I am very pleased to announce that this week University of Nottingham’s Cripps Health Centre and King’s Meadow Campus will have started vaccinating. Letters are being sent out by the NHS with full details of how to book an appointment. Every vaccination is a point in our favour in the fight against Covid-19.
As of today, the total number of people vaccinated in the UK exceeds 3 million people. This is a truly remarkable achievement and I want to take this opportunity to thank our fantastic NHS, volunteers and all those in the Department of Health and Social Care.
On Thursday, I met with representatives from the Sutton Trust to hear about the incredible work they do to support students from less advantaged backgrounds applying for university and apprenticeships. Their scholarships are free of cost to our students but would provide life-changing opportunities. I would encourage students at state schools and colleges in Broxtowe to apply for their programmes and I have written to our local schools and colleges with practical information to support students who are interested.
Whilst I could not get in on the debate this week on the abolition of business rates, I echo what my colleagues said that additional measures need to be introduced to support businesses during this pandemic.
I want the Government to set out a medium-term plan of what lies ahead. Businesses need certainty and people need to be able to plan. We need a longer-term recovery for our local businesses – I will be writing to the Government to outline our case in Broxtowe.
This week I was glad to submit some policy proposals I have been working on to the Treasury ahead of the 2021 March Budget. The East Midlands has been under-invested in for several decades, so the first proposal outlines my case to the Government to invest in Broxtowe, providing significant funding in and around our local area.
The second proposal is directed towards expanding funding commitments to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) with a view to accommodate the huge growth in demand for mental health support for young people and to accommodate the previously promised funding boost in the NHS Long Term Plan. Indeed, new investment in CAMHS would enable a record number of children in the UK to receive the support that is desperately required. As the demand for mental health support has risen rapidly this year the amount of support available must rise to meet this in order to avoid even further mental health crises in the future.
I have heard from many constituents in Broxtowe about accessing mental health services. So, on this note, I was grateful to hear from the Minister of State for Patient Safety, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health to discuss the Mental Health Impacts of Covid-19. Accessing these services should not be difficult nor should there be a gap between mental and physical health support. This is why I was glad to see that this week the Government has published a White Paper on reforms to mental health. I look forward to reading the report and putting my personal recommendations to the Government.
From yesterday victims of domestic abuse will be able to safely access vital support from thousands of pharmacies across the UK through a new codeword scheme. Home should always be a safe place, but in asking the public to once more stay at home in our efforts to tackle the virus, I sadly recognise the impact these restrictions may have on the ability of those confined to living with their abuser in reaching out for help.
That is why the Government have worked with independent pharmacies and Boots to introduce the Ask for ANI scheme, which enables those at risk or suffering from abuse to seek immediate support, discreetly and safely, by using the codeword they can speak to a trained pharmacy worker in a private space about accessing vital support or police help. The Prime Minister committed to launching this at our Hidden Harms summit last year and I will continue to do everything I can to ensure vital services are available to those who cannot call home a safe place.
As ever, if you have any immediate concerns on this or any other issue please do not hesitate to contact me. I want to assure you that I will continue to work in Parliament to ensure my constituents are supported during the lockdown.
But for now – stay safe everyone,
168 Derby Road,