The Local Outbreak Management Plan is a framework document outlining the role of the council in the management of the Covid-19 outbreak in Bath and North East Somerset.
This framework provides a consistent set of principles and approaches by which B&NES will manage what is a very dynamic situation. Underneath this framework, there will be a set of detailed plans that will also change and evolve.
The role of the Local Authority
As an authoritative source of local community leadership, and through our many channels of communication, we can encourage and support residents and local institutions of all sorts to operate safely.
As the local base of public health, Environmental Health and Adult Care teams, we have a key role in working alongside the national and regional parts of the Test and Trace system, to enable the whole to function as well as possible at a local B&NES level. We also have a further specialist role in preventing local outbreaks, through advice and training in vulnerable settings, particularly care homes, but also schools and certain other institutions.
The aim of the Local Outbreak Management Plan (LOMP)
The aim of the LOMP is to harness the capacity of the Council, working with a wide range of partners, to enable residents of Bath and North East Somerset to resume their normal lives as far as possible, while being protected from the threat still posed by COVID-19.
Principles of the LOMP
The principles to our approach are as follows:
- Our plan will build on existing health protection processes, which are tried and tested.
- Our plan will focus local and national efforts to co-ordinate a local system that ensures testing and tracing (and where appropriate, self-isolation) occurs as thoroughly and as rapidly as possible.
- The plan will ensure that we are quickly alerted to increases in cases overall, as well as new outbreaks, and most particularly, outbreaks among the more vulnerable groups.
- The governance arrangements associated with our plan will provide the structure and responsibility to enable an effective place-based approach in B&NES.
- We will use an evidence base and local knowledge to steer a consistent approach to decision making.
- Where it will strengthen efforts in B&NES, we will work with neighbouring Local Authorities and other key partners, such as the regional PHE unit, the local NHS and the Local Resillience Forum (LRF).
LOMP update, June 2021
We published our first Plan in July 2020. Since then, many things have changed, including our experience of the second wave, the new ‘Variants of Concern’, the publication and the roll-out of the vaccination programme. So we have updated our plans to reflect recent developments and ensure our approach to managing the pandemic reflects the changing situation clearly and robustly and follows national guidance on updated plans.
These key updates, setting out what we have done since our first plan was published, and our next steps, are set out under the following nine themes:
- Contact tracing
- Outbreak control is areas of large-scale risk, such as care home settings and educational/child care settings (early years, schools, colleges and universities)
- Other high-risk places, locations and communities
- Support for self-isolation
- COVID-19 vaccination
- Communications, engagement and community resilience
- Data integration and use
- Variants of concern
The rest of this plan will address these themes in a systematic, but sometimes interwoven way, and note that the document will not necessarily use the order above. Throughout this document, we have clearly marked updates with a grey tint panel, so they are easy to identify at a glance.