17.1. The Board considered the Annual report of the Director of Public Health, which is titled ‘2020 – A year of COVID’.
17.2. The Board asked about the link between deprivation and COVID-19, in particular the link between COVID-19 and BAME communities.
17.3. Darrell Gale explained that the report shines a light on how COVID-19 has exacerbated some of the health inequalities in East Sussex and shown that those facing poorer socio-economic outcomes bear the brunt of the disease. Further work will be needed to measure and understand the structural inequalities that mean BAME communities are affected more than the general population, even those who are more affluent. The reasons for this may include such drivers as expectations that BAME employees work certain shift patterns or roles in the health and care sector that result in their increased exposure to the virus compared to their peers.
17.4. The Board extended its thanks for the work in relation to COVID-19 but also recognised there was much still to do.
17.5. Darrell Gale welcomed the gratitude but reminded everyone that the pandemic was not yet over, and that it was not clear what the impact would be of the winter period, even if everyone was better prepared than last year.
17.6. The Board RESOLVED to endorse the Annual report of the Director of Public Health, 2020 – A year of COVID.