Latest Covid-19 Update from Helen Grant MP

Dear Friends and Residents

Today (Thursday 16th April) it has been confirmed that the stringent social distancing measures will continue for several weeks. It, therefore, seems a suitable moment to provide a re-cap on some of the information provided in recent weeks, and an update on some new developments, including:

  • Sources of support
  • Guidance for volunteers
  • Reliable sources of news and information
  • Charity funding news
  • Maidstone and Pembury Hospitals in the COVID-19 front line battle on Channel 4
  • Plans for the resumption of parliamentary proceedings

SOURCES OF SUPPORT

For people who are self-isolating in their homes and are unable to access essential supplies, our Parish Councils have teams ready to support with deliveries of essentials, including food and medicines. 

Here is a link to the Parish Council contact list on my website; https://bit.ly/2VwTWBY

Our local authorities have also set up support networks, see details below:

Maidstone Borough Council Community Hub Website: https://www.maidstone.gov.uk/home/other-services/covid-19/tier-2-primary-areas/community-hubs-and-local-support
Phone: 0300 303 1650

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Community Hub: Website: https://bit.ly/3a9tqE6 
Phone: 01892 554497

Kent County Council’s Kent Together: Website: https://bit.ly/3a8miry 
Phone: 03000 41 92 92

GUIDANCE FOR VOLUNTEERS

My previous bulletin contained detailed advice and guidance for volunteers and people who are considering volunteering. 

If you wish to access this, the link is here; https://tinyurl.com/y9g9elcc

SOURCES OF RELIABLE NEWS AND INFORMATION

In this time of crisis, it is more important than ever that we can all access reliable, well-informed news and information.  

The main TV news channel websites provide good national and international guidance

Reliable and responsible content from a local perspective is provided by the Kent Messenger and the Downs Mail which are available online at the following links:
https://www.kentonline.co.uk/ 
https://www.downsmail.co.uk/

Below are a number of other sources recommended by our NHS in Kent for their reliability and accuracy:

https://twitter.com/NHSEngland   NHS England Twitter account
https://twitter.com/PHE_uk   Public Health England Twitter account
https://twitter.com/DHSCgovuk   Department for Health and Social Care Twitter account
https://twitter.com/PHE_SouthEast   Public Health England South East region Twitter account
www.nhs.uk/coronavirus   NHS Coronavirus advice page
www.111.nhs.uk/covid-19   NHS 111 online Coronavirus symptom checker
www.gov.uk/coronavirus   UK Government’s Coronavirus response: updates and advice

CHARITY FUNDING NEWS

I am delighted that the Government have announced a support package for charitable organisations involved in the fight against Coronavirus up and down the country.  

Hospices will receive some of the £360 million set aside by Government and I am particularly mindful of how this may assist the inspiring teams at Heart of Kent Hospice and the Hospice in the Weald.

I trust they will be able to access their share of the financial support and I am on hand if assistance in needed by them in this regard.

MAIDSTONE & TUNBRIDGE WELLS NHS TRUST

Last Night (15th April) Channel 4 broadcast a very insightful piece about the battle with the virus on the NHS front lines.  The programme was focussed upon Kent and in particular, Maidstone and Pembury hospital wards and intensive care units. 

It showed the sharp-end of the pandemic, right now, and I was so proud of our medical teams and ancillary staff. They presented an exemplary illustration of NHS care and conduct despite the extreme circumstances of this crisis.

You can view the full 50-minute programme here; https://tinyurl.com/y9wn3uza   

or watch a 4-minute excerpt here; https://tinyurl.com/yay72g8h

RESUMPTION OF PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS

Significant discussions have been taking place over the last two weeks about how the House can return to an operational level in a way that allows Members to hold the Government to account whilst complying with the important public health guidance in the current crisis.

Approval has now been given by the House of Commons Commission to allow up to 120 MPs at any one time to take part in proceedings virtually (using the Zoom online communications app), while around 50 could remain in the chamber under strict social distancing rules.

The unprecedented step towards a ‘hybrid’ House was taken this afternoon, although the historic measures will still need the approval of MPs early next week. 

IN CONCLUSION

Thank you again to everyone who is playing their part in tackling the Coronavirus.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns that you think I can help with then please do get in touch at helen.grant.mp@parliament.uk  or by calling my office on 02072197107 and I will do whatever I can to assist.

In the meantime, please do stay safe and well.

Very best wishes

Helen