By Rosie Duffield MP / HealthKent & Canterbury / / 0 Comments

It is right that the 4 governments of the United Kingdom are working together and jointly produced the Coronavirus Action Plan, and the Labour Party fully supports the strategy to contain, delay, research and mitigate the disease.

To date there have been 6 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kent and it is likely that we will see many more cases of the virus, both in the UK and globally.

The longer we delay the virus from spreading and the slower the number of new cases rises over time – the less stretched our health services will become.

We can ALL do our part to help in this respect, by following the most up to date Public Health guidance:

-Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds.

-Always wash your hands when you get home or into work.

-Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.

-Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.

-Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards.

-Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

Contrary to recent reports, Parliament is expected to remain open with some limits on non-essential visits – the details of which will be decided upon in the coming days. MPs are receivng daily updates from the Health Secretary on the latest development. Alongside my Labour colleagues in the Shadow Health Team I am calling for an emergency cash injection for the NHS in the Budget to help to deal with the virus’ impact.

COVID-19 also raises really important questions over our duty of care to those working in the low-pay gig economy who find themselves without the security of employment rights, on which we in the Opposition will be continuing to hold the government to account.

The website is the best source of accurate and up to date information for the public:…/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-t…

The NHS has also published a set of FAQs on the virus:…/coronavirus-covid-19/common-questions/

I’ll continue to keep constituents updated on developments as and when they arise.

By Chris Cornell / HealthKent & CanterburyPress Releases / 0 Comments

Woolage Green, part of the Womenswold Parish, is an idyllic place in many ways. There are lovely houses, fields of wheat growing in the August sun and a charming country pub to serve the community. New MP Rosie Duffield paid Woolage Green a visit on Friday however, for an altogether different reason. With waiting times for A&E in east Kent now the worst in the country, Woolage Green a 37-minute drive from either QEQM in Margate or William Harvey in Ashford could be the worst place in the whole of the United Kingdom to live for A&E provision.

Seasalter, near Whitstable, is also a long way away from A&E facilities; residents living near that part of the coast have an average 36-minute commute (given a clear drive) to the nearest Accident and Emergency department. Of course, when they finally do get there, they will only be met with a very, very long wait. The Tories might have forgotten Woolage Green, Seasalter and other nearby villages and communities, but Rosie hasn’t.

Rosie is horrified at the new report that just 61% of patients in east Kent are seen in A&E within 4-hours; she has heard reports of people waiting for up to 8 hours to be seen. Those figures are a testament to the crisis besetting the NHS in this part of the country. Rosie was equally disgusted that the neighbouring MP for Ashford, Damian Green, seems to dismiss the problem in this area. Rosie is concerned at Mr. Green’s dismissal in early August that the NHS in east Kent isn’t as ‘bad as it is in some places’. It seems to Rosie that our waiting times ARE the worst, our residents ARE concerned and she will shout loudly for the Tory government to put the much-needed funding into our dying NHS.

The closure of the Urgent Care Centre at the Kent & Canterbury hospital earlier this year has been a disaster. Rosie wants both urgent care provision AND an Accident and Emergency department back in Canterbury. She is in discussions with NHS chiefs and is also putting pressure on the city council to offer full support and back her calls for these services to be returned.

Rosie is adamant that the people of Woolage Green, Seasalter and the wider Canterbury constituency should not have their lives endangered by Conservative cost-cutting measures; the crumbling facilities and overworked staff at our hospitals need the help of a Labour government; Rosie is that Labour voice in Kent and she is shouting loudly.