During the Covid-19 statement today (Monday 14 December 2020), Nus Ghani, MP for Wealden, urged the Health Secretary to keep Wealden out of Tier 3 level of restrictions as infection rates are low, and to ensure that vaccines are easily accessible locally for Wealden residents.
Earlier, the Secretary of State announced that London, as well as parts of Essex and Hertfordshire will move into England’s highest tier of Covid restrictions from Wednesday. Nus noted that the tiers were now being split into districts rather than whole counties. With Wealden’s infection rates low, she is keen to ensure East Sussex is also treated the same when it comes to new tier announcements and tougher restrictions are focused only where infections are high.
Apart from holding virtual surgeries every day throughout the latest national lockdown, Nus has spent the past weekend visiting and virtually meeting with local businesses in the hospitality sector, wedding venues and outdoor sports to listen to their concerns. She has also spoken to Wealden’s elderly residents who have concerns about travelling over an hour to access the vaccine, as it is currently distributed from Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.
Nus has urged the Health Secretary to ensure that Wealden residents are not having to travel for hours to get the vaccine but can access it safely from local practices. Nus continues to work with the Department of Health and the vaccine taskforce to also deliver the vaccine into Wealden’s care homes.
The Health Secretary confirmed at the dispatch box that he will personally look into Wealden’s data ahead of the tier review and committed to ensuring that vaccinations are rolled out to GPs and communities across Wealden.
Nus Ghani said: “Our businesses are on their knees and I am deeply concerned about the impact of ongoing restrictions on them. Wealden does not have huge increase in cases and the infection rate, and it also scores low on the Government’s five criteria for restrictions. Therefore, I urged the Health Secretary to ensure that Wealden does not get swept up in tougher restrictions for our neighbouring areas which have experienced spikes in cases, as added restrictions are also having an adverse impact on residents with other health conditions.”
“It is especially important for a rural constituency such as Wealden to have easy access to the Covid vaccine. Having spent the weekend speaking to distressed elderly and vulnerable residents who struggle make the journey across the county to access the vaccine, I am determined to get the vaccine into Wealden. I am pleased to have secured the attention that Wealden deserves, and I welcome the Minister’s commitment to deliver the vaccine to Wealden. In the meantime, if you are contacted by the NHS to get the vaccine, please honour the appointment and let them know if you have travel issues.”
A video of Nus’ speech is available here.