Southern Staffordshire and Lichfield District must not remain lumped in with Stoke on Trent if Covid infection rates change
As Staffordshire remains in Tier 3, Michael Fabricant has told Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock:
“Southern Staffordshire and Lichfield District cannot remain lumped in with Stoke on Trent if Covid infection rates change.”
Michael says: “I have explained to Health ministers and their officials that travel to work patterns and NHS hospital usage is very different between the two halves of the County and we should not be all lumped in together.
“In particular, the south of the county looks towards the West Midlands and London for work, shopping, and leisure while the north look towards Manchester and Cheshire. Moreover, intensive care units in Stoke are at near capacity while the Queen’s Hospital in Burton and other local hospitals in the south have spare capacity. It is therefore nonsense to lump all of Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent together for assigning Tiers.
“In practice, this has not affected the decision today. Both Lichfield District and Tamworth are well over 100 infections per 100,000 and surrounding areas are far higher.
“But there will come a time – perhaps near the end of January or sooner – when rates in Lichfield and southern Staffordshire will have fallen so far that the area should drop to Tier 2 despite higher levels in the north of the County. But it’s up to all of us to behave sensibly in the coming weeks to ensure that happens.
“Matt Hancock has told me there is no golden rule that Staffordshire should be treated as one unit and if and when infection rates allow, the County may well be divided into two or more areas for assigning Tiers.”