I have today started to self-isolate at home in Nottingham, on the advice of NHS 111, after learning that a member of parliamentary staff with whom I share an office is undergoing tests for Covid-19 and having myself developed symptoms consistent with Covid-19.
I have had many constituents write to me, understandably concerned about Covid-19. I have today organised a conference call with senior local health and emergency planning representatives to ensure that I am kept up to speed on measures undertaken to contain and manage the spread of the virus in Nottingham East.
Like many MPs, I am increasingly alarmed by the slow pace of the UK government’s response to this crisis. In contrast to almost every other country experiencing an outbreak, we are yet to undertake any serious social distancing policies. What little social distancing is taking place – such as the cancellation of events and working from home – is largely happening independently from government advice or direction.
A decade of cuts have left the NHS starved of cash, with massive staff shortages and one of the worst ratios of intensive care beds per head of population in Europe. I and other Labour colleagues will be holding the government to account on securing new beds and resources, and putting in place emergency measures to bring in new staff. Every hour and every day now counts, and I urge the government to move quickly.
Anyone who has reason to believe they may have contracted Covid-19, or wants to check their symptoms, should visit 111.nhs.uk or call 111 to discuss your concerns.