I spoke to the Secretary of State for Health in Parliament following his statement on Covid-19 Response.
I was able to ask a question from home and asked him to ensure a care home in Fylde got the testing kits it needs, following the tragic loss of half of its residents to this dreadful condition.
There are a further six residents of the home with symptoms and I was horrified to hear they had been told they would have to wait until mid-June before kits arrived. I understand those tests should have been delivered by the time you read this.
There is a real challenge to increase the available number of tests in Lancashire. We need a capacity of some 5,600 per day alone to ensure all care home residents and staff are tested fortnightly. I have written to the Secretary of State asking him to ensure this increase in capacity is forthcoming. It is vital for carers and residents and all of their families.
The Lancashire Resilience Forum has advised we now have between three and six months’ supply of PPE in Lancashire across the NHS and care sector, with only slight concerns over gloves – but they are available and more are on the way. The key organisations have ordered well and top-up supplies from Government have been arriving.
I also spoke this week with the Secretary of State for Justice following the Monitoring Board Report into Kirkham Prison. It is clear there are wider issues in the judicial system which need tackling, to ensure only suitable prisoners are sent to the Category D Open facility. I will not allow failings elsewhere in the system put staff at the prison and residents at risk.
I also spoke with ministers this week regarding the ongoing issues posed by poor licensing arrangements on caravan sites. There is work to do to protect residents and ensure site owners behave in reasonable and responsible fashion.