by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, Adopt London have commissioned support that will benefit around 700 families across the capital.
Parliamentary committee report on rough sleeping
A report by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee warns that successes in tackling rough sleeping during Covid-19 outbreak risk being lost unless the government funds “a comprehensive exit strategy”. London Councils welcomed the report and is calling for: a boost to local authority funding to meet the needs of rough sleepers, a twelve-month suspension of no recourse to public fund restrictions and a phased lifting of lockdown measures to avoid a cliff edge when hotel accommodation returns to commercial use.
PM sets out timeline for retailers to reopen in June
The Prime Minister has announced yesterday that high street shops, department stores and shopping centres across England are set to reopen next month once they are Covid-19 secure and can show customers will be kept safe.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published further guidance for the sector on how they can reopen and operate safely to protect their staff and customers. BEIS is also sharing a toolkit with digital assets and a video on how retailers can be Covid safe.
Transport for London advice on safe return to work
Transport (TfL) has published advice for businesses across London on how they can play a part in controlling the coronavirus as national restrictions on movement are gradually lifted. The advice sets out how employers can enable employees to follow the latest Government and TfL travel advice, including reducing the frequency or adjusting the timing of trips.
Emergency measures for Covid-19 deaths scaled back
Emergency measures put in-place to respond to increased deaths in London from the coronavirus pandemic have been scaled back as the number of deaths recorded in the capital falls. The Pandemic Multi-Agency Response Teams (PMART), set up to respond to suspected Covid-19 deaths in the community across London, have ceased frontline operations after supporting the emergency response for 7 weeks. Arrangements for responding to those who die in the community, will now revert to those that were in place before the pandemic, with families appointing a funeral director to collect their loved ones.
Updated Thrive LDN Communications Toolkit for Public Mental Health messaging
An updated version (v0.8) of the Thrive LDN Communications Toolkit for Public Mental Health messaging is now uploaded to the Thrive LDN website at: www.thriveldn.co.uk/toolkits/. Version 0.8 contains additional messaging on support for signposting to:
- Where to get urgent help for mental health – promoting local NHS MH helplines
- Suicide Prevention
- Doctors of the World UK’s report of the COVID-19 pandemic on Excluded People in England
- Easy Read document on: New rules on staying alert and safe.