Reposted from Tim Loughton MP.
It was great to be at a couple of local public events at the weekend which showed a hint of getting back to what life was like before the pandemic and lockdown changed all our lives.
The Worthing Food & Drink Fair was a great success and certainly drew crowds of families to Steyne Gardens. Some chose to wear masks, albeit a little awkward whilst trying to sample the Worthing Gin or Andy Sparsis’ spicy Greek delights, whilst others kept their distance. We are all getting used to greeting friends and colleagues in person again with some trepidation as to whether a handshake, a kiss on the cheek or full-frontal elbow bumping is the appropriate thing to do but it is great that we actually have that choice to make and not just relying on a Zoom connection to communicate.
It was then on Worthing Rugby Club at Angmering to see the Worthing Raiders deliver a convincing victory over Bury St Edmunds. It was a special match and family fun day to mark the Club’s centenary and again it was great to see the crowds out in force and enjoying an outdoor event. We need to see more of this and If we all act sensibly and learn to live with Covid in a managed way rather than hopefully we can without shutting everything down again. It was a great relief to see the hospitality industry rebounding strongly having been one of the worst hot parts of the economy during lockdown and with the buoyant employment figures their biggest challenge seems to be finding new staff to take on.
The biggest issue at the Farmer’s Market street surgery on Saturday was problems with getting a GP’s appointment. This has been a worry for some time but with the pressure on the GP run vaccination hubs now easing off constituents understandably are questioning why it is still so hard to see their doctor face to face, certainly in some surgeries. I have discussed the problem with the Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group and with individual practices and I know that they are working hard to start catching up with the big backlog helped by the additional NHS funding just announced by the Government. Whilst technology will help speed up that process with the greater availability of video and telephone consultations, it is important that most people can still see their doctor face to face for fear of risking missing some underlying health problems, and we must make sure that as we emerge from the pandemic restrictions we get the balance right.