It's International Nurses Day today, and the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth. I want to send a special thank you to all the student nurses and midwives from Kingston University on the front line today protecting our community. Thank you for joining the ranks of our inspirational NHS nurses earlier than expected and working so hard for us.
TRANSPORT FOR LONDON
As the Liberal Democrat spokesperson on Transport, I wrote last week to both Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan about their failure to provide a safe working environment for transport workers. Far too many transport workers have died of Covid-19 due to insufficient PPE and poorly enforced cleaning protocols. Now that we are all being encouraged to go back to work, it is even more important to ensure that our transport workers are not risking their lives to get us there. The Government and the Mayor both need to prioritise protecting them, along with care home workers who have been similarly let down.
Transport for London wrote to me yesterday with their response to the new guidance. They asked me to convey the following:
If you can work from home, please continue to do so. Social distancing on transport will not be possible unless people who can work from home continue to do so.
If you need to travel to work, please walk or cycle if you can. New walking and cycling space throughout London is being created to further support this.
Please shop locally and use local leisure facilities .
If using public transport or driving, please travel outside of peak times.
On public transport, please use a face covering, carry hand sanitizer and wash your hands before and after you travel.
Advice on maintaining social distancing will be given across the transport network and new queuing systems will be in operation. Please respect the two metre rule.
Hand sanitizer points will start to be introduced across the transport network.
This is what the new bus stops look like:
Network Rail has also been in touch with a similar message about using the trains: please try to avoid using them, observe the hygiene and social distancing recommendations scrupulously, travel outside peak times if possible and wear a face covering.
DENTISTS AND PHYSIOTHERAPISTS: QUESTION FOR THE MINISTER TODAY
I spoke in the House today on behalf of dentists and physiotherapists, asking for specifics on how the return to work guidance applies to them. Unfortunately the Minister did not provide any further details in answer to my question. I am hoping he will supply a written answer to this important question instead, and we can get these vital health professionals back to work as soon as possible.
CYCLING IN RICHMOND PARK
Yesterday I wrote to Royal Parks to ask if they were thinking about reopening Richmond Park to cyclists in light of the government encouraging more people to go back to work, and to cycle if possible. They have replied to say that they are constantly reviewing the situation and that it will take a little time digest the new government guidance before they can decide whether they are able to make any changes to park access.
FREE SCHOOL MEALS VOUCHERS
I have had a number of enquiries from residents having problems with the free school meals vouchers programme provided by Edenred. My office has been able to resolve their issues, so if you are having trouble please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
REPORT SUSPICIOUS EMAILS
The National Cyber Security Centre (part of GCHQ) has launched a new suspicious email reporting service. All you have to do is forward the suspicious email to email@example.com. (Then block the sender/mark as spam in your email inbox) The NCSC will analyse the email you send, and any websites it links to, and take action if it appears malicious. Every message will be acted on, though you may not receive a response from NCSC. More information about the service can be found here: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/information/report-suspicious-emails
Please note that you should not report crimes in this way. If you think you have been the victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
TEDDINGTON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL URGENT TREATMENT CENTRE IS OPEN
I wanted to remind residents that the Urgent Treatment Centre at Teddington Memorial Hospital is open for walk-in treatment as usual from 8am to 8pm seven days a week. After 8pm please call 111, who may book an appointment for you with the out of hours GP there.
The centre offers advice and treatment for adults with minor injuries, illnesses or problems that may need further investigation, as well as advice and treatment for children with minor illnesses and injuries. Please use the service as usual and do not delay getting medical attention you would normally seek because of Covid-19.
PARKING ENFORCEMENT UPDATE:
Richmond Council has announced that enforcement of all on-street parking restrictions will recommence on Monday 25th May. Free parking for NHS staff, carers and volunteers will still be in place. Cllr Alexander Ehmann, Chair of the Transport and Air Quality Services Committee, said:“Following the Prime Ministers statement, we are expecting an increase in vehicle traffic across the borough. It is our responsibility to ensure that our roads don’t descend into chaos. From Monday, May 18, we will start issuing warnings. However, from 25 May 2020 all on-street parking charges will be enforced, as will unauthorised parking."
SEWING FOR KINGSTON
One of my constituents was kind enough to tell me about a local group called Sewing for Kingston. They have over 1100 members busy helping frontline workers stay safe by making scrub laundry bags, headbands, scrunchies, hats, masks, scrubs and gowns. If you are a frontline key worker and need these items please get in touch. You can email them at: Sewing4kingstonfirstname.lastname@example.org . They do not accept monetary donations, but do accept donations of materials. Please email email@example.com if you have any materials that you would like to donate. Thank you to all of Sewing for Kingston's wonderful volunteers for giving your time and skills to this important work!
KINGSTON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HUB, RUN BY REFUGE
The domestic violence hub supports men and women in the borough who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing domestic abuse. They are still taking referrals from individuals and professionals by phone on 020 8547 6046, Monday - Friday between 9:00 and 5:30 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. They also support girls aged 13-17 who are experiencing any kind of gender based abuse. Please note, they will advise you on planning and safety, but they are are not an emergency service. Please call 999 in an emergency.