Covid-19

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:26 pm on 11th November 2020.

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Photo of Richard Holden Richard Holden Conservative, North West Durham 7:26 pm, 11th November 2020

I will keep my comments as brief as I can. First, I welcome the excellent news this week on the vaccine. I know that we are not there yet and that “hands, face, space” is still really important, and I echo that to my constituents today. I also thank the Government for the rapid testing in County Durham.

Others have made this argument already, but the three g’s—gyms, God and golf—have filled my inbox, so if there is anything that can be done on that for 2 December or before, I would really appreciate it. My constituents really are looking forward to 2 December, so I hope we do not have to see anything further beyond that.

I had a call last week with care homes in my constituency, so I will rattle through some of the issues that they raised. First, there has been some difficulty accessing flu vaccines for staff in care homes. Obviously, that is a bit of an issue with respect to transmission when they are dealing with older people. Those working in domiciliary care and going out into the community have had trouble getting testing for covid in some cases, so if there is any way that we can, perhaps, move towards weekly testing for those people, that would be brilliant.

The portal is seen as good and improving, but although the quantities have improved over recent weeks, some care homes are still having trouble getting the total quantities that they need, so anything that could be done on that would be really helpful. Finally, if there is any way that the infection control fund could be made more flexible, particularly if it could be allowed to help some care homes create facilities for better visiting, that would be great.