Over the past week, Harrow has seen over 1050 cases of coronavirus. The below table shows Harrow’s current ranking among London boroughs. The current case rate locally stands at 401.7 cases
per population of 100,000. Here is the latest following my call with senior figures in our local NHS:
📉 On the 11th Jan, there were 389 patients at Northwick Park with #Covid. Encouragingly, this had dropped to 254 as of Monday.
The numbers in HDU beds had begun to ease last week & the pressure on critical care beds is showing signs of easing this week.
🥼 The scale of pressure on NHS staff working for London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust (and elsewhere) remains very high. Worth noting that 180 staff are off work with Covid, though encouragingly this is down
from 276 last week. Not surprisingly, reports are that our incredible workforce are tired, albeit morale is good.
🏥 Very urgent non-Covid operations eg for cancer patients are still taking place but off site at the Royal Marsden, Clementine Churchill or London Clinic, and ‘non-complex’ operations are still taking place at Central
Middlesex too (though clearly there’s a growing backlog).
🦠 The rate per 100,000 is down to 401.7 today; down from close to 1,000 a few weeks ago but the need to stay vigilant, to wear a mask, wash hands & socially distance remains critical as this rate is still higher than
November last year. Public Health England has identified that there may be spread of a new variant of Covid-19, first identified in South Africa, in a small number of localities across England, including several in London.
In order to gain a better understanding of the prevalence of this variant, and in order to suppress it, the NHS has started surge testing in post code areas where cases of the variant have already been detected.
👏 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. Our NHS staff at LNWH and across the borough continue to do a quite remarkable job for us; quietly supported by Met Police officers, the London Fire Brigade
and Harrow Council staff as well as numerous others. A huge thank you to them all.
💉 9.6 million people across the country have now received the first dose of the vaccine. Harrow has fared exceptionally well in comparison to many boroughs across London and is on track to deliver the first dose
of Covid-19 vaccinations to all of the first four priority groups by mid-February. With the national vaccination programme, there continues to be some light at the end of this long tunnel. Another huge thank you to
the GPs, doctors, nurses, administrators, many volunteers and everyone in between helping to roll this out.
Nationally, England and Wales have recorded its third deadliest week of the pandemic so far. With thousands of grieving family members each day, my thoughts continue to be with the loved ones of those who have died, and
with those who have contracted the virus. Again, I can only begin to imagine the sense of fear and loss families must be feeling.
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.
If you feel fine and are leaving the house on a regular basis – please do get a free rapid test and help stop the asymptomatic spread. Details can be found below.
Covid vaccines are free and the NHS will never ask for payment or financial details.
A reminder to be alert for virus vaccine scams. There have been reports of people (often vulnerable) being contacted with a request for payment or card details in order to secure a vaccination or in some instances, to receive
a “Covid-relief pay-out”. A reminder that GOV and HMRC never send notifications of a tax rebate or ask you to disclose personal or payment information by text message. The phishing websites that retrieve data from vulnerable
people are looking more and more professional, please be on the alert and share in your circles.
You can report any suspicious calls, texts, or e-mails you receive from HMRC here: https://www.gov.uk/.../contact/reporting-fraudulent-emails
Please feel free to get in contact with my office if you are concerned about the veracity of any messages you receive.
The renewed lockdown measures 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, Harrow Council also encourage calling the Coronavirus Hotline: 0208 901 2698
Harrow Talking Therapies
If you're anxious, feeling low or stressed about the impact of the virus on you or loved ones, Harrow Talking Therapies Service is here to help.
Part of the NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapy service, it supports people feeling isolated or worrying about what's going on, as well those dealing with depression, bereavement and insomnia.
Available via phone or video call: https://talkingtherapies.cnwl.nhs.uk/harrow
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
Guide to Tax Debt and Mental Health
Some of the topics in the above guide to tax debt and mental health will be of support to constituents, in order to:
Understand the impact of debt to mental health - the different kinds of debt (e.g. tax debt) and how they can be a key source of stress, depression, and anxiety if not planned and managed properly.
Advice for dealing with debt such as setting up a Debt Management Plan or an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), qualifying for a Debt Relief Order (DRO), or even filing bankruptcy to get some protection and
keep life essentials like pension savings safe from creditors.
What to do if debt problems begin affecting your mental health. This includes recognizing the symptoms and early warning signs of mental health problems associated with debt as well as advice on where to turn
to for help and support.
Other useful information and resources, including debt charities and organisations that are dedicated to helping people conquer their debt problems.
Support for Domestic Abuse Victims
Anyone that is experiencing domestic abuse can now go into a Boots or an independent chemist and seek help. If they say the codeword ‘ANI’ (pronounced Annie), they’ll be taken to a private room and asked
if they want to call 999 or a domestic abuse helpline. ANI stands for Action Needed Immediately.
📞National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247
📞Respect helpline for male victims of abuse 0808 8010327
Due to COVID - FirmFoundation have suspended drop-in facilities. If you are homeless and rough sleeping, you can call Streetlink on 0300 5000 914. Ring Harrow Council on 020 8424 1093 – you can also contact FirmFoundation
through the Contact Us page on their website or call the office on 02084265515.
Fresh Horizons CND
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.
This week, a new rapid test centre has opened up for Rayners Lane and South Harrow residents at the Beacon Centre. Rapid test centres are opening across Harrow and have stopped hundreds of people from spreading Coronavirus so far. 1 in 3 people with Covid do not display any symptoms & mobile units across Harrow have already identified hundreds of people who did not know they were Covid positive
Book a free rapid test at the Beacon Centre, St Ann’s Shopping Centre, Harrow Arts Centre, Harrow Civic Centre, or Shree Swaminarayan Temple Stanmore,
open 7 days a week.
• You have coronavirus symptoms: 🤒 fever and/or new and continuous cough and/or loss of or change to sense of taste or smell
• You are an ‘essential worker’ who is not having symptoms
• You have been asked by NHS Test & Trace or Harrow Council to have a test
London's Community Kitchen
London's Community Kitchen (based at The Bridge, next to Harrow Leisure Centre) run a Free Surplus Food Market open to everyone every Friday from 3-5PM. At the height of the pandemic, this operation has served over 10,000 people across Harrow and London. Please consider donating or getting involved in any way that you can with this incredible Harrow-wide response to the coronavirus pandemic:
If you’re ever in need of their support, the Community Kitchen want to help - they won’t ask you for any details, or anything in return, just turn up and they will provide you with food.
The Community Kitchen would love any support to keep their operation running as effectively as possible. Please get in touch with Vivette Morrow: [email protected]
and once you have had a Covid test, she will help set you up as a volunteer!
Harrow Foodbank continues to highlight the impact of in-work poverty and the number of ways that people find themselves at a crisis point. Donations are accepted in collection bins after checkout at all major supermarkets.
The Foodbank continue to emphasise the majority of its users are in work, but many are in need of emergency food provisions. If you can, please consider providing a monetary donation to the food bank, they have acquired
a van and plan to make deliveries to vulnerable residents across the borough in 2021 - send an email to [email protected] or visit Harrow.foodbank.org.uk for
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.
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.
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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.