Harriett Baldwin's Westminster Diary - The Evesham Observer

Harriett Baldwin's Westminster Diary

Evesham Editorial 3rd Oct, 2020   0

Pershore MP Harriett Baldwin writes for the Observer….

THE SUMMER is fading, our children are back at school and university and the nights are closing in.

It’s worth reminding ourselves that we are so much more resilient and better prepared than were in March, but we all still need to do our bit to manage this very contagious virus.

Testing capacity has risen from 2,000 to 270,000 every day. A smart phone application is now up and running and I urge you to use it if you can. Local testing capacity has also risen, with a special mobile unit and a local resilience plan for Worcestershire and although there has been some extra demand in recent weeks, both national and local Government continue to focus on making sure that if you need a test because you have symptoms, you can get one locally.

The Chancellor has continued to adapt the support which businesses and self-employed people are able to access. In recent months my constituents in West Worcestershire have received nearly £200million in support – 12,000 people living in West Worcestershire were furloughed – worth £91million – and 4,100 people have accessed the self-employment support scheme, getting £12million.

On top of that more than 1,500 companies in West Worcestershire have secured loans worth £71million. Each scheme has been amended and adapted as the crisis continues and we work towards getting the economy back up and running.

We also heard some great news for our local health service – £2.5million has been allocated to help our local hospitals with the extra winter pressures that will inevitably occur this year. I encourage as many people as possible to get a flu jab if they can to help take the pressure off the NHS.

But most importantly of all, the Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust has been taken out of special measures – that’s testament to the hard work of the management team but also the dedication of the amazing doctors and nurses who continue to deliver high quality care for us and our loved ones. At the beginning of this coronavirus crisis, our focus was on taking pressure off the NHS and making sure our hospitals were not overwhelmed. In addition, normal service is resuming in many capabilities and there’s an enormous stockpile of PPE. I am sure you will all welcome the fact that these improvements were possible at a time of national crisis. Well done to all.

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