“Stay at home and protect the Alex” – that’s the message from Rachel Maclean, MP for Redditch, following increased measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Tuesday night (March 23rd), Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation and announced stricter measures to slow the spread of the disease, to protect the NHS and to save lives.

All non-essential shops have been instructed to close by the Government and people must now stay at home. You can now only leave your home for one of four reasons:

  • Shopping for basic necessities – for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  • One form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk or cycle alone or with members of your household.
  • Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • Travelling to and from work – but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

 If these new rules are not followed, the police will have the powers to enforce them, including fines and dispersing gatherings.

Rachel’s message to her constituents comes following a phone call yesterday (March 24th) with the Accountable Officer of Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group, Simon Trickett.

The pair discussed the ramp up in the preparedness of local health services to deal with coronavirus.

Rachel said: “We are living through unprecedented times and it is incumbent on every single one of us to do our bit for the common good. Please follow the guidance the Government has instructed all of us to follow.

“The need to follow this guidance was made clear to me during my call with Simon Trickett. The main thing you can do to help your local NHS be there for you if you might need it is to follow the guidance. Stay at home and protect the Alex is the message.

“Preparedness work is happening across the board in the local health services. I want to put on record my thanks to every single person who works in our NHS. You’re staying at work for us, so the best thing we can do is to stay at home to support you.

“There is work going on across the region too to ensure services and staff are concentrated at key sites. MIUs are still open as normal in Evesham and Bromsgrove.

“Please be reassured that all urgent cancer care and life saving treatment will continue. But the public are asked to understand non-urgent surgery may have to be postponed. I know how difficult this is for everyone, as well as the impact on quality of life, and these are not decisions taken lightly.

“Health bosses are also grateful to the public as they are already seeing a reduction in people coming into the A&E at the Alex. This means that more staff can be freed up to prepare for critically ill patients as we know coronavirus has reached our local area and it is only a matter of time before this increases.

During their phone call, Rachel and Simon also discussed the ability for businesses to send the NHS unneeded PPE equipment.

“If you have any resources either in your business or in a personal capacity that you think could be used to help the health services at this time, then please send them through to www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help,” Rachel added.

“The equipment will all be reviewed, but please bear with the staff who are working under extraordinary pressure if you do not receive a response immediately. I am assured that they are grateful for the offers but it takes time to process them and work out how they can be best used.”