Message from Andrew Mitchell

20th November 2020

Covid 19

An additional 313 cases of Covid 19 have been registered in Sutton Coldfield for the week of 7 – 13 November compared to an updated figure of 291 for the 31st October – 6th November based on data from Birmingham City Council’s public health division.

The 7-day case rate between 7th and 13th November in Birmingham is now 337.6 cases/100K population, compared to 287.4/100K for the period between 31st October and 6th November.

Over the 7 days leading up to the 13th November of all community pillar 2 tests 16.1% are positive, this is an increase from the previous week.

Testing in the community over the last 7 days stands at 2,223 tests/100K population, which ranks 12th in the region.

Hospital admissions range between 34 and 62 new cases a day at University Hospitals Birmingham Trust over the last 7 days from 7th- 13th November.

Westminster news and Parliamentary business

On Tuesday I presented my Doctors and Nurses (Developing Countries) Bill under the 10 Minute Rule Motion. My Bill asks the Government to investigate the ways in which we could reform our medical recruitment so that we pay to train two doctors or nurses in developing countries for each doctor or nurse recruited to the National Health Service from those countries. This money would come from the existing aid budget. When we persuade medical staff from the developing world to come here, we do so in the knowledge that our gain will inevitably be their country’s loss. For every doctor or nurse we poach from a developing nation we should ensure that their country receives, from the existing British development budget, sufficient resources to train up and replace them twice over, helping to expand their health services and supporting healthcare in some of the world’s poorest nations.

My full speech is available on Hansard: https://bit.ly/38PT6sg . I am glad to report that my Bill passed its first reading with support from across the House. Unfortunately due to the Parliamentary timetable, although my Bill is scheduled for its second reading on the eighth of January it is unlikely to be debated as there are a large number of bills already scheduled that day. It has nonetheless raised the profile of the issue and I have received a large number of positive comments and coverage in the media: https://www.independent.co.uk/independentpremium/voices/nhs-foreign-medical-staff-andrew-mitchell-b1749350.html

On Wednesday I appeared on BBC Politics Live before PMQs. The full programme is available on Iplayer: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000pjns/politics-live-18112020. We discussed a number of topics but the majority of the time was spent discussing the Government’s newly announced blueprint for a green industrial revolution.  Our ambitious ten point plan will create and support up to 250,000 British jobs covering clean energy, transport, nature and innovative technologies.

I am a Patron of Ammalife (https://www.ammalife.org/) a charity founded by doctors and midwives which is committed to tackling obstacles to good maternal health in some of the poorest countries. Covid 19 has highlighted the importance of developing robust health systems across the world. This week I had a chat with the team about their current projects and their Christmas Big Give campaign which is due to launch in the first week of December.

This week I also joined a Joint Enterprise Not Guilty By Association panel event looking at an important report that was published on Monday. The report reveals the experiences of women in prison under unjust laws of complicity known as joint enterprise and looks at the concerns surrounding some of their cases in more detail. A summary of the report is available here: https://jointenterprise.co/JE_women.html

On Thursday I spoke briefly during a statement from the Prime Minister on the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rI-8U-jNjY. The extra defence funding announced yesterday provides an additional £24.1 billion over the next four years. In our manifesto we pledged to increase defence spending by 0.5% above inflation for every year of this parliament, today’s announcement goes £16.5 billion further than this commitment. While I strongly support this announcement I also pressed the Prime Minister to protect our commitment to spending 0.7% of the country’s Gross National Income on aid and development. In the evening I presented a lecture as part of the Keele World Affairs series focused on Britain’s future role in international development. A video of the session should appear on their website shortly: http://kwaku.org.uk/Video.html

Other highlights this week included attending a meeting about the Department for Trade’s Export Programme- of interest to several businesses in Sutton Coldfield.

I also spoke with senior members of the local Federation of Small Businesses about the key policy priorities for small businesses through the Royal Town. I attended Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce meeting on the benefits to our local economy of tax free shopping for tourists.

Royal Sutton Coldfield updates

In a year of unprecedented disruption many people have relied upon charities for support. A crucial part of the Government’s response to Covid 19 has been a £750 million support package to ensure voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors across the country can continue their vital work during this difficult period. A list of organisations in Sutton Coldfield that have received funding so far from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund has been published and it includes: Hope for Sutton, Age Concern Birmingham, Square Peg Foundation, Beacon Family Services, RSI Community, Advocacy Matters Ltd and Pravasi UK Limited.

Birmingham City Council launched the Covid Community Champion network in September as a way of sharing the most up-to-date Public Health guidance across our local area. Over 420 Champions have signed up so far to receive regular updates and webinars. The following link contains full details of the scheme: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/50231/coronavirus_covid-19/2256/covid-19_community_champions/3

The Department of Health and Social Care has asked the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to review the ways in which Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation decisions were used during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. Several Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have been selected as part of the review to cover a cross-section of areas and a mix of demographics and Sutton Coldfield (NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG) has been selected as part of the review. Fieldwork is expected to begin shortly with a final report published early next year.

Funding has been secured to support the development of a space hub in the West Midlands. The new space hub will use Government funding to bring together local authorities, expertise and businesses to create a strategy for how our area can take maximum advantage of the commercial space race. The West Midlands space hub will be led by City-REDI of the University of Birmingham, and supported by the Mayor Andy Street and the WMCA and Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership. The funding will hopefully support new high quality jobs and improve training and skills locally here in Sutton Coldfield.

Of great importance to us locally, a mental health support offer is now in place offering emotional help, guidance and reassurance to people across Sutton Coldfield who may be finding the current Coronavirus situation overwhelming. More details can be found here: https://www.bsmhft.nhs.uk/our-services/our-response-to-coronavirus/mental-health-support-offer/

There are a number of free workshops taking place next week for young creatives and artists based in the West Midlands aged between 18-30 years. To find out more or to book a place please see: https://www.culturecentral.co.uk/events/young-creatives-all-access/

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As your MP I am here to help. If you feel I can assist with any concerns, please do not hesitate to get in contact by emailing me on andrew.mitchell.mp@parliament.uk