COVID-19 Lockdown Update

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image of COVID-19

All the information below has been supplied by Councillor Paul Collins

Referring Someone for Support

If you are aware of someone in your ward who needs our support please refer them to us via the self-isolation helpline 01942 498018 or using the web form here https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Crime-Emergencies/Forms/Self-isolation-welfare-support.aspx Reporting through this central channel will ensure the details of that person go to the right place and are not missed.

Mobile Testing for Frontline Workers

Essential workers and the most vulnerable will have easier access to a test for Covid-19 with the government unveiling a network of mobile testing units. They can be set up in 20 minutes and will travel to where there is significant demand for tests including care homes, police stations, prisons, benefits centres and fire and rescue services. Specially trained armed forces personnel will collect swabs at the mobile sites and people will receive results within 48 hours. Read the full announcement here  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mobile-coronavirus-testing-units-to-target-frontline-workers

New Regional Shielding Team

The government has set up a new regional shielding team which will support our local work to protect extremely clinically vulnerable people at higher risk of Covid-19.  Every unitary, county and district council will have a named civil servant to act as their shielding contact. This will give local authorities the chance to shape the shielding programme and influence the decisions taken by the government. It will be split along the lines of the 9 English super-regions, with each region having a small team of civil servants to work with

NHS Vital Services to Resume

The health secretary Matt Hancock announced that the NHS would resume some vital services, starting with the most urgent cases involving elective surgery, some cancer treatments and mental health support.  He also announced a new life assurance scheme for NHS and social care staff who have died from the virus in the course of their essential frontline work, which will ensure that families of these workers will receive a payment of £60,000. He acknowledged that nothing replaces the loss of loved ones but hopes that it will support families who are dealing with grief. He added that similar schemes are being considered for other professions working on the frontline, where families would not have access to similar schemes

Here for You

This week the NHS is rolling out a national campaign to encourage the public to seek the urgent care and treatment not related to COVIDID-19 that they need. New findings show that four in ten people are avoiding approaching their GP, and data also suggests that A&E attendance so far in April is around 50 half it was this time last year. Through the Healthier Wigan Partnership Wigan Council have developed our own local messages, which will be promoted from this week urging people to access emergency services if they need them

Free Online Platform to Boost Workplace Skills

A new online learning platform to help boost people’s skills while staying at home was launched yesterday. Free courses are available through a new online platform hosted on the gov.uk website, called ‘The Skills Toolkit’. The new platform gives people access to free, high-quality digital and numeracy courses to help build up their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects. View the toolkit here  https://theskillstoolkit.campaign.gov.uk/

£10bn Shortfall for Councils

The Local Government Association has told MPs that councils in England need up to £10bn from the government to cover the impact of falling income and rising costs during the Covid-19 pandemic. Yesterday the LGA chairman said while the money already pledged does give us some ‘breathing space’, the need will be three or possibly four times that amount based on financial surveys

Government Funding Update

The second tranche of emergency funding for councils has been allocated, with Wigan receiving £9m, representing a 14% drop compared to the first allocation. This will inevitably affect our budgets and plans moving forward. Our finance team is looking at the finances to prepare a revised budget and capital programme which takes into consideration these financial losses.  A review of overall future funding due next year has also been put on hold, as has a shake-up of business rates

Partners at Hospital set up Healthcare Heroes Fund

Our partners at the hospital have set up a new WWL Healthcare Heroes Fund to ensure donations are collected in one place. They have been overwhelmed with goods, money, equipment and morale-boosters for staff so have set up the fund to make it easy for people to donate and so they can make sure donations are quality checked and meet appropriate standards. Click here https://www.wwl.nhs.uk/News/2020/April/Healthcare_Heroes_Fund_Launches.aspx to find out more about the fund

You can contact Councillor Collins at

Tel:                             01942 487684

Email:                        [email protected]