I had a catch-up with Jo Farrar, the Chief Executive of Kingston Hospital and Sally Brittain, the Director of Nursing, this afternoon. They have very positive news to report about the big fall in numbers of current patients diagnosed with COVID-19 – currently only 5. Jo and Sally were full of praise for the remarkable work that all the staff at the Hospital have done throughout the last few months as they have continued to deliver outstanding care in extremely difficult circumstances. The staff have had very little respite and carried a huge physical and emotional load – including coping with the deaths of two of their colleagues. I was pleased to hear of the particular care that the Hospital has taken of their BAME staff, who face a higher level of risk.
Jo stressed the excellent links that the Hospital has built with other healthcare providers in the area, particularly Teddington Memorial Hospital, that have helped them to cope with the coronavirus challenge. And was, once again, full of praise for the incredible support they’ve received from the local community. The Hospital has been overwhelmed by the generous donations from local businesses and voluntary organisations.
The Hospital has continued to deliver high-quality care for their non-COVID patients, achieving the third-best cancer target in the country for April and delivering virtual out-patient appointments. As the Hospital starts to deliver elective surgery again, the staff are keen to stress that, if you need to, it is safe to attend the hospital.
I am so proud to have Kingston Hospital in the constituency and offer my most heartfelt thanks to all its staff for the wonderful work they have done during this time.
NHS TEST AND TRACE UPDATE
The new NHS Test and Trace was formally launched two weeks ago and today, the Department of Health has released some results on how the service is operating. In the last two weeks:
- 67% (5,407) of the people who had tested positive for coronavirus were reached by our contact tracers and asked to share details of their close contacts.
- 85% (26,985) of close contacts were reached and advised to self-isolate.
In addition, on Wednesday, the Health Secretary updated the House on the allocation of £300m of funding to local authorities in England. This funding will enable local authorities to develop and implement tailored local outbreak plans through, for example, funding the recruitment of additional staff where required.
I would urge you, if you do have a positive test or you are contacted by the tracing team, please adhere to the stay at home rules to keep yourself and other safe and to reduce the continued spread of infection.
LONDON WIDE REVIEW INTO DIVERSITY OF STREET NAMES & STATUES
This week the Mayor announced a new commission to review and improve diversity across London’s public realm to ensure the capital’s landmarks suitably reflect London’s achievements and diversity.
The Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm will focus on increasing representation among Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, women, the LGBTQ+ community and disability groups.
London is one of the most diverse cities in the world, with more than 300 languages spoken every day, yet statues, plaques, street names and statues largely reflect Victorian Britain – as highlighted by recent Black Lives Matter protests. It’s important that we take the right steps to work together to bring change and ensure that we can all be proud of our public landscape.
This review has my full support and those of Richmond Council.
GUIDANCE ON WEARING AND DISPOSING OF FACE COVERINGS & GLOVES
I was contacted this week by a local nurse who wanted me to share some basic guidance on the wearing and disposal of gloves and face coverings to ensure efficacy and safety.
- Hands need to be washed before being put on and after removal.
- Once on, the mask must not be touched. If they are touched, hands must again be washed.
- Wearing a face covering or gloves does not mean you no longer have to adhere to the social distancing rules
- It is a good idea to carry a bag with you when you are out and about. Then, when you are finished wearing your mask or gloves, you can use the bag to take them home to dispose of them vs littering public spaces.
YOUTH OUT LOUD! SUPPORT YOUNG PEOPLE THROUGH THE CRISIS
Youth Out Loud! (YOL!), is a group of young people aged 13 to 17 from Richmond and Kingston, who are helping to improve NHS care and the wellbeing of young people. They have put together a teenager’s guide to coronavirus that helps people understand the Government’s guidelines and separates rumours or fake news from reality.
To find out more or to become a member, click here.
RICHMOND COUNCIL AGREES PLANNING GUIDANCE TO PROTECT AIR WE BREATHE
New planning guidance around improving air quality has been agreed by Richmond Council. This is after the Borough was designated as an air quality management area due to poor air quality back in 2000.
The new Air Quality Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) is designed to give developers clear information on how their planning applications will be judged in terms of air quality. It includes information on construction, development design, traffic reduction, electric vehicles, heating, cooling and power supplies, commercial premises and how to conduct an air quality assessment.
The impact on air quality will be considered as part of any planning application submission.
Click here to read the SPD.