Coronavirus latest and I Count

In the last week we have seen the predicted move in the response to the Coronavirus from contain to delay. The Prime Minister, flanked by the Chief Scientific Advisor, himself a medical doctor and researcher, and the Chief Medical Officer, have addressed the country numerous times since then. I’m personally very reassured that we are taking a calm, considered science-led approach nationally, and we are doing exactly the same in Staffordshire. There are a number of voices calling for more to be done, but my sense is that they have struck a fine balance which will achieve the aim of delaying the peak until warmer weather when it will be less severe, and reducing it such that the NHS, and of course our adult social care system, will be able to cope.  We will still be fighting this in June, which means that it is very much a marathon rather than a sprint. 

The Incident Management Team (IMT) is up and running, and is handling the issues and challenges with exactly the right balance of caution and reassurance that I would expect and hope. Please look out for the advice and guidance as it is released. For many, this is an opportunity to capitalise on our Smart Working arrangements; having made this a priority over the past four years, we’re already ahead of most organisations in terms of culture and technology. Now would be the time to use those advantages. 

On a point of interest, this is the IMT’s fifth “outing” in 15 months: the collapse of Allied Healthcare, Castle House in Newcastle-under-Lyme, wildfires in the Staffordshire Moorlands, floods in Storm Dennis and now Coronavirus. In each case, our colleagues come together and plan their way through the challenges in an exemplary manner.  Given the long-term nature of Coronavirus, we will undoubtedly need to pace ourselves and I would encourage you to ask whether you can do your bit to support their efforts. The I Count campaign, which launched today is an opportunity for you to step up and help out in the areas where it is most needed

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