The scenes we are seeing across parts of England, and Europe, certainly are worrying and show how quickly circumstances can change. They serve as a reminder that coronavirus hasn’t gone away and that we need to continue to follow social distancing and hand hygiene guidance in order to keep one another safe.
Following a recent rise in infections in health care settings across Flintshire and Wrexham – many of them connected to the outbreak at a food processing site – I have contacted Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and asked to be kept updated of the situation so that I can provide information and assurances to constituents. Patients are continuing to be screened for symptoms on arrival at the hospital and staff have the appropriate PPE to protect themselves and others. However, additional steps are being taken as anyone attending a hospital or health care setting in North Wales is now being asked to wear a face covering to help prevent the spread of the virus. If you or a loved one has any questions about face coverings, or attending a hospital, then please get in touch and I will do my best to give you the correct information.
With further easements of the restrictions taking place, I would urge all readers of the Leader, to continue to practice good hand hygiene and social distancing as much as possible. We have only been able to make the progress we have in fighting this virus, thanks to your efforts, but we cannot and must not be complacent. This virus has not gone away.
Last week I was able to get out and about thanking those who have been going over and above in their efforts to support others during the pandemic. The Mold Community Shop was nominated as part of my Community Champions scheme, due to the amazing support they have offered to residents, providing essential goods for the community. It was lovely to pop in with cakes, badges and a certificate and to hear more of their experiences in setting up the shop in response to concerns that some people would struggle to access essential goods such as bread, milk and eggs. It was also great to hear that the shop is continuing to operate. If you want to find out more, simply search for them on Facebook or pop into the Daniel Owen Centre in Mold.
There are many more nominees for me to visit in the coming weeks to give my thanks on behalf of the community. I will be taking the opportunity to hear of their experiences of recent months, finding out what motivated them to do so much to support others, but also to hear about what they feel needs to improve as a result of the circumstances which we have found ourselves in. if there is someone you feel needs to be recognised as a Community Champion, please share their story with me.
One experience I have had shared with me during my Future Flintshire sessions over recent months, where I have been looking for ways in which our communities feel we can improve, is the benefit of working from home. Less time spent travelling, positive impacts on the environment, increased flexibility and many other benefits have been highlighted. However one major concern in our area of the world has been the access to good quality broadband. I recognise that broadband has become another essential utility for every household and needs to be treated as such by the UK Government, with further investment needed across North Wales. Over the next few weeks I am hosting a broadband survey on my website, so I can see the extent of the issues in our communities and can work with Flintshire County Council and the Welsh Government, to press the UK Government to make sure that we benefit from their UK wide investment. If you could spare two minutes to complete the survey and share your experiences with me, it can be found at www.HannahBlythyn.cymru/broadband-survey.
As ever I remain on hand to support constituents, businesses and organisations in any way I can – please just get in touch on 01352 762102 or at Hannah.Blythyn@senedd.wales.