Government

Coronovirus latest advice

The Prime Minister, supported by the Chief Scientific Advisor and the Chief Medical Officer announced new measures to limit the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) this afternoon.

No new restrictions on events were announced. Schools are expected to continue to open as normal, unless advised otherwise by local public health officers.

Stay at home guidance for coronavirus symptoms

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:

  • new continuous cough and/or
  • high temperature

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection

  • if you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See Ending Isolation section below for more information)
  • this action will help protect others in your community whilst you are infectious.
  • plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home.
  • ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home.
  • stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home whenever possible.
  • sleep alone, if that is possible.
  • wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water.
  • stay away from vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions as much as possible.
  • you do not need to call NHS111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111.

Those self-isolating with mild symptoms will not be tested.

Continue to good hygiene practice

The Chief Medical Officer emphasised that the most important thing for individuals to continue to use good hygiene practice previously recommended.

Do
  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
Don’t
  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

NHS
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Parliamentary Election Results

On Thursday 12 December, a vote was held for the parliamentary constituency of Ashford in the 2019 General Election. The candidates and the numbers of votes cast were:

Name of candidatePartyVotes
DE SANVIL, Susannah LouiseIndependent862
FARRELL, DaraLabour Party13,241
GEE-TURNER, Adrian JohnLiberal Democrats6,048
GREEN, Damian HowardThe Conservative Party37,270 Elected
ROSSI, MandyThe Green Party2,638


Electorate: 89,553

Turnout: 67.4%

Polling day

Make sure you vote on Thursday 12th December.

Your vote counts.

Your polling card gives your polling station but our map shows the polling stations for Beaver, Norman and Victoria Wards. Click on your Polling District to show the polling station.

You don’t need your polling card t vote but not having received one may indicate that you are not registered to vote.

Election Candidates

The names of candidates for the Ashford Constituency in the parliamentary election to be held on 12 December 2019 were announced yesterday.

Make sure you are registered to vote.

Name of candidateDescription (if any)
DE SANVIL, Susannah LouiseIndependent
FARRELL, DaraLabour Party
GEE-TURNER, Adrian JohnLiberal Democrats – To stop Brexit
GREEN, Damian HowardThe Conservative Party Candidate
ROSSI, MandyThe Green Party

https://www.ashford.gov.uk/councillors-meetings-and-elections/elections-and-electoral-registration/elections/statement-of-persons-nominated-and-notice-of-poll-parliamentary-election-2019/

Register to vote by 26 November

The deadline to register to vote in the UK Parliamentary general election on 12 December is 26 November.

How to register to vote

Registering to vote online is the easiest and quickest way.

It only takes five minutes, and all you need is your national insurance number.

If you’re unable to register online, you can apply by post. Download a form .

You only need to register once, unless you change your address, name or nationality.

If you do change address, name or nationality, you need to register to vote again.

Who can register to vote

To register to vote, you must be:

You have to be a 16 to register to vote.

You can’t vote until you’re 18 years old.

Eligible countries

Qualifying Commonwealth citizens

European Union countries

Other situations

You can also register to vote if:

Check if you’re already registered to vote

If you are registered to vote, you will be on the electoral register. We don’t hold the electoral register, so can’t tell you if you are registered to vote.

You need to contact the electoral services team at your local council to check if you’re on the register.

If you need help registering, or want to return your postal or proxy form, contact the electoral services team at:

Ashford Borough Council
Electoral Registration Officer
Civic Centre
Tannery Lane
Ashford
TN23 1PL

Consultation: Organs excluded from the opt-out organ donation

Opt-out organ donation: organs and tissues excluded from the new system

Department of Health and Social Care

Opened: 29 April 2019
Closes: 22 July 2019

This consultation is to ask you if the government is excluding the right organs and tissues from opt-out organ donation. We would like you to answer five questions about what you think should happen.

The government recently passed a law to change the rules for organ donation in England from 2020. The law introduced a system commonly called “opt-out” or “deemed consent”.

From 2020, everyone in England over the age of 18 will be considered to be in favour of donating their organs and tissue after death unless they:

  • have said they do not want to donate (opted out)
  • have appointed someone to decide for them after death
  • are in an excluded group

When the law was passing through Parliament, the government agreed that the law would only apply to routine transplants, and not novel or rare transplants.

The government proposes that novel or rare transplants will still require express consent. This means you or someone representing you must explicitly give permission for your organs or tissues to be donated for novel or rare transplants. Such transplants also cover what is called Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP). This is when tissues, cells and genes are manipulated in a laboratory for treatment of a disease or injury. Some of the tissues and cells come from deceased donors.

This consultation is to ask you if the government is excluding the right organs and tissues. They would like you to answer five questions about what you think should happen.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/opt-out-organ-donation-organs-and-tissues-excluded-from-the-new-system

Op Brock in place next week

From next week, Operation Brock will be available as a tool for managing disruption in Kent. Operation Brock queues lorries bound for mainland Europe on the coastbound M20 and uses a contraflow on the London-bound carriageway to enable other traffic to travel in both directions.

Under the new arrangements, in addition to the M20 contraflow lorries can be routed to Manston Airfield and, if needed, the M26 motorway can be closed and used to queue HGVs too.

The M20 contraflow is planned to be in place by 6am on Monday 25 March, and there will be roadworks on the M20 and M26 over the weekend and into next week as the final preparations and adjustments are made.

Drivers are advised that sections of the M20 will be closed this weekend for the final work to take place, signed diversions will be in place. From Monday drivers will need to follow the different layout on the M20 from just north of Junction 8 (for Leeds) to Junction 9 (Ashford).

The M20 will be closed overnight (8pm – 6am) each night until Monday morning between Junction 7 (for Maidstone) and Junction 9. Overnight closures may also be required on this section next week if there is remaining work to complete. For the preparations for the M26, there will also be overnight closures on the weekends of the 23 and 30 March.

What is Operation Brock?

Operation Brock is a set of measures to keep the M20 open in both directions between junctions 8 and 9 in the event of disruption to services across the English Channel, by using different holding areas.

The queuing system only applies to lorries heading to mainland Europe from Kent. All other drivers should check conditions before setting out and, if they’re crossing the channel, check with their service operator for updates.

Phase 1 – In the event of excessive disruption to services across the English Channel, improved holding capacity in the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel, as well as on the A20 approach to the port (Dover TAP), would be used.
Phase 2 – If phase 1 capacity is reached, we will start queuing Europe bound lorries that are 7.5 tonnes and over on the coast bound section of the M20 between junction 8 and 9 with cars and other vehicles using a contraflow on the London-bound carriageway.
Phase 3 – If phase 2 becomes full, lorries heading for Port of Dover will be directed to Manston Airfield, while the M20 is used to hold traffic for Eurotunnel. Traffic lights on the A256 after Manston Airfield will help to manage traffic arriving at the port.
Phase 4 – If the M20 holding area and Manston becomes full, the M26 could be used to hold additional lorries heading for Eurotunnel.

Highways England: Operation Brock: ready for action 22 March 2019
www.gov.uk/government/news/operation-brock-ready-for-action
Highways England: Operation Brock
highwaysengland.co.uk/OperationBrock/

For information on driving when operation Brock is in place refer to the Highways England page about Operation Brock highwaysengland.co.uk/OperationBrock/

Other ‘Brexit’ preparedness information:

Sale of energy drinks to children consultation

Department of Health and Social Care

Opens: 30 August 2018
Closes: 21 November 2018

Energy drinks are soft drinks that contain higher levels of caffeine than other soft drinks, and may also contain a lot of sugar (though low- or zero-calorie energy drinks are available). Evidence suggests that excessive consumption of energy drinks by children is linked to negative health outcomes such as headaches, sleeping problems, irritation and tiredness.

Under current labelling rules, any drink, other than tea or coffee, that contains over 150mg of caffeine per litre requires a warning label saying: ‘High caffeine content. Not recommended for children or pregnant or breast-feeding women’. Despite the warning labels, however, children are still consuming these drinks; recent evidence shows that more than two thirds of UK children aged 10-17, and nearly a quarter of those aged 6-9, are energy drink consumers.

We are hearing strong calls from parents, health professionals, teachers and some industry bodies and retailers for an end to sales of high-caffeine energy drinks to children. Many larger retailers and supermarkets have voluntarily stopped selling energy drinks to under-16s. While we recognise the efforts of retailers who have already acted, there are still many retailers who continue to sell these drinks to children. Legislating to end the sale of high-caffeine energy drinks to children would create a level playing field for businesses and create consistency, helping ensure that children do not have access to energy drinks in any shop.

We are therefore consulting on ending the sale of energy drinks to children, but we are aware that the evidence base around these products and their effects is complex. We want to use this consultation to gather further views and evidence on the advantages and disadvantages of ending the sale of energy drinks to children, and on alternative options, before making a decision.

Documents

Consultation on ending the sale of energy drinks to children PDF, 269KB, 12 pages

Impact assessment: ending the sale of energy drinks to children PDF, 644KB, 46 pages

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. 

Give Your Views

Online Survey

Department of Health and Social Care 30 August 2018
https://consultations.dh.gov.uk/obesity/sale-of-energy-drinks-to-children/

Various frozen vegetable products recalled

Greenyard Frozen UK Ltd has taken the precautionary step of voluntarily recalling various frozen vegetable products, sold under a number of brands, because they might contain Listeria monocytogenes.

Product details

 

Brand / Product Pack size Batch code Best before

Aldi

Aldi Four Seasons Frozen Vegetable Steamers All All All codes to Jan 2020
Aldi Frozen Four Seasons Mixed Vegetables All All All codes to Jan 2020
Aldi Four Seasons Supersweet Sweetcorn All All All codes to Jan 2020

Growers Pride

Growers Pride Mixed Vegetables 12x450g All July 2021
Growers Pride Mixed Vegetables 12x750g All July 2020
Growers Pride Supersweet Sweetcorn 12x450g All July 2021
Growers Pride Supersweet Sweetcorn 12x750g All July 2020

Iceland

Iceland Frozen Mixed Vegetables 900g All All codes to 22 June 2020

Independent

Independent Mix Vegetables All All July 2019

Lidl

Lidl Frozen Freshona Vegetable Mix All All All codes to July 2020
Lidl Frozen Green Grocer Supersweet Corn All All All codes to Jan 2020

One Stop

One Stop Frozen Sweetcorn All All All codes to Jan 2020

Pinguin

Pinguin Frozen Cut Beans All NA July 2020
Pinguin Frozen Mixed Vegetables 1×10 kg All July 2020
Pinguin Frozen Sweetcorn All All July 2020
Pinguin frozen Golden Rice and Vegetables All All July 2020
Pinguin Mixed Vegetable All All July 2020
Pinguin Supersweet Corn 1×10 kg All July 2020
Pinguin Supersweet Sweetcorn All All July 2020
Pinguin Sweetcorn 1×10 kg All July 2020

Ross

Ross Mixed Country Vegetables 10x1kg All July 2020
Ross Mixed Vegetables 10x1kg All July 2020
Ross Mixed Vegetables 12x450g All July 2021
Ross Sweetcorn 12x450g All July 2021
Ross Sweetcorn 10x1kg All July 2020

Sainsbury

Sainsbury Frozen Basic Mixed Vegetables All All All codes to Jan 2020
Sainsbury Frozen Carrot Broccoli and Sweetcorn All All All codes to Jan 2020
Sainsbury Frozen Mixed Vegetables All All All codes to Jan 2020
Sainsbury Frozen Rice Broccoli and Sweetcorn All All All codes to Jan 2020
Sainsbury Frozen Special Mixed Vegetables All All All codes to Jan 2020

Tesco

Tesco Broccoli Frozen Sweetcorn Peas and Spinach Steamer All All All codes to Jan 2020
Tesco Frozen Broccoli, Carrot and Sweetcorn Steamer All All All codes to Jan 2020
Tesco Frozen Every Day Value Sweetcorn All All All codes to Jan 2020
Tesco Frozen Mixed Vegetables All All All codes to Jan 2020
Tesco frozen Mixed Vegetables and Peppers All All All codes to Jan 2020
Tesco Frozen Sweetcorn All All All codes to Jan 2020
Tesco Frozen Growers Harvest Carrot Peas and Sweetcorn Steamer All All All codes to Jan 2020
Tesco Frozen Growers Harvest Mixed Vegetables All All All codes to Jan 2020
Tesco Growers Harvest Frozen Mixed Vegetables All All All codes to Jan 2020

Waitrose

Waitrose Essential Mixed Vegetable E1kg All All up to Dec 2019
Waitrose Essential Supersweet Sweetcorn E1kg All Oct 2019 Nov 2019 Aug 2019
Waitrose Fine Cut Vegetable Steamer E640g (4x160ge) All All up to Jan 2020
Waitrose Love Life Vegetable Medley Steamers E640g (4x160ge) P6163 P7021 P7080 May 2018 Jul 2018 Sep 2018

 

No other Greenyard Frozen UK Ltd products are known to be affected.

Risk statement

The products listed above might be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Symptoms caused by this organism can be similar to flu and include high temperature, muscle ache or pain, chills, feeling or being sick and diarrhoea.

Some people are more vulnerable to listeria infections, including those over 65 years of age, pregnant women and their unborn babies, babies less than one month old and people with weakened immune systems.

Action taken by the company

Greenyard Frozen UK Ltd are recalling the above products. Point of sale notices will be displayed in all retail stores that are selling these products. These notices explain to customers why the products are being recalled and tell them what to do if they have bought any of the products listed above.

Advice to consumers

If you have bought any of the above products do not eat them. Instead, return the product to the store from where it was bought for a full refund.

Food Standards Agency  5 July 2018
https://www.food.gov.uk/news-alerts/alert/fsa-prin-35-2018

Online GP Consultations

Your thoughts on ‘online consultations’ – an alternative way to have a consultation from your GP.

NHS England

Opens 8 May 2018
Closes 15 June 2018

NHS England is supporting local NHS GP practices to offer their patients alternative ways to have a consultation with a GP or other practice-based health professional online via the internet, rather than waiting for the next available appointment to attend in person – we are referring to this as ‘online consultations’.

Online consultations are a way for patients to contact their GP practice without having to wait on the phone or take time out to come into the practice. Using a smartphone, tablet or computer, you can contact your practice about a new problem or an ongoing issue. You can ask questions or tell your GP about your symptoms. The practice will ensure your contact is dealt with by the right person in the team, helping ensure you are served as quickly and appropriately as possible. Sometimes this will mean you will need a phone call with the GP or nurse, or an appointment at the practice, and this will be arranged as usual.

NOTE: Online consultations are an alternative service – it is still possible to do other things on the practice website such as seeing test results and your medical record, ordering a repeat prescription or booking an appointment.

Places that are using online consultations already have found a number of benefits:

  • Patients were able to get a quicker response, rather than waiting for an appointment in person
  • It is more convenient as patients they do not have to travel to their GP practice or wait for the next available appointment.
  • GPs were able to provide more appointments for patients, offering the same level of consultation, diagnosis and necessary actions (such as referral or a prescription) as patients would get in a face to face appointment;

It doesn’t matter if you have not used online consultations yourself – your views are still of interest to the NHS. THIS IS NOT ABOUT HOSPITAL APPOINTMENTS.

Your views are valuable to us and we would appreciate it if you could find the time to complete this survey by Friday 15 June 2018. The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete.

Insight collected from this survey, along with other forms of engagement, will be analysed by NECS (North of England Commissioning Support) on behalf of NHS England. This insight will help determine the most appropriate support and resources needed for both practices and patients to adopt online consultations as an enhancement to currently available online services.

You can find out much more about the programme on the NHS England website.

Give Your Views

Online Survey