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Crawley gets extra £500k from Government to help services including feeding children

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Crawley has received an extra £510,000 from the government to help with ‘vital services’ which can include feeding children in need.

The government say that the money is aimed at helping people living and working in Crawley and is part of a larger amount split across authorities across the UK.

The money will be used locally to help the councils cover coronavirus-related costs and ensure they have the resources needed to keep providing key services as they continue to battle through the COVID-19 pandemic.

It means Crawley Borough Council has now received £2.38 million in direct extra support from the Government since the start of the pandemic, with West Sussex County Council receiving £74.09 million.

Commenting, Henry Smith MP said that Government support is proving crucial to people living in Crawley as it means local authorities can continue to provide the essential services needed.

Henry said;

“The additional £510,000 announced for Crawley Borough Council is hugely welcome and will ease financial pressures on the local authority and ensure it’s able to continue providing vital services this winter.

“Just like the support being provided for people whose jobs are at risk – with over £200 billion so far to protect jobs, incomes and businesses throughout and beyond this pandemic – the Government is keeping its promise to local authorities and ensuring they have the resources they need to continue supporting people.”

The Government have also announced a further £100 million established to support council-run leisure centres across the country, which are proving key to helping the health and well-being of people in the area.

The new funding means local councils will have £1 billion extra in funding this winter to help maintain vital services.

The funding has not been ring-fenced, meaning local leaders will be able to determine how to spend the additional funding in order to best protect public health, local vulnerable people and the running of vital services.

In total, over £4.6 billion of the £6.4 billion in additional government funding made available to councils has not been ring-fenced, reflecting the Government’s view that local authorities are best placed to determine local priorities.

This is the fourth announcement of extra direct support for local authorities since the start of the pandemic. It forms part of an unprecedented package of support for councils, which also includes up to £465 million through the new Local Alert Level system, £300 million to support Test and Trace and £30 million for enforcement and compliance. Councils can also claim funding through a compensation scheme for lost income from sales, fees and charges and further additional support will be made available to areas placed under Tier 3 restrictions.

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government, Robert Jenrick, commented;

“Since the start of the pandemic, we have backed local councils with the funding they need to support their communities, protect vital services and recover lost income.

“This extra £1 billion funding will ensure that councils have the resources that they need over the winter and continue to play an essential role on the front line of our response to the virus while protecting the most vulnerable and supporting local businesses.”

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, Oliver Dowden, added;

“It’s vital that we keep ourselves fighting fit through the winter months and local authority leisure centres are crucial to this. This £100 million fund will help keep leisure centres across the country open. I urge leisure centres to bid for the money and people to make the most of these precious local facilities.”

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Looking for a space to run your small business or community group? Crawley hospital is offering rooms for hire

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NHS Open Space, a service launched by NHS Property Services (NHSPS), has expanded its portfolio to over 700 rooms across 100 sites nationwide, with 7 new spaces available at Crawley Hospital.

Offering clinical and non-clinical spaces for hire on an hourly or daily basis, with greater flexibility at an affordable price, this expansion will help the organisation towards its aim of making better use of NHS space and enabling excellent patient care.

Health and wellbeing providers looking for alternative and flexible ways to deliver services in their community can now choose from 700 clinical and non-clinical rooms nationwide, ranging from examination rooms, to group activity spaces, to offices.

In addition, small business owners and community groups can use these spaces, allowing them to book rooms only for the length of time they need, easing pressure on finances and enabling them to be more flexible during these unpredictable times. New services will join a community of over 1,000 users who have so far made 125,000+ bookings, accounting for more than 700,000 hours of patient service delivery. Income made from NHS Open Space bookings will be reinvested back into the health service for the benefit of patients and to help support the NHS.

“We recognise that the last year has been challenging for many healthcare providers, small businesses and community groups. We hope that NHS Open Space will help to provide a flexible and affordable option for those who are looking to continue or get back to work in the coming months,” said Christopher King, Principal Strategic Asset Manager at NHSPS.

“Safety continues to be our number one priority; our customers and patients can feel safe in the knowledge that all available sites are cleaned and maintained to the highest of safety standards.”

The programme is set to continue to grow throughout the year, with further expansions planned for Autumn and Winter. Throughout the pandemic, spaces have remained open for use, ensuring providers could safely continue to offer support to patients. NHS Open Space also supported the NHS in providing space for the COVID-19 vaccination programme, with over 1,500 bookings relating to COVID-19 services since December 2020.

Ruth Todd, Clinical Assistant at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has used NHS Open Space to keep her Diabetes service running during the pandemic.

“With every booking I can be confident that the room will be set up, clean and ready to go – even more important this year as infection control is our top priority. This has helped me and my patients return to NHS sites when remote consultations aren’t possible, making sure my patients get the support they need during these uncertain times.”

Sarah Meredith, Immunisation Nurse as Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, has found the transparency and support helpful as she moves from one booking to the next.

“Once an NHS Open Space room is booked on my behalf, I get an email with all the details I need. As a busy clinician I have found it really useful to get a definite confirmation prior to a clinic that I would have a room to work from. When I’ve had any questions or issues it’s soon been resolved by the efficient on-site staff.”

To find out more about NHS Open Space and the properties and rooms on offer in your area, visit: https://www.openspace.nhs.uk/.

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