NOVEMBER 2021: News from your local MP Jack Lopresti
DEALING with this pandemic over the last eighteen months or so has been an incredibly difficult time for all of us. I must again pay tribute to our fantastic NHS, care workers and key workers, as well as everyone across our communities who has worked incredibly hard and have been inspirational.
Now, thanks to the incredible rollout of the vaccines, we live in one of the freest societies in Europe. We can go about our business; children are back in school and we can socialise as normal. However, to continue with the progress we have made and to minimise the prospect of another lockdown, the message is simple.
We all need to get our jabs, either our first two or a booster jab, if we are eligible. Currently, those eligible for a booster jab in England include those living in residential care homes for older adults, all adults aged over 50, frontline health and social care workers, all those aged between 16 and 49 with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 and adult carers, and adults who live in the same house as people who are immunosuppressed.
I absolutely support the decision by the Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, that all care home staff should be vaccinated by November 11, and I echo his words that if you want to work with the most vulnerable people and you cannot be bothered to get vaccinated, then you should get another job – that shouldn’t be controversial.
The flu season will undoubtedly add strain to the system this winter. Normally, flu kills on average about 11,000 people every winter in England. This normally leads to more than 1,000 hospital admissions a day. Research suggests that those infected with the flu and with covid are more than two times as likely to die as someone with covid alone. The flu jab programme this year will be the biggest ever, so make sure you’re as protected as you can be.
I know a lot of people have been frustrated that they haven’t been able to meet their GP face to face since the pandemic. I share that frustration. I have been meeting with GPs over the past few months, encouraging them to restart face-to-face appointments as normal, just like before the pandemic, though there is still work to do. I am delighted that the Health Secretary has just announced £250m extra in funding for the NHS. To access this additional funding, GP surgeries will have to provide more face-to-face care.
Our health services have been stretched by the pandemic. That’s why I welcome the Government’s commitment to provide another £34 billion pounds in funding up to 2023, as well as their bold decision to introduce the Health and Social Care Levy.
We will continue to work together to protect our communities and the NHS. I know we have the fortitude and compassion to do so, and my office team and I stand ready to support you in this.