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Kate has urged those who are at risk of getting flu to get their free vaccine jab before winter sets in as it emerged that 27,542 missed out on protection last year across Trafford.

Flu vaccination rates continue to climb across the country, but remain lower than ideal in many areas.

Kate’s call comes as the Chief Medical Officer warned last week that flu and complications associated with it cause 8,000 deaths on average a year in England - around 6,000 of which are people with existing heart and lung conditions.

In the Trafford area last year:

  • 9,275 older people missed out on their jab
  • A further 12,800 working age people with long-term conditions also didn’t get the vaccine.
  • Thousands of young children (2-4 year olds) also didn’t get the vaccine, including 150 who were classed as being at greater risk.
  • 1,000 pregnant women with no long-term conditions and 130 pregnant women with long-term conditions also didn’t get protected.

You are eligible to receive a free flu jab if you are 65 years of age or over, receive a carer's allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill, are pregnant, have certain medical conditions, are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility, or are a child aged 2-9.

This week Kate attended an event in parliament for MPs to get their flu jab. Kate had the jab in exchange for a donation to the Carer’s Trust, as she doesn’t qualify to get it for free.

Kate said: “I was pleased to get my flu jab and make a donation to the Carer’s Trust in parliament this week.

“Getting the flu can be bad enough for even the fittest of us, but for older people and those with long-term conditions in particular it can cause serious health problems.

“Getting the flu jab is easy, and offers the best chance of avoiding the flu that we have.

“I’d therefore urge all those eligible for a free jab – including all care home staff - to speak to your GP or local pharmacist and get your vaccination booked in before the cold weather sets in.”

More information on eligibility for the flu jab, and other tips on staying well this winter, can be found at www.nhs.uk/staywell

Kate urges constituents to stay well this winter by getting flu jab

  Kate has urged those who are at risk of getting flu to get their free vaccine jab before winter sets in as it emerged that 27,542 missed out on protection...

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Thanks to Stretford Grammar, whose students visited parliament on Monday I was asked about a huge variety of subjects - which is exactly what my job is like! 

One of the great things about being a backbencher is that I can get involved in lots of different subjects ('too many subjects', says Joe in my Westminster office - he has to keep me briefed on so many different things!). Frontbenchers have to focus their time on their specific area, but I'm able to follow up a whole range of things that are of importance to my constituents. It means I get to learn about subjects I didn't previously know much about.

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So, this week, I've again spent lots of time in the chamber,  and in Westminster Hall (where more debates take place), covering everything from the appalling train service we've been experiencing recently between Manchester and Liverpool, to the introduction of universal credit (now being fully rolled out by Stretford Jobcentre), to yet another statement on the (lack of) progress on Brexit negotiations, to the failure to notify women of childbearing age about risks associated with the anti-epilepsy drug Valproate, to the appalling ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims from Burma. I also contributed to a debate on women in prison (one of my own special interests), and I was able to raise a number of issues I'd heard about on my recent visit to Styal.

Quite a varied range of subjects! You can keep up with all my contributions in parliament at theyworkforyou.com. Sometimes you'll find I have only been able to make a very short point, if lots of MPs want to speak. In particular, the debate on the treatment of the Rohingya Muslims was packed out, with MPs of all parties expressing their revulsion at the appalling barbarity of what is going on. I know how deeply constituents feel about this from the meeting I held in the constituency last Saturday to discuss the matter, when a number of local faith groups agreed to set up a petition calling for action by the UK. I will present this petition in parliament next month, so let me know if you'd like to sign. Unfortunately, parliament won't accept digital signatures, but we are making sure copies are available across the constituency, so we can let you know where you can go to sign. And if you'd like to gather signatures from friends, family or any local groups you belong to, I'd be delighted - again, just let me know and we'll get copies to you.

Finally, a small perk of being an MP this week - we were all invited to have flu jabs. I went along to do so, and to learn more about who qualifies for free vaccination, including those aged over 65, young children and carers. I don't fall into any of those groups, and MPs who don't qualify were asked to make a donation to the Carers Trust, which I was happy to do. Flu is a big threat to vulnerable people in the winter, so if you think you might need a vaccination, pop into your local chemist or GP surgery and ask for more information. It takes seconds to have the jab, and I promise you it didn't even hurt!

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Raising a range of subjects from Universal Credit to appalling train services – another busy week in parliament

Thanks to Stretford Grammar, whose students visited parliament on Monday I was asked about a huge variety of subjects - which is exactly what my job is like! 


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It was great to chat to shoppers in Urmston market last Saturday, when I joined disability campaigners to promote wheelchair accessible businesses in Urmston. 

Thanks to everyone who gave their support, especially Urmston Partnership, organisers Barry and Steve, and everyone who helped on the stall. We're keen to encourage more shops to ensure they're accessible to all customers, so if you run a local business and would like to know more about how you can sign up to the Urmston scheme, please let me know.

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Disabled people want to participate in every aspect of community life, and many would love to work, but they're much less likely to have a job than non disabled people. I was glad that my first contribution in the chamber when I got back to Westminster on Monday was to ask the government minister why she has reduced her target for the number of disabled people who are in employment. You can watch my question and her response on my Facebook page here.

And that was the beginning of three busy days in debates and question sessions in both the main chamber and Westminster Hall, on everything from race equality, to funding the cost of supported housing for elderly, disabled and vulnerable people, to provision of sites for Gypsies and Travellers, to the role of the arts in promoting good health (and I was pleased to be able to mention the excellent music therapy programme run by charity Nordoff Robbins in Stretford), to the closure of Royal Mail sorting offices (including the proposal to close the office in Stretford), to the inevitable questions about Brexit. You can read details of all my contributions in parliament (written and spoken) here.

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My final event in parliament this week was to welcome students from Gorse Hill Primary School who'd come to visit. They had been to see Buckingham Palace before coming to Westminster - I didn't dare ask which impressed them more! They asked some brilliant questions, and were very well informed about what MPs actually do. I always love having schools come to visit, so if you're a teacher, parent or governor in Stretford and Urmston, and would like to arrange a trip, please get in touch and my office can give you all the information about how to book. There's help with funding for travel costs too. I look forward to welcoming many more young people to parliament in the coming months!

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P.S.: I’ve had many residents who commute into Manchester get in touch with me about the serious overcrowding and delays on our local train services this week, due to Northern Rail only running services with two carriages on rush hour trains. It’s not acceptable for the service to be so woefully insufficient and I’ve written to Northern Rail to ask what urgent steps they can take to improve matters. I’ll provide an update when I receive a response. 

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A packed week of debates in parliament

It was great to chat to shoppers in Urmston market last Saturday, when I joined disability campaigners to promote wheelchair accessible businesses in Urmston. 


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