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Coronavirus Update Monday 20th April

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

I hope you have had a restful and safe weekend. Please see below update

PPE

There are still major problems in our PPE sector. In this article in the Yorkshire Evening Post, Elaine Hill of Sue Ryder Wheatfield’s Hospice shares a letter she sent to me which puts their situation in very stark terms. They are running out of supply within days.

I have been collating whatever I can find to help and last week we located and delivered over 6000 pieces of PPE to care facilities across our area.

If there is anyone who can help produce or precure PPE, please email me on alex@alexsobel.co.uk My team and I will get it to the right place.

Domestic Violence / 999 calls and GP appointments

It has been pointed out to me since my last update that I could have been clearer on the advice for those who are calling 999 in a case of domestic violence with regard to the 55 option. To be clear, tapping in 55 on the keypad after the call is answered – even without speaking – will signal to the call operator that you are in danger.

There has been a reported downturn in 999 calls for non-coronavirus related instances and a reluctance to attend hospital in a medical emergency. The advice from our hospitals is clear, please do not hesitate in calling 999 for a medical emergency. On the same note, whilst GP appointments have changed, please do continue to make them if you have a health concern.

If you’re unwell and it’s not an emergency, you should call your GP or use the NHS 111 online service to get help.

Funerals

The council released a statement last week to say that those who have lost loved ones would not be able to have a service, and only direct cremations were permitted. This issue was raised by me and other MPs who have in partnership with the council, ensured that a service can take place, albeit with strict social distancing rules and outside of the building. Whilst it is heart breaking for loved ones not to be able to comfort each other at a funeral, it is positive that we have found a way to conduct ceremonies during this most crucial time in the pandemic. I continue to raise issues regarding ceremonies and funerals with the council.

Bereavement support: St Gemma’s Hospice and Wheatfields Hospice have launched a telephone support line for anyone in Leeds with family members or friends who are critically ill, or have died from, coronavirus. The line is staffed by trained bereavement workers who can:

–          Listen when you need someone to talk to.

–          Provide emotional support and let you express your feelings.

–          Signpost you to other services and resources if necessary.

Call St Gemma’s Hospice on 0113 218 5544 or Wheatfield’s Hospice on 0113 203 3369 during standard working hours.

Food Donations

In 2018/19, over 33,000 people in Leeds received food through a food bank or food parcel provider in the city. Since the coronavirus outbreak that need has increased exponentially as families and individuals have struggled to access food.

I have been working with the Otley foodbank, doing deliveries. I have also been supporting Leeds North and West foodbank with their fundraising efforts.

The Council has launched a coordinated city wide approach to provide food to the most vulnerable people in the city, working in partnership with priority services and third sector partners to identify who needs that support. They are receiving between 250-350 requests for food parcels each day. They are now looking to reach out to more companies in Leeds who might be willing to help support them in establishing a consistent supply of food donations so that they have the level of stock needed to meet demand. If you can help with this please contact polly.cook@leeds.gov.uk.

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