Pushing for a vaccination site in Broxtowe continues to be my top priority. To this end, I have had talks this week with the Vaccine Minister, fellow Nottinghamshire MPs and the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) including the Clinical Lead for the Vaccination Programme, Dr Hilary Lovelock, on this issue.
Furthermore, I am in discussions with local GPs and Primary Care Networks (PCNs) to see if we can get more of the vaccine directly to Broxtowe residents. With this aim in mind, I have written to the Department of Health and Social Care to ask them to urgently review the framework boundaries that currently prevent GP surgeries from giving vaccinations as soon as possible. This needs to change.
This week, I also continued my campaign to get us testing sites in Broxtowe. I made our case to Public Health for Nottinghamshire after discussions with residents, our local authorities as well as fellow Nottinghamshire MPs. I have been sure to pass on those sites recommended to me by residents to Public Health Authorities in Nottinghamshire and I will continue to do this.
Following concerns from constituents, I was glad to have attended Ministerial surgeries to raise resident’s thoughts directly to Government. Critically, I spoke to Nadhim Zahawi MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment, to discuss if people with mild or moderate learning disabilities will also be prioritised given that people with a learning difficulty are, unfortunately, 6 times more likely to die from coronavirus than the general population. I also wrote a letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, asking him to prioritise the vaccine to all those with learning disabilities. I am grateful to those constituents who have shared their stories with me and I will fight to ensure you are represented to Government on this issue.
Another point to be aware of is that those residents aged over 70 – or who are clinically extremely vulnerable – and are patients at the following surgeries are currently able to book a vaccination at Church Walk Surgery (NG16 3BG) this weekend: Eastwood Primary Care Centre, Giltbrook Surgery, Hama Medical Centre and Newthorpe Medical Centre. These surgeries are already contacting eligible patients but if you fit the criteria above and have not yet been contacted, you can call your GP to book in for an appointment.
Due to recent events, I know many Broxtowe residents are concerned about flooding in the local area. This is why I was pleased to hear that this week the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced a consultation and call for evidence on flood risk management. This is part of their plan to provide around 2,000 new defence schemes to better protect 336,000 properties. I would encourage as many local residents to participate in the consultation and call for evidence to enable us to better protect our local area from flooding.
On Friday, I met with the Universities Minister and Vice-Chancellors from both Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham to discuss how we could further support university students faced with uncertainty and financial pressures as a result of the pandemic. A number of local university students were also in attendance and voiced their concerns. The Minister highlighted that £50 million will be provided to alleviate the difficulties faced by students impacted by Covid-19. I understand many university students in Broxtowe are faced with uncertainty and financial pressures as a result of the pandemic, so I was pleased the Minister was responsive to the issues raised by Broxtowe residents.
This week, a number of constituents wrote to me asking what was being done to protect our bees and other pollinators. As a result, I have questioned the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs asking what steps the Department are taking to ensure the provisions in The National Pollinator Strategy: For bees and other pollinators are being upheld.
Constituents also contacted me regarding issues surrounding the availability of NHS dentist appointments. On behalf of those constituents, I have put a question to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to ask what the Department is doing to ensure there is an adequate number of NHS dentist appointments available throughout the Covid-19 outbreak. When I receive a response to both questions, I will be sure to share these with constituents.
I am also glad to say that I have been appointed to the Armed Forces Bill Committee! This will be a great chance to examine the details of this Bill, ensuring it is up to scratch to support our Armed Forces and military personnel. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Armed Forces Covenant, and we are thrilled that this Bill will, for the first time ever, put the Armed Forces Covenant into law by creating a legal obligation for certain public bodies across the whole of the UK to pay due regard to the Covenant when providing Housing, Healthcare and Schooling.
In some final local news, I was pleased to learn that this week Beeston was featured in Nottinghamshire Live’s ‘5 gorgeous Nottinghamshire towns and villages you must visit once lockdown is over.’ Great to see!
Please be aware that throughout COVID, I have been holding a number of virtual surgeries with residents in Broxtowe on a number of issues. You can arrange a call with me by sending an email to email@example.com.
As ever, if you have any immediate concerns on this or any other issue please do not hesitate to contact me.
For now – stay safe everyone,
168 Derby Road,