It was fantastic to hear that the vaccination team at Croydon Health Services have administered their 10,000th Covid-19 vaccine since the clinic opened at the beginning of December.
This is an incredible achievement by all those working tirelessly to deliver Croydon’s vaccination programme and I want to thank all our local NHS staff for everything they are doing, while still coping with the demands of the pandemic. This is all the more important given that this week marked the tragic loss of over 100,000 lives to this disease.
My thanks also to all those in our community who are coming forward to receive their vaccines when offered, taking this important step to get the best possible protection for against Covid-19.
Getting vaccinated is vital to protect not only yourself but others who you might come into contact with, particularly those who are more at risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus.
This is why frontline health and social care workers are among the NHS’s priority groups to receive the vaccine, because they work with some of our most vulnerable residents.
I’m delighted that many of our own council staff who provide these vital services have now received theirs and I would urge everyone working in those professions to take up the vaccine as soon as they are offered, helping to keep them and those they look after, safe. Jennifer, one of our carers, has shared her experience about getting the vaccine and what it means to her – you can watch the video here.
I know some people feel hesitant about vaccination and our public health team continue to work closely with our local NHS to answer any questions residents might have, to reassure them that the Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective. You can find out more about the Covid-19 vaccination on the NHS website
The vaccine roll-out continues at pace right across our borough. Croydon Health Services have now completed the substantial task of visiting over 80 care homes across Croydon to offer the vaccine, ensuring some of our most vulnerable residents are protected against the disease.
GP and community mobile teams are also beginning to contact and vaccinate housebound people in the priority groups in their homes, with those eligible being contacted in advance by phone or text or letter. All vaccinators making house calls will have NHS identification, which residents should ask to see.
Please don’t be anxious if you are in a priority group and haven’t yet been contacted – they are working to get to you as quickly as they can. In the meantime, we can all help the NHS to deliver the programme by not contacting them for a vaccine until they have got in touch with us, or arriving at vaccination sites without an appointment – they will let you know when it is your turn, by text, phone or a letter.
Thank you to everyone for being patient and in the meantime, remember we must all stay at home, and if we do go out , follow the advice on hands, face, space. We have come so far – it’s vital that we keep going.
With the government announcement that schools will now not return before 8 March, I want to recognise all our teachers and school staff across Croydon, who continue to work tirelessly in difficult circumstances. They continue to be on the frontline of the pandemic, providing care for some of our most vulnerable children and those of key workers in schools, while also delivering remote learning. Many of them will also be experiencing the same challenges as the rest of us during the pandemic, juggling work with caring for their own children or families who may also be at home. I want to thank all of them and also the parents, children and young people who continue to demonstrate incredible strength and resilience in the face of such disruption. You are not forgotten and we and our partners in education will do all we can to support you, both now and as we emerge from this pandemic in the future.
Croydon’s savings proposals
Our consultation on our savings proposals has now closed and I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to give their views, through the online survey or as part of a focus group. Your feedback will be invaluable as we put together our budget proposals for the next year and also our longer-term plans to deliver vital services while we get Croydon’s finances back on track. We have to make some very tough decisions but I am determined that we will keep listening to all of you – our staff, residents, and partners, so that we reshape our council to deliver the essential services our community needs. The findings of the consultation will be contained in our budget papers for the February cabinet meeting and I will update you as soon as these are available.
Finally I would like to thank everyone who was involved in and contributed to Croydon’s online event to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on Wednesday. The ceremony was extremely moving and for anyone who missed it, a recording is available here.
Have a good weekend and stay safe,
Councillor Hamida Ali, leader of the council