Labour blames Government for Northamptonshire having to declare major incident over Covid surge

Action by health authorities comes a day after Prime Minister visited county

Friday, 7th January 2022, 5:01 pm

The Conservative Government should be 'ashamed' that Northamptonshire has declared a major incident today over the crisis facing the health authorities dealing with the pandemic, the West Northamptonshire Labour Group has said.

The decision was taken by a group known as the Northamptonshire Resilience Forum, which includes the NHS, councils, police and fire services.

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The deputy leader of the Labour Group in West Northamptonshire, Emma Roberts

It will allow for 'greater co-ordination' between the different bodies to cope with pressures caused by recent rises in Omicron variant infections which have led to extra demand on services and staffing levels.

It came a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Northampton as part of a drive to get more people to get their vaccinations.

During the visit, which included the vaccination centre at Moulton, Weston Favell police station and the Chronicle & Echo office, he described anti-vaxxers as 'completely wrong' and 'counterproductive'.

While at the Chron offices he praised the work of staff at Northampton General Hospital staff

"They are doing an absolutely fantastic job. I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart, They are rising to the challenge again and they are going to get through this wave just as they got through other waves."

The Prime Minister added: “The situation will get better and it will get better quite soon.

“It will be tough and we have to recognise that, but it will get better.”

But in a statement issued earlier today, the deputy leader of the Labour Group in West Northamptonshire, Emma Roberts, said the PM's and Government's 'complacency is off the back of 11 years of cuts to public services.'

“The Prime Minister rolled into Northampton yesterday for a photo shoot and claimed there were no local staffing shortages in the NHS. At the same time our Clinical Commissioning Group and Local Resilience Forum were preparing to declare a major incident," she said.

"I welcome the decision by the Local Resilience Forum who represent local bodies that will be heavily impacted by this decision.

"Whilst credit has to be given to the hard work and action being taken locally, this is a crisis that has formed as a result of callous decisions taken at the national level by the Conservative government."

The Government could have taken action earlier in advance of the winter, she added.

"We knew this summer that we were in for a tough winter and the government could have acted with planned redeployment programmes, allowing real training and more importantly time to implement measures."