SIOBHAN BAILLIE: We’re doing all we can to help those in Afghanistan

The Stroud MP’s weekly column.

The situation in Afghanistan understandably continues to grab the summer news headlines.

Myself and my team are working with a number of constituents, the foreign Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Home Office to try and get over 100 threatened Afghans out of the country.

It is a tense and difficult situation and also one that is fast moving as they hide from the Taliban. We will do all we can to get as many out as possible. These people were of invaluable help to the UK while we were there and they need our protection.

It is wonderful news that Stroud Minor Injury and Illness hospital (MIIU) is getting a £2 million refurbishment. It was closed for work to commence over the weekend. It reopened on Monday for a booked appointment service only as the work continues in the coming months.

I attended the MIIU when I fell down a stone staircase holding my daughter GiGi while on a constituency visit. The staff and nurses were wonderful to a crying mum who thought her little baby might be injured. Thankfully, after a thorough check-up all was well and I remain grateful to the teams there.

It feels like a long time since I talked about Covid in this column. This very much shows the situation is under control as more and more people get double jabbed ahead of winter.

It seems to me that people are learning to live with the virus but we need to keep the basics like washing our hands, meeting in the open air, using masks and practising social distancing where necessary like on crowded public transport or confined spaces.

The latest hospitalisation figures I have from 19thAugust show there were 27 Covid positive patients in Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust (GHFT) with two in critical care.

Vaccination rates in Gloucestershire remain very high across all groups with rates of 90% and above for all age groups down to those aged 50.

It then drops off so I am still urging younger members of the population to grab a jab.

As autumn will soon be upon us, the Government is also turning its attention to flu vaccines as we do all we can to ease pressure on the NHS this winter.

It’s really important everyone eligible gets this vaccine too as flu kills many people each year particularly the old and clinically vulnerable.

Reminders are going out right now, so please sign up and look at NHS websites for more information.

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