City of York Council (Logo)



Meeting date:


Report of:

Peter Roderick, Director of Public Health

Portfolio of:

Cllr Jo Coles, Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adult Social Care

Decision Report: Approval of the CYC Annual Health Protection Annual Assurance Report

Subject of Report


1.        The Director of Public health (DPH) is responsible for the local authority’s contribution to health protection matters, including local authority’s roles in planning for, and responding to, incidents that present a threat to the public’s health. Local Authority leadership is critical to ensuring partners across the Health Protection system are implementing preventative strategies to tackle threats to the health of the local population.


2.        The DPH, and their team, work on behalf of the local authority to identify issues and advise appropriately and this is underpinned by legal duties of cooperation, contractual arrangements, and clear escalation routes. This includes chairing a partnership board (York Health Protection Committee) to convene the system.


3.        The purpose of this paper is to provide Executive with its annual assurance that the health protection system in York meets these obligations and duties, and to give an overview of the health protection activities over the past year.


Benefits and Challenges


4.        One of the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic is that maintaining a focus on high quality and responsive health protection services is vitally important to protect and improve the health of people living in York. Local health and care organisations and leaders are operating in an increasingly complex national policy and commissioning environment and are required to maintain their effectiveness to protect and improve health in the face of multiple challenges.


5.        The DPH in York has established a York Health Protection Committee which brings together the key partners across the health protection system to work collaboratively on actions to protect the health of the local population. This Committee is chaired by the DPH.


6.        The work of the Health Protection Committee is driven by the health needs of local residents and includes:

·        National programmes for vaccination and immunisation

·        National screening programmes for antenatal and newborn, cancer (bowel, breast and cervical), diabetic eye careening and screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm

·        Management of environmental health hazards, including those related to air pollution and food

·        Health emergency preparedness and response, including management of disease outbreaks and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear hazards

·        Infection prevention and control in health and social care community settings

·        Other measures for the prevention, treatment and control of communicable disease and in response to specific incidents


Policy Basis for Decision


7.        There is a link to the City of York Council Plan 2023-2027 and the four core commitments, because of the health inequalities impacts of health protection and the need to protect the health of the local population.


Financial Strategy Implications


8.        Financial implications to follow from specialist officers.






Recommendation and Reasons


9.        The Executive Board are asked to receive this summary report and the full report Annex A and be assured of the health protection arrangements in place to protect the local population.




10.    The protection of the health of the population is one of the mandated responsibilities given to local authorities as part of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. The Director of Public Health (DPH) for City of York Council is responsible under legislation for the discharge of the local authority’s public health functions.

11.    The health protection element of these statutory responsibilities, and the responsibilities of the DPH are set out below:

·        The Secretary of State’s public health functions

·        Exercising the local authority’s functions in planning for, and responding to, emergencies that present a risk to the public’s health.

·        Such other public health functions as the Secretary of State specifies in regulations.

·        Responsible for the local authority’s public health response as a responsible authority under the Licensing Act 2023, such as making representations about licensing applications.

·        A duty to ensure plans are in place to protect their population including through screening and immunisation.

·        Within City of York Council, the remit for health protection is delivered by the DPH in partnership with the Public Protection and Emergency Planning teams.

12.    The Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership (Integrated Care Board or ICB) has responsibilities for health protection including, for example, arrangements for delivery of Infection Prevention and Control services in York through a joint agreement with York and North Yorkshire Public Health Teams.

13.    The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) core functions include protecting the public from infectious diseases, chemicals, radiation and environmental hazards and supporting emergency preparedness and response. The team responsible for delivering these functions sit at regional level and facilitate access to national experts in this field. In addition, a new Centre for Climate and Health Security has been launched within UKHSA to lead efforts to protect health in the context of a changing climate and provides a focus for partnerships and collaborations with academia, local authorities and other public sector organisations.

14.    NHS England is responsible for commissioning and quality assuring population screening and immunisation programmes.

15.    The Humber and North Yorkshire ICB is now a statutory NHS organisation and has a new role as a Category One responder for Emergency Planning, Preparedness and Response. A Humber and North Yorkshire Local Health Resilience Partnership (LHRP) has been established which brings together NHS provider organisations, the Local Resilience Forum’s, UKHSA and local authority Public Health to ensure protocols and procedures are in place providing consistency of approach across the Humber and North Yorkshire footprint. The Humber and North Yorkshire LHRP is chaired by the Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer for the ICB.

16.    Annex summarises health protection activities, risks and issues over the last year. It draws attention to a number of issues, such as:

a)   Variation in rate of screening uptake nationally and in York, including some areas of poor uptake in our city

b)    Challenges within the vaccination system in York, including school-aged immunisation and the impact of vaccine-fatigue of uptake of winter related vaccines.

c)   Strong progress on oral health promotion, against a backdrop of challenging access issues with NHS dentistry

d)   New and emerging risks around various infectious diseases: COVID-19, mPox, Group A streptococcus, H1N2 influenza, Shiga-toxin producing E.coli.

e)   New and emerging risks around communities, including low vaccine uptake in some specific health inclusion groups in the city.

f)     Risk to the population due to re-emerging viruses such as the current Measles outbreaks seen nationally.






Consultation Analysis


17.    The full report – Annex A – was written by all partners across the health protection System for York including other council officers, UK Health Security Agency, the ICB and commissioned services.

Options Analysis and Evidential Basis


18.    There are no options to consider. The production of a health protection report to provide the Executive Board with assurance is one of the ways we as a local authority fulfil our statutory requirements around health protection.

Organisational Impact and Implications

19.    The implications are stated as below:


20.    Financial, implications to follow from specialist officers.


21.    Human Resources (HR) - There are no HR implications.


22.    Legal – There are no Legal implications.


23.    Procurement – There are no procurement implications.


24.    Health and Wellbeing – For further information, please see the full report – Annex A.


25.    Environment and Climate action - A Task & Finish group has been established to support the Council ambition for York to be Climate Ready by 2030. This group will assess and update climate change risks, identifying potential impacts and mitigations. This group will liaise with the Director of Public Health and contribute to future reports.


26.        Affordability – There are no affordability implications, however, the local population will be kept informed about the impacts of cold weather. This included general health advice such as how to keep warm, getting flu vaccinations and stocking up on medications to heating your home, and where to get financial support if eligible. The Coping with Winter Leaflet was distributed via York Community Voluntary Services (CVS), City of York’s Warm Places, Explore Libraries, and the communities team to sit alongside work seeking to mitigate the effects of the Cost of Living crisis.


27.    Equalities and Human Rights - An Equalities Impact Assessment (EqIA) is not required as this is a retrospective report. However, Public Health are focused on tackling health inequalities and always seeking to improve outcomes for marginalised groups and those furthest away from accessing the support they need.


28.    Data Protection and Privacy - As there is no new personal data, special categories of personal data or criminal offence data being processed for this information report, there is no requirement to complete a DPIA. This is evidenced by completion of DPIA screening questions - reference AD-02512.


29.    Communications - There are no Communications implications.


30.    Economy - There are no economy implications arising from the report recommendations.

Risks and Mitigations


31.    There are no risks associated with the publication of this report.


Wards Impacted


32.    All wards


Contact details


For further information please contact the authors of this Decision Report.












Peter Roderick

Job Title:

Director of Public Health

Service Area:

Public Health



Report approved:







Anita Dobson

Job Title:

Nurse Consultant in Public Health

Service Area:

Public Health


01904 551013

Report approved:






·        Annex A: York Health Protection Annual Report