Council launches phone calls scheme for all Wokingham borough residents self-isolating

A NEW contact system has been launched to phone each person who tests positive for Covid-19 in the borough.

The council has started the scheme to offer support to residents during self-isolation.

Staff give advice on the financial aid available and practical support for self-isolation.

It is also providing staff and venues to help GPs deliver the vaccine programme.

Last week, it launched mobile lateral flow testing services, with the first at Asda in Lower Earley and Aldi in Wokingham town centre. The plan is to introduce more across the borough.

Charles Margetts, the  executive member for health, wellbeing and adult services and a Conservative candidate for Finchampstead North, said: “The vaccine roll-out has gone well but we know we will be living with Covid-19 for a long time and we need to keep up our fast-paced, collaborative response with the community, GPs, local businesses, schools, the voluntary sector and other partners.

“The number of people taking rapid tests in the community is increasing and we are providing more and more opportunities for people to get those tests – and we are also providing the support to people who test positive and have to self-isolate. This is still a vital tool in combating the spread.”

Cllr Margetts said the council is also focussing on residents’ mental and physical health.

“During the pandemic many of our residents had to shield in their own homes and this has led to a loss of confidence to go outside,” he said. “To help with this, we have launched a Moving with Confidence project which will see council sport and leisure staff going to residents’ home provide mobility exercises.

“This will help with physical fitness but also confidence to be mobile again.

“We are currently supporting 40 residents who have been referred by voluntary sector organisations at present and are open to more.”

He said the new mental health service with MIND is launching next month, and expects to support 1,200 residents every year.

“The model they will operate in Wokingham borough has been used very successfully in Oxfordshire and we have bought the start date of this work forward to cover the need caused by the pandemic,” he said.

The Liberal Democrat candidate for Finchampstead North is Jordan Montgomery and the Labour candidate is Alexander Freeny.

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