Dorset Councillors briefed on coronavirus

Dorset Councillors briefed on coronavirus

Published by George Sharpe at 3:38pm 4th March 2020. (Updated at 3:40pm 4th March 2020)

Councillors in Dorset are being briefed by the county’s director of public health as part of efforts to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

Sam Crowe, who works with both BCP Council and Dorset Council through Public Health Dorset, was due to issue advice to elected representatives on Tuesday (March 3), updating them on work being carried out across the county.

The outbreak was discussed at Monday’s meeting of BCP Council’s health scrutiny committee after councillors sought an update on the preparedness of the authority.

Cabinet member for health, councillor Lesley Dedman, said she had been assured that “everything is in place” should the virus spread into Dorset.

“However, clearly, the detail of the ‘everything’ is with the director of Public Health and the NHS rather than myself,” she added.

Jan Thurgood, BCP Council director for adult social care, said Mr Crowe had been putting together a briefing paper for all councillors and that was due to be published on Tuesday.

“Because it is a fast-moving process we were concerned that we needed to supplement the information that is already available on the intranet,” she said.

“In terms of the council, we have had discussions and are looking at the necessary actions in all areas given the state we are in, which is preparedness.

“There is national guidance and we are looking at how we use that appropriately but we are – and will continue – to plan as a whole council.”

She said the council would look into the possibility of offering face-to-face briefings for councillors to ensure they are kept up to date with the latest advice and work being carried out in Dorset.

By Joshua Wright, Local Democracy Reporter

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