Council Leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson today announced a bold twelve-point plan for Portsmouth to tackle the Coronavirus (Covid19).
"I'd like to make an urgent statement about how the City Council is responding to the Corona Virus outbreak in the UK. The situation has changed a great deal in the last few days, and the City Council's response has to change and adapt.
The City Council is not in the business of trying to undermine the professional and clinical advice offered byPHE, the NHS and the UK's Chief Medical Officers. We will transmit and reinforce this advice and support residents to follow this advice and are working closely with our business partners and colleagues from other agencies."
He went on to state that.. "What we need to do will change quickly and the City Council is now on an emergency footing to support local residents. We will do all we can to mitigate any problems caused by the virus, and we will support the NHS and other agencies doing their job as well. I would ask for the support of all councillors and colleagues who work at the City Council to support these efforts."
- The City Council is setting up a helpline to direct residents to the correct professional clinical advice on what to do, so residents can get this advice and not rely on rumour.
- The City Council's website and Facebook page will prominently show this advice and signpost residents to accurate sources of information. We will also use the HIVE to co-ordinate volunteers across the city.
- The City Council will work with Foodbanks in the city to give them access to the very generous offers local residents have made of food and volunteer time can best be used.
- Adult Social care is looking to reduce the number of financial assessment visits needing to be made and will try to carry out these meetings by phone.
- We are looking at opening up extra beds at City Council run homes to allow residents to be transferred out of QA to free up beds. This is expensive and will rely on Government financial support.
- I have written to all the main supermarkets to ask to meet with them to understand how we can protect supply of goods to all residents and how we get food to people who are self-isolating at home.
- In the same way, we will look at removing the 9.30 am start time for concessionary bus passes to allow more elderly and vulnerable residents to shop earlier when supermarkets may be quieter.
- We are increasing the cleaning in Council-run buildings to try to stop infections spreading.
- Services providing food for the homeless are being hit with a loss of volunteers. The City Council will look to step into this area and provide meals for people who rely on this service.
- We are looking to see if we can provide food for children currently receiving free school meals if schools are closed for an extended time.
- In care homes, we are looking to reduce the chances of infection by increased cleaning and discouraging nonessential visits.
- Finally, the City Council will write out directly to all elderly and disabled residents to let them know what the City Council is doing, to give them advice and offer them help.
Up to date advice for residents who are concerned that they or their loved ones may be suffering from Covid19 can find advice from the NHS at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Advice for businesses can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-employees-employers-and-businesses
Updates from Portsmouth City Council can be found at https://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/ext/news/coronavirus-covid-19