Over the past fortnight I have been continuing to work from my home in Northampton in three main ways:
- In support of residents of the Northampton North constituency, including schools, businesses and individuals.
- Continuing my ministerial work as Solicitor General supporting the Rule of Law and the justice system in England and Wales and
- Emergency work for the government in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic.
From correspondence I have received from Northampton residents I thought it might be useful to give some information below which may be helpful and informative:
Shielded Patient List
The shielded patient list (also known as the vulnerable patient list) means that the NHS can identify and contact a group of patients who need specific advice about their circumstances.
It is important that people who have received an NHS letter advising them to shield and who need assistance then register via the GOV.UK website or the call centre the details listed on the letter they received. It is anticipated that GPs and hospital doctors may add other patients to the list who have not been identified by the national algorithm.
If you have received an NHS letter advising you to shield please do register if you have not already done so. If you have not received the letter and believe you should nevertheless be recognised as ‘extremely vulnerable’ please register yourself here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable.
Accessing Dental Services
In line with national guidance issued in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, dental practices in Northamptonshire are currently closed for routine face-to-face dental appointments.
However dental practices are offering telephone or video-link consultations and can prescribe painkillers and antibiotics if needed. Dental practices are also able, if necessary, to onward refer those patients who are in need of urgent dental treatment to a special service where people can be seen by a dentist in person. People seeking help with dental problems should not visit local dental practices but instead phone, between the hours of 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.
Several Northampton constituents have offered efforts to contribute to the supplies of essential equipment such as PPE and ventilators, at a time where we do require a national effort. In the past few weeks, the UK has had over 8,000 offers to supply PPE and the government is actively engaged in more than 1,000 of these. Since the pandemic there has been a delivery of over one billion pieces of PPE. NHS requirements in this emergency have seen an increase in demand from the NHS supply chain normally delivering to fewer than 250 locations around the country to now being required to deliver to 50,000 locations. This has been such a gargantuan logistical operation in such a short time that the Chief of the Defence Staff, who was drafted in to help the logistical effort, said it was the most complex logistical operation of his 40 year career.
New offers of help can be directed through: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-support-from-business
Obtaining Small Business Grants
The Government has acted very quickly and generously to make grants of up to £10,000 available for small businesses (£25,000 for some retail, leisure and hospitality businesses) but I am aware that some businesses may still be waiting for some payments and I have supported several local Northampton businesses in getting the money they need.
Several local businesses and the Borough Council have been in touch with me regarding this, and I have worked with the Leader of the Council on their behalf to expedite the process and ensure payment is made.
New 100% Government-Backed Loan Scheme for Small Businesses
Businesses can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days. Loans will be interest-free for the first 12 months, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form, details of which can be found here: