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Notices

Record numbers offered flu vaccine

More Somerset residents than ever are being encouraged to get their flu vaccine as new Public Health England research suggests that the risk of death more than doubled for people who tested positive for both flu and coronavirus (COVID-19), compared to those with coronavirus alone.

They looked at cases between January and April this year and found that people infected with both flu and coronavirus were more at risk of severe illness and death. Most cases were in older people and sadly more than half of them died.

Flu is a serious condition that kills on average 11,000 people in England each year and hospitalises many more. Adults at high risk from flu are also most at risk from coronavirus, so the free vaccine is more important than ever to help protect people in Somerset from a double threat this winter and ease pressure on the NHS.

This year the free flu vaccination programme is being expanded and will be offered to 30 million people, the highest number ever.

All primary school children and, for the first time, Year 7 children will be offered the flu ‘nasal spray’ in schools to reduce community transmission. Two and three-year-olds will be offered the vaccine through their GP.

The most vulnerable, including adults aged 65 and over, those with long-term health conditions and pregnant women, will be offered the flu vaccine first through their GP or pharmacy.

The flu vaccine will also be offered to household contacts of people on the NHS Shielded Patient List and all health and social care workers who have direct contact with the people they care for.

Once the most at-risk groups have had their free flu jab, the newly eligible 50 to 64 year olds will be invited to get theirs later in the season.

New package to support and enforce self-isolation 

People on low incomes, who must self-isolate if they have symptoms or they are told to do so, and who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result, can receive £500.

It was announced earlier this week, at the same time as an announcement about fines for people who breach self-isolation rules, which rise to £10,000 for repeat offences.

Fines now also apply to people who prevent others from self-isolating when they should be. For example, a business owner who threatens self-isolating staff with redundancy if they do not come to work.

 

Download the new NHS COVID-19 app 

Download the new NHS COVID-19 app

The new NHS COVID-19 app is now available to download. It’s free and it has some clever features that will help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

It’s to support the NHS Test and Trace service, so its major benefit to the public is in helping to trace people quickly when they’ve been in close contact for a period of time with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. That way, they can be advised even sooner to self-isolate and take any other appropriate steps.

In Devon, our overall number of positive coronavirus cases is, although rising, still relatively low compared to other parts of the country. But the NHS Test and Trace service is still just as vital here in helping to trace people as quickly as possible and to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The sooner you know, the sooner you can act and reduce the risk of infection to others.

So we want to encourage you to download the free app today.

It works by recording the location of places that you visit – such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, leisure or tourist attractions, ‘close contact’ establishments such as hair dressers, places of worship, and others public places including libraries and village halls – onto your phone.

You’ll get an alert if you’ve visited a place where you’ve had prolonged contact recently with someone who has tested positive with coronavirus, and there’ll be advice about what to do next.

It also provides risk alerts by postcode, a symptom checker and test booking features.

Venues are now legally required to collect contact details from customers and visitors, so if you don’t have a smartphone, they will also have their own log book or other paper method.

Play Area, Paddons Farm

In recent correspondence a resident was advised by a Planning Officer of Somerset West and Taunton Council in respect of the lack of accessible play area  on the Paddons Farm estate as follows:-

“The Council does expect Strongvox to maintain and make available the existing play space  for use by  children until such time  as the new play area becomes available. This is a requirement of the Section 106 legal agreement variation that facilitates the development.

As there are only a limited number of enforcement officers in the Council area we are , to an extent, reliant  upon the public to  contact us  with details of breaches of planning permissions that irk them. I would advise you , and/or your neighbours , to contact the Council  (with specific  dates and times , if possible) if you notice that the play space is closed and none is available for use.”

The Somerset West and Taunton Council online reporting system is available via this link

https://my.somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk/service/General_enquiry

You can enrol for an account or continue without an account, at the following screen choose Planning and Development, then complete the questions, if you have photographs, you can add them to the entry and then submit your report.

 

Picture containing a view of Paddons Farm Play area, extract from Google Street view dated 2011