Year: 2021

Whoever thought that Shropshire would dominate the news headlines from before most people had woken today and will still be headlining when they went to bed. Who’d have thought that the Lib Dems could win one of the safest Conservative seats in the country, overturning a majority of 23,000 and racking up a majority of 6,000. It had been a Tory seat for nearly two centuries. This is the stuff of dreams. Sometimes dreams come true. And for some people, other people’s dreams become a nightmare. Including for Boris Johnson. Helen Morgan’s win in North Shropshire was not a one off. It builds on Sarah Green’s win for the Lib Dems in Chesham and Amersham in the summer. It shows the Lib Dems are building strength again after some hard knocks in recent years.

Covid Watch 172: Ludlow drop-in vaccination clinics to help shop workers

Caron Morton GP at Station Drive Surgery says that some shop workers, who are working flat out in the build up to Christmas, are finding it difficult to get to vaccination clinics. To help retail workers, Dr Morton says: “We are running drop-in clinics in Ludlow next Tuesday, 21 December and the following Wednesday 29 December. These will be open from 5pm to 8pm at Station Drive Surgery and there is no need to book. The sessions are timed to allow workers to come after work. But I would advise people to come early and be prepared for a short wait outside. “These drop in sessions are not just for booster doses. First or second jabs can be given where needed. We aim to deliver 500 doses across the two sessions.”

Covid Watch 171: GPs boosting jab delivery in south west Shropshire to meet New Year target

On Sunday, Boris Johnson announced that all adults who have not yet had a booster jab will be offered a jab before the New Year. Here in Ludlow, GPs have been working flat out to ramp up the booster programme, which was already well underway. There will be additional booster clinics in Ludlow run by Portcullis and Station Drive surgeries on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday offering around 3,800 booster jabs. Patients who are eligible are being contacted by text and by phone. As always, please don’t ring your surgery to chase up your appointment. That would put additional pressure on our hard pressed receptionists who need to deal with the day-to-day needs of the practice’s patients. With GPs confident that a third dose can be offered to all adults in south west Shropshire before the New Year, there is no need to travel long distances to queue for a third jab, unless of course you need it urgently.

Spare a thought for our GPs, pharmacists and health professionals. They will be falling asleep as they tuck into their Christmas turkeys and nut roasts as they work flat out to meet the unprecedented vaccination drive announced by Boris Johnson last night. Unprecedented that is, since the last unprecedented vaccination drive earlier in the year. Unprecedented the since recent weekends and evenings when our health teams have been working flat out at vaccination clinics. Now GPs are being asked to do even more. Our GPs in Ludlow are urging people not to panic or to flood their surgeries with calls asking when boosters will be available. South west Shropshire is now ahead of many areas in vaccination rates and you will be called in turn. I have been speaking to local GPs this morning. They are confident that they can meet the new target in Ludlow and south west Shropshire but warn that health professionals are overdue for a break.

Covid Watch 169: Omicron arrives in Shropshire amid no let-up in infection rates

Its here. Omicron is in Shropshire and in Telford & Wrekin, with nearly 2,000 identified across the UK. There is a lot to be learnt about Omicron. We know it is spreading fast. Faster than the dominant variant Delta. We don’t yet know its health impacts or the risks of those with one, two or three doses of vaccine getting Covid-19, though initial indications are that three doses are needed to achieve 70% to 75% protection against symptomatic infection. We don’t yet know the health impacts of Omicron, the extent it will increase hospitalisation or lead to long term health consequences and deaths. There has been a small dip in Covid-19 cases in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin in recent days. However, the rollercoaster continues with infection rates going down only to go up again days later. As before, the infection rate is higher among younger people. Cases have risen steeply in the Clun and Bucknell area, which stretches to the west edge of Craven Arms. More than ten cases a day were reported in the week to 5 December, an infection rate of 1,239 per 100,000 people. Rates have been high in the Bishop’s Castle area as well. The…

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