Hampshire County Council: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Edition 73

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Local context




Children's Social Care

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Children’s Services has continued to support children, young people and their families. The service has responded to all contacts about vulnerable or at-risk children, through the ‘front door’ (the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub and the Out of Hours Service). During the first few weeks of lockdown the number of referrals was lower, but by May referrals were back to normal levels for the time of the year. In June, there has been a significant rise over and above what would normally be expected, and there is no evidence yet to suggest this is reducing. Between 1-8 June, there was an increase in referrals of around 30%.


For the 14 months prior to lockdown there had been a slow but sustained reduction in the numbers of looked after children, due to Children’s Services’ well-regarded transformation programme. However, the number of children in care has increased since April. This is primarily due to the lockdown measures which have been in place and the pressure that this has placed upon vulnerable families. Children’s Services reasonably expects the number of children in care to increase as more return to school and nursery and become more visible to professionals. The complexity and severity of the cases has increased significantly in the last two months – and it is anticipated that more children will require urgent help and protection and to need to come into care for their own protection.


For more information about Children’s Services and the referrals process please visit the County Council website.





Hampshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner is running a month of online activity sharing advice and information on community safety issues focussed on challenges and crimes people are experiencing during the Covid-19 pandemic. Between 15 June - 13 July, the Safer Together event will run on the Commissioner’s website and social media channels. #SaferTogetherApart, will bring together commissioned services that help to reduce crime and support the vulnerable, partners including Neighbourhood Watch and crime prevention police officers, to provide support in a range of areas including fraud and scams, online cyber safety, domestic abuse, hate crime and crime prevention. This week has focused on staying safe from fraud and scams and the website contains a host of information including videos and tips to avoid online and doorstep scams.




New Forest

Forestry England is reminding visitors to the New Forest to plan their day trips appropriately. Many of the New Forest carparks are now open from dawn until dusk, but overnight parking and wild camping is not allowed. Due to the fire risk within the New Forest remaining high, no fires including BBQs or disposal of cigarettes, are allowed anywhere on the Forest.




Royal visit

On Wednesday (24 June), the HIOW Local Resilience Forum (LRF) welcomed His Royal Highness Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex to the Fire and Police HQ. He observed the Strategic Coordinating Group meeting and offered his thanks to all the partners of the LRF. 





The County Council is reminding residents to take extra precautions during the hot weather to stay cool and stay safe. Social media posts were scheduled throughout the week to alert people to prepare for hot weather. These posts consist of a series of animations set to music, targeting general audiences, older people, those with long-term health conditions and parents or carers of young children. This is particularly relevant to vulnerable people who may be isolating or shielding and would benefit from additional support from friends and family.







National context








Funding for sexual violence and domestic abuse charities

The Ministry of Justice has announced £22 million of emergency funding to help charities provide remote services and expand their support to victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence during the Covid-19 pandemic.




Driving lessons and tests

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced that learners can resume driving lessons and motorcycle training from Saturday 4 July. Theory tests will also restart in England on Saturday 4 July, while car driving tests won’t resume until Wednesday 22 July.




Economy and business




Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 

The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill has received royal assent. This puts in place a series of measures to amend insolvency and company law to support business to address the challenges resulting from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Related guidance has been published.




Business and Planning Bill

The Government has introduced the Business and Planning Bill to Parliament. The Bill contains a range of measures intended to support businesses to reopen and succeed despite challenging circumstances. The Bill includes measures on pavement licenses, off-sales, outdoor markets and construction working hours. Draft guidance has been published alongside the Bill which sets out further detail on: construction site working hours; planning; and pavement licences.




Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

HMRC has issued guidance on how to pay all or some of the grant back if a business has overclaimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.





Visit England have launched a quality mark ‘We’re Good to Go’ to signal when a tourism and hospitality property has followed Covid-19 guidelines and is safe to visit. They have also launched a “Know before You Go” campaign to start rebuilding domestic tourism. This highlights what is open, where consumers can find more information and guidance for visitors to make sure that they act responsibly.




Heritage attractionsThe Government has issued guidance on the reopening of museums, galleries and the heritage sector from 4 July.




Children and schools




Covid Summer Food Fund

The Department for Education (DfE) has issued guidance for schools and local authorities on providing vouchers to support pupils eligible for free school meals over the summer holiday period.




School funding

The DfE has published guidance on funding available to schools to support them with costs associated with Covid-19 for the period March to July 2020 and has published instructions on how to claim these exceptional costs alongside the online claim form.




Supporting children and young people’s mental health

The guidance on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing has been updated to reflect the latest social distancing measures.




Early years

The Early Years Alliance have published a report which warns that the childcare sector is at risk of mass closures without urgent government intervention. New modelling from independent research agency Ceeda found that childcare providers in England were operating at average occupancy levels of 37% on 8 June, compared to 77% in spring 2019.


The DfE has announced that as a result of the pandemic, the introduction of the Reception Baseline Assessment will be postponed until Autumn 2021.




Adults' social care and public health





The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has announced that Covid-19 testing has become easier and more accessible. Six new ‘walk through’ local testing sites are now offering appointments to people without cars. Home testing kits can now be returned by post, at any of the 30,000 Royal Mail priority post-boxes across the UK, which will all be marked by a regionalised NHS logo by 3 July. In addition, 30 new mobile testing units are now travelling the UK, responding to increased regional demand for testing.


The Government has also announced that 10,000 residents and staff across over 100 care homes from the Four Seasons Care Home Group will be given tests as part of a new surveillance study.




Test and Trace

The Department of Health and Social Care has published the latest weekly NHS Test and Trace statistics, for 11 – 17 June. The report shows that between these dates, 6,129 people tested positive for Covid-19, of which 6,923 had their case transferred to the contact tracing system. 4,869 people (70.3%) who were transferred were reached and asked to provide details of recent close contacts. As a result of this, 30,286 people were identified as close contacts and of these, 24,734 people (81.7%) were reached and asked to self-isolate.




Epidemiology surveillance summary

Public Health England has published the weekly Covid-19 epidemiology surveillance summary. The report includes data from a variety of different sources: community, primary care, secondary care, virology and mortality surveillance data. Combined, these sources show a wider community picture including a breakdown by age, gender, and geography which will help plan the national response to the pandemic and assist regional stakeholders in local planning.




COVID-19 infection survey

The Office for National Statistics has published the initial data from the Covid-19 Infection Survey. The survey is being delivered in partnership with the University of Oxford, the University of Manchester and Public Health England.




Environment and place




National Covid-19 data




Latest R number range

The R number range for the UK is 0.7-0.9 and the growth rate range is -4% to -2% as of 25 June 2020. The data is available to view online.





As of 5pm on 25 June, the total number of lab-confirmed cases was 307,980. The daily number of lab-confirmed cases was 1,118. The total number of Covid-19 associated deaths was 43,230, with 149 new deaths reported on the day. The data is available to view online.




Additional links




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