Update on mobile coronavirus testing centres in Buckinghamshire over the coming week

 

More coronavirus mobile testing sites will be up and running across Buckinghamshire over the coming week, in High Wycombe, Princes Risborough, Gerrards Cross, Buckingham and Marlow.

The mobile testing sites will be at:

  • High Wycombe, on Friday, 15 January for up to three days, and again from Friday, 22 January for up to three days.
  • Princes Risborough, on Saturday, 16 January
  • Gerrards Cross, on Saturday, 16 January, and again on Saturday, 23 January.
  • Buckingham, on Tuesday, 19 January.
  • Marlow, on Wednesday, 20 January, for up to two days.

Walk-through testing sites are also open seven days a week at the Gateway Centre car park in Aylesbury and the Buckinghamshire New University campus in High Wycombe, and these will be in place for the foreseeable future.

These sites are open for use by anyone with coronavirus symptoms, and all tests must be booked first – they are not available on a ‘drop-in’ basis.

Anyone with even mild symptoms is being encouraged to arrange a test to help stop the spread of the virus. Symptoms include a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. It is also possible to order a home testing kit via the website.

If the mobile testing sites are fully booked, you will be offered testing at the next-closest location.

A testing centre operating in Slough is also currently open to Buckinghamshire residents, for booked-in visits only.

Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Engagement at Buckinghamshire Council, said: “The situation in Buckinghamshire is extremely serious at the moment and it is vital we all do our bit to stop the spread of the virus. A key way of doing this is by getting tested if you have any coronavirus symptoms – no matter how mild – and isolating unless you get a ‘negative’ result.  Please also isolate if anyone in your household develops symptoms.

“I would ask all residents to please remain vigilant, work together and follow all the latest guidance by going out only when necessary and by sticking to the ‘hands, face, space’ rules. The vaccination programme is no underway, but with cases of coronavirus still rising in Bucks, it is more important than ever that we work together to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, and to protect our NHS and social care services. Thank you for all your efforts in this difficult time.”

Dr Raj Bajwa, GP and Chair of NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Testing is essential to help keep NHS services running smoothly and to help vulnerable people stay as safe as possible from coronavirus infection. These mobile sites offer a great boost to our testing capabilities in Buckinghamshire, so we hope they will be well-used by those that need them.”

For more information about walk-through testing sites, you can watch this video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcRw92bO8xg&t=50s.

You can read the full guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, and on the latest lockdown measures, on the government website – https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

If you need extra support during the lockdown period, please keep checking www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/ which will continue to be updated with information about the various ways you can get help.

Details of the vaccination programme in Buckinghamshire can be found on the Council’s website https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/community-hub/covid-19-vaccination-programme/

WINSLOW COMMUNITY BUS

 

WDCB Coronavirus Update January 2021

As the Government has put us into a further lockdown, and with the increasing numbers of COVID cases, in the interest of the safety of our passengers and our volunteer drivers, it is with regret that we have taken the decision to suspend all services until further notice.

We will provide an update prior to the resumption of our services.

We all hope that you stay well during this difficult period.

Lynne King

WDCB Co-ordinator

28 High Street
Winslow
Bucks
MK18 3HF
 
07483 336440
wdcbenquiries@btconnect.com
www.winslowbus.com

UPDATE FROM MARTIN TETT

Dear Resident,

There’s a lot in the news about how the COVID-19 vaccination programme is ramping up across the country and I know from all the emails and telephone calls that I have received that a great many of you are understandably anxious for details of what’s happening locally.

This is, of course, a massive logistical exercise, probably the biggest ever in peacetime. As I have stressed repeatedly in these newsletters, the rollout of the vaccination programme is the responsibility of the NHS, not Buckinghamshire Council. The NHS determines where, when and to whom the vaccine is given both locally and nationally. Nevertheless, I am committed to providing everyone with as much news as possible on this essential programme. I’m therefore really pleased to be in a position today where I can provide you with more information on the vaccination programme in Buckinghamshire.

There are a number of different ways you could be vaccinated:

  1. At a local vaccination site run by Buckinghamshire GPs
  2. At a pharmacy site, organised nationally by the NHS
  3. At a national vaccination site, organised nationally by the NHS
  4. At a hospital if you’re a health or social care worker

GPs are also responsible for delivering the vaccine directly to care homes for residents and staff.

GP-led vaccine sites

GP surgeries across the county have come together to form nine GP-led vaccination sites in Bucks. This means that when it’s your turn, you’ll be invited for a COVID-19 vaccine by your own surgery, but will go to one of these nine sites chosen by your GP to receive it. The aim is that all residents over the age of 80 will have been offered a vaccination appointment through their GP by the end of January.

Five of these GP-led sites are already open in:

  • Chalfont St Peter
  • Winslow
  • Princes Risborough
  • High Wycombe
  • Chesham

GP-led sites in Aylesbury and High Wycombe will start this week and two further sites are also expected to go live shortly.

Over 12,000 people in Buckinghamshire have already been vaccinated.

Pharmacy-led vaccine sites

A number of pharmacy vaccination sites will also be launched in Buckinghamshire; sites in Marlow and Wycombe are due to open and start vaccinating people during next week. Additional sites in other areas of the county are due to open very soon too. Patients will have a choice of attending either a GP-led site or a pharmacy-led site if that is more convenient.

National vaccination sites

In addition to the local GP and pharmacy-led sites, the NHS has opened the first wave of mass vaccination centres in England. The three closest to Buckinghamshire are:

  • Epsom Racecourse in Surrey
  • The Excel Centre in London
  • Robertson House in Stevenage

Letters from the NHS began arriving this weekend to people aged 80 or over who live a 30-45 minute drive from a national site, including some residents who live in Buckinghamshire. The letter explains that you can book a slot at one of the national sites over the phone or online via the national booking service.

Any residents who’ve had this letter can choose to book through the national system if they wish to; however, as I’ve already mentioned, all patients over the age of 80 will be offered an appointment locally by the end of January. If you choose not to go for an appointment at a national site, it will not affect your ability to get an appointment at a local site through your GP.

We are aiming to have two mass vaccination sites in Buckinghamshire and you’ll be able to book your vaccination through the national booking system when these sites go live; more information on these should be available in the coming week and I’ll update you as soon as I’m able.

When will I get my vaccine?

I know this is the main question for many of you and I’m sure a lot of you will already be aware of the NHS priority list, i.e. who will be first in the queue for these vaccine appointments. For now, the focus is to get through the top two priority groups; those in care homes (residents and staff) people over 80 and health and social care workers. Once all these people have received their vaccine then the rest of the list will be worked through as quickly as possible.

It is inevitable, with some GP-led centres having opened ahead of others that you may know of someone of similar age who has received their vaccination ahead of you. As I’ve already underlined however, it remains the intention that everyone over 80 years will have been offered their vaccination by the end of January and the aim is to deliver vaccinations for the top four priority groups by the middle of February.

None of this can be achieved overnight and there will inevitably be some teething problems and some glitches as this rolls out, but I know so many of you have been very anxious for news about what’s happening, so I wanted to keep you fully briefed on where we are with this in Buckinghamshire at the moment.

Please do not call your GP direct about your vaccine and please wait to be contacted by the NHS. They will get in touch with you directly when it’s your turn. Please remember, lots of people calling their GPs unnecessarily may well prevent someone with an urgent , non-COVID condition from being able to get through to a doctor.

Stay at Home

Being able to ramp up vaccinations here in Buckinghamshire is really positive news in the face of what is an extremely grave point in the pandemic. Sadly, we expect the coming weeks to be the toughest yet. The number of new cases has still continued to rise, and our local NHS services are under extreme pressure.

Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking this is an illness that only effects the elderly and infirm. A quarter of all patients in hospital with COVID-19 are under the age of 60. This is a horrible disease that has the potential to impact us all and the very best thing we can all do is to stay at home unless it’s necessary for one of the legally permitted reasons. Here are the full details of the circumstances in which you can leave your home.

You can see the latest Buckinghamshire data on our COVID dashboard and local case numbers via the Government’s website.

I hope you feel reassured that there is a way out of the pandemic and that the pace of the vaccination programme is accelerating here. You can keep up to date with the vaccination programme in Buckinghamshire via the new vaccine programme pages on our website.

In the meantime, please, follow the rules to the letter to help get our lives back to normal and you keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

Martin Tett

Leader of Buckinghamshire Council

 

More vaccination sites for Buckinghamshire this week

Press Release from Buckinghamshire Council

More COVID-19 vaccination centres are coming to Buckinghamshire this week, with GP-led sites opening in High Wycombe Town Centre and Aylesbury this week, in addition to the 5 sites which are already up and running to deliver vaccines to patients aged 80 and over.

Another GP-led site will follow soon in Buckingham, and a further site is being planned for the south of the county, as the vaccination programme continues to gather pace across Buckinghamshire.

We expect that by the end of this month all patients over the age of 80 should receive an invitation for a vaccination appointment.

A number of pharmacy vaccination sites will also be launched in Buckinghamshire; sites in Marlow and Wycombe are due to open and start vaccinating people during next week. Additional sites in other areas of the county are due to open very soon too.

And two more mass vaccination centres are also in the process of being set up – more details will follow on these in due course.

So far more than 12,000 vaccinations have been given to patients across Buckinghamshire, including nearly 2,000 delivered to health and social care staff at a ‘Hospital Hub’ managed by Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

GP-led vaccination sites for patients are already up and running in:

  • Chalfont St Peter
  • Winslow
  • Princes Risborough
  • Chesham
  • High Wycombe

Several national mass vaccination sites are also being set up by the NHS which are outside of the county. Some Buckinghamshire residents aged 80 and over, who live 30-45 minutes from the nearest of these sites, may have received a letter on these from the NHS in recent days. This letter explains how they can book a slot through the national system if they do not wish to use the local system (the GP-led sites described above).

Currently, the mass vaccination sites closest to Buckinghamshire are:

  • Epsom racecourse in Surrey (South East)
  • Excel Centre in London (London)
  • Robertson House in Stevenage (East of England)

If residents have received a letter but do not want to attend one of these Mass Vaccination sites, it will not affect their ability to get an appointment at a local site through your GP.

As well as people aged 80 and over, care home residents and staff, along with health and social care workers are being prioritised in this first phase of the national vaccination rollout. This is in line with the national Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) prioritisation programme.

The Government has announced that the top four priority groups in the JCVI list will be completed by mid-February.

Residents are being asked to please not contact their GP surgery to arrange an appointment. The NHS will contact patients when the time is right for their vaccination appointment to be arranged.

Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire Council, said: “These are extremely difficult times for all of us, but it is important to remember that the pace of the vaccination programme is increasing in Buckinghamshire and we are pushing hard to make sure things move faster going forward. We hope that residents can be reassured that there is a way out of this pandemic, and that their area will soon be covered by a vaccination centre if it is not already. More age groups and vulnerable patients will be offered the vaccination over the coming weeks and months, in line with the national priorities of the phased rollout.

“We would ask that residents please be patient and not call their GP practice to arrange a vaccination appointment. The NHS will instead contact you when the time is right. I appreciate this has been a frustrating time and we are all eager to see those most in need get their vaccinations as soon as possible, but your patience and support is greatly appreciated.

“In the meantime, I would ask everyone to please continue to follow the ‘Stay at Home’ rules to the letter to help keep yourself and your loved ones safe, and to protect the NHS.”

Details of the vaccination programme in Buckinghamshire can be found on the Council’s website https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/community-hub/covid-19-vaccination-programme/

Winslow Farmers Market – January

 

 

Please note that there will be no Farmers Market in January.

East West Rail Winter Newsletter

 

 

The East West Rail project team have published their winter newsletter, which can be found here:

Comments and questions on the railway should be addressed to EWR at: contact@eastwestrail.co.uk

Residents asked to reduce and recycle this Christmas

Press Release from Buckinghamshire Council

15 December 2020

 

Over the festive season, we produce around 30% more waste* than at any other time of the year. To help prevent a season of waste, Buckinghamshire Council is asking its recycling-savvy residents to reduce, reuse and recycle this festive period.

From food to gift shopping, the increase in consumption over the festive season will result in Buckinghamshire Council collecting almost a third more household waste over December and January than at any other time of the year. The numbers associated with festive season waste are staggering; over one billion cards will be sent, 227,000 miles of wrapping paper used, and 17.2 million sprouts thrown in the bin.

To help prevent a season of waste, take a look at these three easy tips which can help residents celebrate sustainably this year:

1. Spread festive cheer online: E-cards and e-vouchers can brighten a loved one’s day, without generating any waste. Residents can purchase them online from the safety of their home and avoid unnecessary paper waste whilst sending (virtual) merriness.

2. Order online in one go: If you are buying physical presents online or treating yourself in the Boxing Day/January sales, try and plan to make one delivery per store. This will reduce packaging waste, some of which like bubble wrap and polystyrene cannot be recycled. It will also reduce the number of vehicles on the road, easing traffic congestion and decreasing the amount of harmful emissions that have a detrimental effect on air quality.

3. Plan your feast: 70% of us readily admit that we buy far more food than we need over the festive period. Don’t add to the mountains of food waste unnecessarily generated at this time of year and only buy for those you are sharing the day with.

Preventing unnecessary waste over the festive period is essential to reducing Buckinghamshire’s environmental impact. However, where waste is unavoidable, residents are encouraged to make the most of Buckinghamshire Council’s recycling service. At a time when homes are likely to be overflowing with wrapping paper, cardboard boxes and empty bottles of festive fizz, please help reduce your waste and find out what can and cannot be recycled by visiting our online Waste Wizard.

Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, Cllr Bill Chapple OBE, said:

“With the giving and receiving of presents and many families looking forward to spending time with loved ones – whether that’s virtually or as part of a Christmas bubble – the festive season is a vital time to make sure we are all playing our part to reduce, reuse and recycle. Buckinghamshire is full of great recyclers, so please keep up the good work this December and into the new year too. And of course, Merry Christmas!

“I would like to extend a thank you to all of our hardworking Buckinghamshire Council, Veolia UK and Biffa collection crews, as well as the teams at the Household Recycling Centres, who will continue to work over the Christmas holidays to collect our recycling and waste. Please remember to check the revised schedule for your collections over the festive period.”

For further information on local recycling and waste services, including any changes to your collection days over the festive period, take a look at our guidance on Recycling and Waste this Christmas.

Buckinghamshire libraries set to welcome back customers

 

Buckinghamshire libraries are looking forward to reopening their doors and welcoming customers back, with libraries across the county starting to reopen from Wednesday 2 December onwards.

All the libraries have the recommended COVID-19 safety measures in place, and at busy times people may be asked to queue. Opening times are also slightly shorter at the moment, but libraries will be increasing these as soon as they are able to do so.

Book borrowing, computer hire, printing and information services will be available – but libraries will be unable to provide newspapers, study areas or group activities. In addition, to support the NHS Test and Trace initiative, staff will ask customers to use the NHS App or provide contact details when they enter a library. However, this information will only be used for this purpose and will be destroyed after 21 days.

Customers planning to visit their local library should check the opening hours by going to Buckinghamshire Council’s libraries webpage: www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/libraries

Customers who would prefer not to visit a library in person can use the eLibrary service to borrow books, magazines and newspapers online: www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/libraries/search-library-item

Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health, commented:

“It’s fantastic news that our libraries are able to open their doors again to customers. As well as offering book borrowing and computer hire, our libraries have a crucial role to play in supporting businesses, jobs and the wellbeing of residents.

“I’m also looking forward to the remodelled and refurbished Marlow Library opening to the public on Saturday 5 December. This modern and attractive library has some exciting new features, including a bigger and better children’s space, self-service technology and loanable tablets. I’m sure it’s going to be a very popular place with the local community.”

With libraries reopening, the council will also gradually open the majority of the Council Access Points (CAPs) sites across the county. These access points are available to help support residents who don’t have the means to access council services from home. Details of the locations for each CAP, what support is available and the opening times can be found on the following webpage: www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/your-council/visit-the-council

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News from the Lord-Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire

27 November 2020

Countess (Elizabeth) Howe is the new Lord

 

Countess Howe has today succeeded Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher Bt KCVO as Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire. Lady Howe was appointed by Her Majesty The Queen in June.

Elizabeth spent her childhood in the county, studied for a BEd degree in Cambridge, and worked subsequently as a teacher in London.  She returned to Buckinghamshire with her husband in 1986 to look after his family’s estate in Penn where they brought up their four children. She has involved herself in school governorships and in many local charitable causes, being appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 1995, and High Sheriff in 2010.

 

Lady Howe said: It is a great honour to be appointed as Her Majestys Lord-Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire in succession to Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher.  I look forward to fulfilling the role and aim to serve the community with commitment and purpose for the benefit of all who live in this wonderful county. To be the first woman to hold the Office in Buckinghamshire is a special privilege.

 

“Sir Henry has been an inspirational Lord Lieutenant, upholding the dignity of the Crown, as

Her Majesty’s representative.  He has immersed himself indefatigably in every facet of community life, giving selflessly of his time, and providing support and encouragement to all he met. We owe him a great debt.

 

“He has been staunchly supported throughout his tenure by his wife, Bobbie, whose warmth and kindness has endeared her to so many. Sir Henry and Lady Aubrey-Fletcher have given generously of themselves for the good of the county, and I extend my gratitude and best wishes to them both.”

Lord- Lieutenant Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, Her Majesty The Queen’s official representative in Buckinghamshire steps down after 14 years in the role, preceded by nine years as Vice Lord-Lieutenant.

All members of the Lieutenancy are required to retire when they turn 75 and Sir Henry reached that milestone today (27 November). In his farewell message, he said:

“I am leaving a role that it has been my honour and privilege to hold. My time in office has allowed me to meet the most wonderful people across Buckinghamshire, who have nothing but the best interests of our community in mind. It has been a great joy to be invited into the lives of so wide a variety of people, and it is a chapter of my life that I shall never forget. I have received nothing but kindness and support throughout, and I feel most fortunate to have had this opportunity to serve Her Majesty the Queen in this County.

“I wish my successor Lady Howe success and happiness. She has been an active member of the Lieutenancy since her appointment as a DL in 1995 and is a wonderful advocate for this very special county.  It is also an historic day for Buckinghamshire as we will be welcoming our first ever female Lord-Lieutenant.”

“I thank fellow members of the Buckinghamshire Lieutenancy for all their support, and my wife Bobbie and family for their encouragement. Above all, I thank the people of Buckinghamshire, for all that they do for our extraordinary county.”

Ends…/

COVID-19 Contact Tracing

Buckinghamshire launches local COVID-19 contact tracing service
A new local contact tracing service is being launched on 30 November by Buckinghamshire Council to help people who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 as part of the continued effort to stop the spread.

In partnership with the NHS Test and Trace service, Buckinghamshire’s local contact tracing team will be contacting people that the national service is unable to reach.  It is designed to complement the national service and will further help to keep the residents of Buckinghamshire safe from the coronavirus.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 may receive a phone call from our dedicated number – 01296 585 167. Trained call handlers will remind them that they must self-isolate for ten days and talk through how to access local support when isolating. They will ask for details of their close contacts so these can be followed up by the NHS Test and Trace team.

Where Buckinghamshire call handlers are still unable to make contact, trained staff will visit people at home and deliver letters explaining why the council is trying to get in touch. They will ask people to call the local contact tracing team on 01296 585 167.

Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health, said: “Our local contact tracing service provides another layer of support to help control COVID-19 in Buckinghamshire. If we contact you, a locally based person will be on the other end of the phone. They will talk to you about what you need to do to protect your friends and family whilst isolating, and about what support is available nearby.

“The overall aim is simple – to limit the transmission of COVID-19. By isolating when you have symptoms, getting a test, picking up the phone when we call and providing details of your close contacts, we will give ourselves an even better chance to stop the spread.”

The service will initially run seven days a week with calls coming from the dedicated number 01296 585 167 so that you know it is the Council that is calling. Text messages will also be sent to people with a mobile phone, so they know to expect a call.

Residents are reminded that we will never ask:

  • for bank account details, passwords or PIN numbers
  • for payment or to buy a product
  • to download any software
  • to call a premium rate number

Remember if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 – stay at home, answer the phone and stop the spread.

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