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Norfolk MP James Wild talks King’s Lynn GEAR 10K, Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust and Covid

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During the pandemic everyone became used to news bulletins leading with statistics on Covid cases, R numbers, and sadly deaths.

Since the final restrictions were lifted, there has been less prominence given to the daily dashboard.

That shift reflects that while Covid has not gone away, the big calls on the vaccines and the development of new treatments have had a major impact on the severity of the virus and as a result our lives.

QEH Maternity Unit: entrance sign.
QEH Maternity Unit: entrance sign.

This week I thought it would be worth looking at the latest data as we continue to live with Covid. In King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, Covid case rates have fallen by almost 40 per cent in the most recent seven-day period.

That picture is reflected across Norfolk with case rates down 30 per cent and the same reduction nationally. There were around 60 people in QEH with Covid – half the number of a month ago. There were five deaths attributed to Covid recorded in our area in that most recent seven-day data.

On vaccinations, 86.1 per cent of people locally have had their first dose, 82.4 per cent the second, and 69 per cent have also had the booster. Walk-in slots are still available in Lynn and elsewhere so check https://apps.norfolk.gov.uk/WalkIn/ if you need to get your jabs and the protection they offer.

GEAR in King's Lynn. MLNF-22AF05030
GEAR in King's Lynn. MLNF-22AF05030

After the positive health regulator report that saw QEH come out of special measures, last week’s report on the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust was very disappointing. The Trust was once again found to be inadequate overall for the provision of mental health services and the report underlines the need for sustained improvement in services which many people in Norfolk depend on. Although concerning overall, it is important to recognise that the Care Quality Commission rated caring provided by frontline staff overall as good.

When I spoke to the Trust’s new chief executive and the chairman about the rating, I stressed the importance of them as a new leadership team in driving cultural change and having a relentless focus in delivering the specific improvements the CQC has identified are required.

Having seen the changes at QEH, it is possible to turn around a Trust. My focus is to support efforts to do so here to address the real challenges and to hold them to account for progress. Ultimately, the test is the quality of care offered to patients.

GEAR in King's Lynn. MLNF-22AF05033
GEAR in King's Lynn. MLNF-22AF05033

With the strategy to live with and manage Covid working we are now seeing events taking place that had to be postponed when the virus was at its peak. I enjoyed lining up with the 1,500 other runners taking part in the GEAR 10K on Sunday.

The weather conditions were ideal for running and it was good to showcase Lynn’s landmarks and riverfront.

Along with activities planned for the Platinum Jubilee, there are many events in Lynn and across West Norfolk to enjoy in the coming months thanks to the hugely successful vaccines programme.

James Wild

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