HSCP Covid work in Argyll and Bute is effective, says new report

Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership.

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Cases of Covid-19 in Argyll and Bute have almost trebled since the end of August, according to a report.

But the rate of positive cases remains lower than for Scotland as a whole, and also below most neighbouring council areas.

The report has been compiled by Dr Nicola Schinaia, associate director of public health with the area’s Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP).

Dr Schinaia also expressed confidence that the work of the HSCP has been effective and will help manage any subsequent phases of the pandemic.

The report will be considered by the HSCP’s integration joint board (IJB) at its meeting via Skype on Wednesday, November 25.

Dr Schinaia said: “Public Health Scotland report there have been 532 confirmed cases recorded of Covid-19 in Argyll and Bute, with 352 cases from September 1 (as published on November 13, 2020).

“This includes data from NHS laboratories and UK Government test sites from people with Argyll and Bute addresses associated with their CHI (community health index) numbers.”

A graph below Dr Schinaia’s comments shows that the highest number of new confirmed cases in Argyll and Bute in one day was 15, around the start of October. Only a couple of other days have seen double figures reached.

The doctor continued: ‘The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Argyll and Bute over a seven-day period smooth the fluctuations seen day to day.

‘Presenting information as a rate per 100,000 people in the population allows comparison with Scotland as a whole and neighbouring council areas.

‘Rates of cases in Argyll and Bute has been relatively stable throughout October and into November and are lower than for Scotland as a whole and for other neighbouring local authority areas, with the exception of Highland.

‘The percentage of tests carried out that are positive (now including repeat testing e.g. through routine testing at work) is lower than at the end March/early April when almost 25 per cent tested positive, but has increased since July. The percentage testing positive in Argyll and Bute has fluctuated over the past month.’

Dr Schinaia concluded: ‘Following the declaration of major incident in NHS Highland to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Department of Public Health identified a number of key activities to contribute to the overall HSCP response. Human resources have been focused to the response.

‘Our overriding working principles of cooperative working within the HSCP have strengthened and it is expected that may be helpful in the management of the subsequent phases of the pandemic and the post-Covid-19 work.’