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Gold and BET message from Tracey

Approvals: Tracey Cooper, Quentin Sandifer, Helen Bushell, Zoe Wallace, Leah Morantz

On Thursday 5 November Gold held our weekly meeting and the first point of discussion as usual is an assessment of our Emergency Response level. I can report that once again, the decision was taken to remain at Enhanced Response Level. However in light of continuing pressures and rising case incidence, the Strategic Directors and Incident Directors will continue to discuss this further over the coming days and will keep staff updated as to any changes in our response level .

On Monday 9 November 2020, Wales’ ‘Fire-break’ comes to an end. The fortnight-long action was put in place to save lives and prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed. There will inevitably be a lag in any positive effect that might show in our data surveillance. Although there are already some positive signs, we may not know for a few weeks the full effect that the ‘Fire-break’ has had.

The high level of incidence continues to create enormous pressure on our health protection response. I am pleased therefore that our Health Protection business case is now progressing through scrutiny and internal approval before submission to Welsh Government this week. I am optimistic that the business case clearly articulates a sustainable way forward for our health protection response and I am grateful to colleagues from our health protection and microbiology team, strategic planning and finance who have dedicated significant time and effort to shaping and drafting this. I will of course update you once we have had feedback from Welsh Government.

In the meantime, we are pressing ahead with delivery of key milestones related to our ongoing health protection response, which are set out in our approved Operational Plan 2020-22. As I talked about in my  Ask Tracey session on 4 November 2020, staff can expect to see a full set of briefing information about the Operational Plan 2020-22 from next week.  Gold received an updated Delivery Confidence Assessment (DCA) for the Health Protection Response milestones that are contained in the Operating Plan. There are 47 milestones contained in the Health Protection Response which gives you an indication of the work we have ahead of us. I appreciate the determination and effort it will take to deliver these and remain both confident in our staff and grateful for their continued contribution.

Whilst the ‘Fire-break’ has come to an end this week, it remains absolutely critical that as Public Health Wales staff we continue to set a clear example for friends, neighbours, family members and our communities by following the guidance and helping others to understand the importance of doing so. My thanks to you for doing this already, and for contributing – through your day-to-day or in other ways – to keeping Wales safe.

Very best wishes to everyone.