As of 00:01 this morning, Harrow enters ‘Tier 4’, which broadly follows restrictions of the most recent lockdown but has more wider implications for Christmas plans - restrictions can be found below and read in full here. The news
yesterday will be disappointing for so many across Harrow and across the country, with Christmas plans suddenly altered with less than a week’s notice. This will not be an easy Christmas for so many of us and I am truly
sorry if your family has been affected.
It is also very clear that there must now be more support for sectors in our economy being hardest hit; to protect jobs and to stop further people being pushed into hardship, particularly in the hospitality and self-employed
sectors. Speaking with businesses in recent months, I know that hospitality and SME sector are already enduring significant financial burdens. With salons, gyms and other non-essential businesses having to close again
as well, the Government must urgently provide a more substantial support package in order to ensure businesses in Harrow and across the country more widely can survive. The impact on mental health cannot be overstated,
I have included details of services in the Finding Support section below.
Given the serious rise in the number of COVID cases in Harrow and across London, I am worried about the NHS locally. In the last week, Harrow has seen 1,134 cases of COVID, a rise in 710+ cases from
the week before. Harrow’s latest case rate is now 421 cases per 100,000, while nationally, the rate is 245.
Do make sure to observe the new measures and please continue to follow the public health rules:
• Everyone must stay at home and may leave only for a limited set of reasons. Read more
• You can no longer form a Christmas bubble with other households – support bubbles remain in place for those living on their own
• You must stay at home except for work (if it can't be done from home), exercise and recreation, medical reasons, shopping for food and other essentials or to care for others
• All gyms, leisure and sports centres will close
• Hairdressers and personal beauty businesses must close
• All non-essential shops, pubs and restaurants must close – takeaways and deliveries can continue.
• You can only meet with one person from outside your household in an outside public space
• You should not enter or leave Tier 4 areas, and Tier 4 residents must not stay overnight away from home
• Children can move between homes if parents are separated
• Places of worship will remain open and funerals will continue but there must be no mixing of households inside.
While the weekly clapping has stopped, as a community, we are immensely grateful to all of our NHS staff, social care workers and all of our key workers that continue to keep us safe and keep our local services going. I
have been speaking with Dr David Lloyd this weekend, who has described the huge task ahead of the Health Service in the coming months with vaccine distribution across Harrow – a huge thank you to the GPs, doctors, nurses,
administrators, many volunteers and everyone in between. I am asking Dr Lloyd questions that have been sent to him through social media about the vaccine safety and its distribution, please do share when you see them,
it is important for tackling the misinformation around vaccinations – I am sharing these across social media channels with links below.
I hope readers continue to stay safe, socially distance and regularly check in on loved ones. Again, people are being urged to remain vigilant for any symptoms of Covid-19 If you're feeling unwell with any of
the symptoms of Covid, a new continuous cough, high temperature, or a loss of or change to taste or smell, it's vital that you get tested. To book a test visit nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119. The response to Coronavirus is being
directed by Government centrally working with Public Health England, the Government’s advice is available here. Government assistance specifically for businesses
is available here.
A reminder that if you need to get in touch about the issues covered here – or anything else – please contact my office on 0207 219 4243 or e-mail me at [email protected]. Please
bear with us, as we have received five times our regular casework correspondence in recent months and my office will be closing from Wednesday, 23rd December for the Christmas period and
returning on Monday, 4th January. Wishing readers, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Yesterday’s announcements will have created anxiety and stress for many. Don't be afraid to reach out for help if you are worried about your mental health: Samaritans: 116 123 CALM: 0800 58 58 58 Young Minds: 0800 018 2138
The Mix (under 25s): 0808 808 4994
The council has a webpage covering their own response to the coronavirus pandemic, this is regularly being updated and is available here.
The first set of vaccinations started last week at The Hive – GPs are inviting their mobile patients who are aged 80 and over. Vaccination has also started in the hospital for NHS staff who are caring for people with Covid
and also those people in need of health care. It is vital that we keep rates down so that the NHS can continue to treat people that need support. The majority of people in priority groups will not begin to see invitations
for vaccinations until mid-January.
Book a free test online or call 119
· South Harrow walk-through testing centre at Brigade Close Car Park,
HA2 0LQ (opposite South Harrow Police Station) - open daily 8am to 8pm. No parking available at this site.
· Harrow Weald, Harrow Weald Recreation Ground, 8am-8pm
· Mobile Testing Unit, Harrow Civic Centre - Car Park ‘A’, Milton Road, 10:30 – 15:30
· Mobile testing site (cars only) on selected days, 10.30am to 3.30pm at Northwick Park Hospital (Rear car park).
Tests must be booked in advance. Only book a test if you have symptoms.
This weekend, I’m asking questions to Dr David Lloyd 👨⚕️ about the Covid vaccine, my first questions are up with more of your questions and answers to come – watch here
📌 Why should people get the vaccine and is it safe?
Dr Lloyd wants to reassure us that this vaccine is safe and it will get us out of the terrible state we are in now. The vaccine has been approved as by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) and
has been through 3 phases of clinical trials with checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process. In the third phase, it was given to more than 21,000 volunteers with no serious safety concerns. As
with any medicine, vaccines are highly regulated products and Dr Lloyd wants to reassure everyone that, when added up, thousands of “man-hours” have gone into this vaccine, much like previous vaccines that have taken
what feel like a longer time to secure. 💉
📌 Where are vaccinations taking place in Harrow?
The first vaccinations have taken place this week in Harrow, at The Hive Stadium in Edgware, with Tithe Farm, Rayners Lane FC being the next ground. A tremendous effort is being made by GPs, doctors, nurses, managers, administrators
and many volunteers all doing a fantastic job. It’s going to take months and months to get the vaccine distributed and the NHS locally and nationally will need the support of many to make it possible. Please get involved
if you can. 💉
How does the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine work?
• The vaccine is a messenger RNA (mRNA) which stands for messenger ribonucleic acid
• Scientist take part of the virus’ genetic code or RNA, that tells the cells what to build, and coats them in a lipid so that they can enter the cells of the body
• This is what is in the injection that the person receives
• Once injected the vaccine is translated into a viral protein which our immune system detects
• This prompts the immune system to produce anti-bodies and T-cells
• If the person encounters coronavirus the anti-bodies and T-cells are triggered to fight it
Why should you have the vaccine?
The NHS is offering all care home staff, other social care staff and healthcare staff the vaccine. Having the vaccine offers immunity, to protect you from COVID-19. The more people that have the vaccine, the more it will help to protect those most vulnerable in our communities such as care home residents.
The JCVI advice states that the infection rates are higher in residential care home staff, than in those providing domiciliary care of in health care workers. Therefore, care home workers are considered a very high priority for the vaccine. You can find the JCVI report
What are the side effects?
Most side effects are mild or moderate and go away within a few days of appearing. If side effects such as pain and/or fever are troublesome, they can be treated by medicines for pain and fever such as paracetamol. The common side effects are: pain at injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever. Side effects are listed in the information leaflets:
Public Health England COVID-19 vaccination patient leaflet
Public Health England COVID-19 vaccine health and social care worker leaflet
Leaflet on what to expect after your COVID-19 vaccinations
Is the vaccine safe?
The vaccine has been approved as safe by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency). The vaccine has been through 3 phases of clinical trials. In the third phase it was given to more than 21,000 volunteers with no serious safety concerns. As with any medicine, vaccines are highly regulated products. There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process.
At your vaccine appointment you will speak to a clinician who will check that you are suitable to receive the vaccine and can answers any that questions that you might have.
Why are care homes and care home staff going first?
The independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that the first priorities for any COVID-19 vaccine should be prevention of people dying and the protection of health and social care staff. Older people living in care homes have been affected by COVID-19 more than other groups, therefore the JCVI has recommended that they are the highest priority.
When is the vaccination programme proposed to start in older people's care homes?
The NHS is preparing to roll out a safe, effective vaccine as soon as one becomes available. We do not have a specific date for vaccination to start in older people’s care homes,
Are mental health and learning disability homes included?
The independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has published advice on priority groups for the vaccine, this include residents in care homes for older adults and frontline health and social care workers. The document specifies older adults care homes.
The intrepid Hill Players of Harrow will not be stopped by a pandemic, and if they can’t host their usual Panto in the Ryan, they’ll do a virtual one… (oh yes, they will)!!
The Players have their final live stream panto at 3PM today. You’re welcome to come along and cheer and jeer from home. Please share among families, family organisations, care groups, etc,
who might need some cheering up…
Harrow born Veer Gudhka, aged 4, has been searching for a matching stem cell donor for over a year now. It is often very difficult for people of Asian origin to find their match. Veer's parents have been appealing to people
of all backgrounds, but especially Asians, to step forward and join the global stem cell register. All it takes to do so is a simple cheek swab test in your own home! If you are found to be a match, donation itself is
usually as simple as giving blood. So, we urge you to register today to help Veer and countless others who are in desperate need of a match and to potentially give them a second lease of life.
Order your free swab kit today: https://www.linktr.ee/helpveernow
The HelpVeerNow campaign has managed to inspire over 9000 people to register and one of these 9000 people in India has actually gone on to donate his stem cells and save someone else’s life! This is why every registration
really does count, so please keep encouraging others to register as stem cell donors too
You can download an interactive PDF for sharing across your WhatsApp and Email networks. Please download today and get sharing: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JF80bN1KlK03CPbcn4B_C3oxhGvjRNO9/view
Follow @helpveernow across Facebook and Instagram.
Yesterday’s announcements will have created anxiety and stress for many. Don't be afraid to reach out for help if you are worried about your mental health: Samaritans: 116 123, CALM: 0800 58 58 58, Young Minds:0800 018 2138, The Mix (under 25s): 0808 808 4994
Fresh Horizons Homeless Support
The Fresh Horizons CND charity based in Wembley has supported accommodation available for the single homeless in Harrow during the ongoing coronavirus restrictions. If you or someone you know is in need of supported accommodation,
Fresh Horizons can be contacted by telephone at 0300 321 4702 or via email at [email protected]
Support for children and young people
Harrow Council, Harrow CCG, and Young Harrow Foundation have put together a joint document signposting residents to a collection of some
of the most helpful and trusted sources of information and guidance for children and young people’s wellbeing.
For young people (high school and college age), the document ‘looking after ourselves’ can be found here – covering how to stay healthy, stay
connected and learn new skills during this time.
Support and online resources for the family
Harrow Council have collected a range of online resources
for all members of the family to keep entertained while libraries are closed. You will be able to find resource to help with homework, eBooks, newspapers and magazines
and keeping yourself healthy and motivated.
Counselling services and mental health support
• 5 Steps to Mental Wellbeing
- A fantastic primer on stress, anxiety and depression from the NHS. Evidence suggests there are 5 steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Trying these things could help
you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life.
· Relate Family Mediation
- a service fully geared up to supporting families through the crisis. Tel: 0300 0032324 or email i[email protected].
- provide a counselling service to the local community of Harrow and its neighbouring boroughs. Tel: 020 8427 6796 or email: [email protected]
· Need To Talk
- offering 1 to 1 counselling supporting their clients or any client by telephone or webcam. Tel: call/ text on 07427548559 or email [email protected]
· Ignite Trust
- During these challenging and uncertain times, Ignite Trust is working hard to ensure they continue to provide support to the boroughs most vulnerable and at-risk young people. Email [email protected].
Every Mind Matters - Expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.
The council continues to operate a hotline telephone number during weekends in order to provide support to those in need of assistance in Harrow - if you are in need of support due to Covid please give the hotline
a call - 0208 901 2698
NHS – ‘Help Us, Help You’
NHS England and NHS Improvement recently launched the Access phase of the ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign. The campaign encourages the public to contact their GP if they are worried about a symptom that could be cancer, encourage
pregnant women to keep appointments and seek advice if they are worried about their baby, encourage those already who are already being treated for a health issue to keep their routine appointments and those experience
mental health issues to access NHS services and support.. The NHS has introduced a range of measures to ensure the safety of patients, including COVIDsecure wards, and the ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign will help to reassure
patients that they can receive medical care safely. Your NHS is here to see you, safely. Help Us, Help You.
For cancer: Visit nhs.uk/cancersymptoms
for more information
For using the NHS during coronavirus: Visit nhs.uk/yourhealthmatters for
For pregnancy advice: Visit nhs.uk/pregnancy-and-coronavirus for
For mental health and talking therapies If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, please do come forward: it’s easy to get help. Ask your GP for a referral to NHS talking therapies, or you can self-refer via
London's Community Kitchen (based at The Bridge, next to Harrow Leisure Centre) continue to put Harrow on the map. At the height of the pandemic, this incredible operation served over 10,000 people across Harrow
and London and they are continuing to serve over 5,000 people per week. The Community Kitchen is working with Harrow Council and many other community groups to coordinate a Harrow wide response to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Please consider donating or getting involved in any way that you can: https://www.londonscommunitykitchen.com/home-1
If you’re ever in need of their support, the Community Kitchen want to help - they wont ask you for any details, or anything in return, just turn up and they will provide you with food. If you would like to get involved
with the Community Kitchen - register here: https://www.londonscommunitykitchen.com/get-involved-1
and if you can donate anything, they will make a little go a very long way: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/make-harrow-smile-fundraiser-2020-1
I appreciate that whilst this outbreak of Covid-19 is currently dominating a lot of our thoughts, other concerns and problems do not disappear. However, to help reduce the spread of infection, I am asking members of the
public who need to contact my office to do so by phone or email rather than in person and further, I will continue to hold surgery appointments exclusively by telephone and Zoom video conferencing. This is a temporary
measure and a sensible precaution to protect vulnerable people. Please be assured we continue to offer a full service of advice and support to members of the public who need it.
My office can be contacted on [email protected] or by telephone on 0207 219 4243 (Monday-Friday). Please bear with us, as we have received five times our regular casework correspondence in recent months. The office will be closing from
Wednesday, 23rd December for the Christmas period and returning on Monday, 4th January.
Stay safe and wishing you a Merry Christmas,
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Sent by email from the Labour Party, promoted by Keith Ferry on behalf of Gareth Thomas, both at 132-134 Blenheim Road, Harrow, HA2 7AA Website: www.labour.org.uk to join or renew call 0345 092 2299.