Integrated Care & Social Care

10.03.20

Government announces taskforce to bolster local response to coronavirus

Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick has launched a new taskforce, bringing together senior experts across sectors to tackle the outbreak of coronavirus.

Bringing together senior experts from across key sectors – including resilience, local government, public health and adult social care fields – the taskforce will assess Local Resilience Forum (LRF) plans and provide support and advice to ensure they are as robust as possible.

The new taskforce will be led by Andy Battle, the recently-retired Assistant Chief Constable for West Yorkshire and LRF Chair for that region, and Dr Ruth Hussey CB OBE, the former Chief Medical Officer for Wales.

There are 38 LRFs across England, which are made up of emergency services, a range of government agencies, health bodies and local authorities.

READ MORE: Strengthened legal powers to bolster coronavirus protections

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Speaking of the announcement, Mr Jenrick said: “We all have a part to play in managing the spread of coronavirus and I am working to ensure local partners are fully equipped to play their part, too. Today I established a taskforce to support Local Resilience Forums, helping them fully prepare for a range of scenarios at a local level.

“This includes ensuring that LRFs have robust plans in place for helping local people and dealing with pandemic flu of all types, including coronavirus.

“With extensive experience, the new taskforce will provide LRFs with the capability and expertise to respond quickly and effectively.”

As part of the review process, the taskforce will take responsibility for:

  • Analysing LRF local flu response plans
  • Discussing support with LRF chairs for vulnerable people, and how key services could be best maintained
  • Commissioning a table top exercise in each LRF area
  • Examining relationships between LRFs and local health partnerships to ensure they can facilitate and support cross-LRF working

Similarly, the taskforce will also strengthen LRF capability through the input of specialist advice from health, local government and resilience experts, ensuring areas of good practice are actively shared.

The outcome of the review will then be used to gauge the level of LRF preparedness for coronavirus, align and strengthen the working relationships between LRFs and health partners and support LRFs to enhance their preparedness by identifying priorities and key risks in their current planning or capability.

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