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Parents demand a choice on whether to send children back to school

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Over 300,000 people have signed a petition by parents campaigning to be given a choice on whether or not to send kids back to school if schools reopen in June. 

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans for reopening schools in Sunday’s speech. He said schools may begin to return from the earliest of June 1st – starting with those in reception.

Lucy Browne who started the petition on Change.org said:

“Many of us have lost confidence in the Government’s handling of this crisis and feel it is too early to return children to schools. As a mum I don’t want to face serious repercussions for making a choice I feel affects the safety of my daughter during a global pandemic.” 

Lucy’s daughter is at primary school in London and would be one of the first to return.

Deborah Mawer who signed the petition said:

“I have a child with asthma and asthma myself and would not feel safe sending them out to potentially then have us both very very ill.”

Teaching staff are also raising concerns over the government’s plans. Michelle Forster who signed the petition wrote:

“I am a teacher and believe that we cannot return to school safely as we do not have the correct equipment, space or resources to manage the pupils and ensure social distancing measures and PPE. Returning to school before it is safe puts thousands of pupils, families and staff at risk.”

The petition has over 300,000 and has been the fastest growing petition on Change.org UK since the Prime Minister’s speech on the 10th May. Lucy’s petition can be found at Change.org/WhenSchoolsOpen

Coronavirus

COVID-19 vaccination centre opens in Crawley

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Residents across West Sussex can now receive their COVID-19 immunisations at a new vaccination centre in Crawley.

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT) has today (1 February) opened the appointment only facility at Crawley Hospital in West Green Drive.

The service is by appointment only with vaccinations delivered by teams from SCFT.

Residents who are eligible for vaccinations and who live within a 60 mile radius of Crawley Hospital are being written to directly by the NHS and invited to book an appointment.

This vaccination centre follows the opening of the Brighton Centre last week and is in addition to the local GP-led vaccination services that now cover all patients in Sussex, and select pharmacy-led services that are also available through the national booking system.

Siobhan Melia, Chief Executive of Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“I’m delighted we are able to open Crawley Hospital as a vaccination centre today for residents across West Sussex and want to pay tribute to all teams from SCFT who have been involved in making this happen.

“The opening of Crawley Hospital today follows the successful launch of the vaccination centre at the Brighton Centre last week, and is all part of making the COVID-19 vaccination as accessible as possible to the communities we serve.”

Vaccination centres are another part of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, working alongside GP-led vaccination services, specific pharmacies and hospital hubs.

While GPs invite their patients to get vaccinated at their local vaccination service, appointments at the vaccination centres are made through the national booking service.

The national booking service writes to eligible people, living within 60 miles of a vaccination centre, inviting them to book an appointment at the centre online or over the phone. The letter contains all the details people will need to book their appointment.

Anyone receiving a letter from the national booking service can choose whether to book an appointment at the vaccination centre, or wait until they are contacted by their GP for an appointment at their local vaccination service if that would be more convenient.

There are more than 1,000 GP services and more than 250 hospital sites now offering vaccinations in England.

Donna Lamb, Chief Nurse at SCFT, said:

“We are so proud to be able to support the COVID-19 vaccination programme across Sussex.

“Our trained vaccinators, supported by amazing volunteers, are on hand to help patients who attend our centres and we look forward to vaccinating many more people in the coming weeks which will make a huge difference to the communities we serve.

“I would encourage anyone who is invited for a vaccination to take up the offer.”

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