Darren’s Update - 12th March 2021
Visiting the Village Hotel Vaccination Site
I am delighted to have visited the new vaccination site located in Broxtowe at The Village Hotel. This is great news for Broxtowe and is something that I have been calling for and lobbying our clinical leads on for quite some time. Great to see!
The programme as a whole is continuing to evaluate the data on the uptake of the vaccines in our communities and we are exploring where we need to establish other vaccination sites over time. You can find all the latest information regarding the programme here.
My thanks go out to all the staff and volunteers who are doing an amazing job getting this facility up and running and ensuring we are playing our part locally to get the country vaccinated and recover from covid-19.
It was wonderful to chat with patients and staff also about their experiences and thoughts on Covid-19, vaccines and our local roll-out. As ever, the team were fantastic. Well done everyone!
Speaking of vaccines, it has been another great week for the vaccine roll-out in Broxtowe and Nottinghamshire and now, from 11th March, the local Covid-19 vaccination booking system opened to residents aged 55!
You will be able to book a Covid-19 vaccination appointment by visiting the local booking link or by calling the local booking line on 0115 883 4640 between 8 am – 8 pm during weekdays and 9 am – 5 pm on weekends. Over 55s can also call the National Booking Service on 119 or use the national booking link to book an appointment at the large-scale Vaccination Centre or their nearest pharmacy-led Site. Equally, if you are aware of a person over 55, or in a previous cohort that has not received their letter please urge them to book their vaccine as soon as possible!
Funding for Broxtowe
One thing I have been keeping my eye on is the new Levelling Up Fund recently announced by Government. Now more than ever, we have to seize opportunities that are available to us and I want to make sure that Broxtowe is at the front of the queue for funding opportunities that will benefit our community.
This fund will invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and communities that have been overlooked for investment, like here in Broxtowe.
I see this fund being used to help drive our local economic recovery, delivering the infrastructure our communities need - such as bypasses, upgraded railway stations, more libraries and museums and improvements to our town centres and high streets.
As ever, I am keen to make the best of this opportunity for Broxtowe, ensuring we make our bid as strong as possible. With this in mind, I aim to work closely with our Local Authority as with our local community to ensure we shape this bid together!
Supporting Maternal Health Outcomes
This week, I spoke in the House of Commons (virtually) during the Statement during a really encouraging statement on the Women's Health Strategy: Call for Evidence. I absolutely applaud this Statement from the Minister, especially being delivered on International Women's Day.
I spoke on behalf of Broxtowe Constituent Sarah Kolawole and her daughter Ariella Kolawole who sadly passed away shortly after being born in February 2019.
I outlined to the Minister that I welcomed all of the research that has been conducted to explore why negative birth outcomes and traumatic births for pregnant women of black African and Caribbean descent are more frequent than for other ethnicities. But I wanted to make sure that, as we move forward with our NHS Long Term Plan, if she agreed with me that we must use this call for evidence to ensure that equal outcomes are achieved for mothers of all ethnicities.
We know that damaging taboos and stigmas remain around many areas of women’s health, which can prevent women from starting conversations about their health or seeking support for a health issue. So, I would urge you to come forward and have your say, so we can make sure our nation’s health system truly works for the whole nation.
Push Bike Broxtowe
Very glad to see the Fix Your Bike Scheme has re-opened this week! If you have an old bike gathering dust at home, you can apply for a voucher of up to £50 to get it repaired. Apply for a voucher here.
This week will involve hosting another fantastic three Push Bike Broxtowe meetings - one productive meeting already held on a Festival and two due this evening: one on Schools & Neighbourhoods, and another on Strategy, Planning and Places. I am so grateful for the interest and energy from our community to see a modal shift to cycling, particularly for short journeys. Faces are becoming familiar at our meetings!
Now that we are in Spring, I have been cycling more and I would encourage others to do the same. We all know cycling around Broxtowe is one of the most enjoyable ways to explore more of this part of Nottinghamshire. Here is some great information on the best places to cycle around Broxtowe that I hope you will find useful!
Good news: 95% Mortgages!
I just want to express my optimism about the news the Chancellor is offering to incentivise banks to offer 95% mortgages. Great stuff to see.
I am 100 per cent behind homeownership. I owned a home when I was younger and I want future Broxtowe generations to know what it is like when you get that set of keys in your hand and you start on your road towards reaching your life aspirations!
Reforming the Mental Health Act
This week, I also finished my response to the White Paper on Reforming the Mental Health Act! This will be submitted next week and I will publish my thoughts in due course on my website. The act has long been outdated and it is my hope that engaging many of the recommended changes will fire the starting gun on changing the way our country views and treats mental health conditions.
Having spoken to stakeholders including Mind, The National Autistic Society, Rethink Mental Illness and the Mental Health Foundation, I really think this is our chance to work together, making this a better place for those suffering from mental ill-health.
Armed Forces Bill Committee
This week, we held our second and third evidence sessions of the Armed Forces Bill 2019-21. Here, we heard from where we discussed the scope, enforcement and potential areas for improvement of the Bill.
Right now, we are seeking written evidence on all provisions within the Bill and on a number of additional topics. As discussed in last week’s update, I am keen to keep in close contact with our local community throughout this process, and I encourage anyone with experiences in this field to submit their thoughts here.
Meetings and Surgeries
This week I was delighted to meet again with people from Stapleford Town Football Club to discuss in more detail the work they do in the local community in Stapleford. A truly incredible bunch of people doing great work. I look forward to working with them going forward, and visiting them when restrictions allow!
As ever, it was great to speak to so many residents through my virtual surgeries. A lot of good points were raised from many people across the constituency. You can arrange a call with me by sending an email to email@example.com.
As ever, I attended a variety of meetings, but of particular note was a session with the Secreatry of State for Health and Social Care, Rt. Hon. Matt Hancock MP, who gave an important update on the current Covid-19 situation. There has also been a lot of discussion on the Department’s recently published White Paper, Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all, which can be accessed here. There is great stuff in here and I will be looking at how we, here in Broxtowe, can help inform the Government’s new strategy on health and social care.
For now, stay safe