Coronavirus News in Brief

20th April 2020

The NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol is due to open today (Monday 20 April) at the University of the West of England exhibition centre in South Gloucestershire

The hospital, on which work began two weeks ago, will enhance and support critical care capacity across the Severn network.  In that short time, contractors, staff and partner organisations have done a fantastic job.  The NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol will enhance and support critical care capacity across the Severn network.       

On Thursday, the Mayor sent a letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP urging Government to consider extending the financial package to cover the full range of VCSE organisations, including those that are not registered charities.  The letter (attached) was co-signed by Kerry McCarthy MP, Darren Jones MP and Karin Smyth MP.

On Thursday, the Council also launched a campaign to raise awareness of domestic violence, and what support is available if you’re suffering abuse.  Cllr Helen Godwin recorded a short video about how you can access help through the Police, the National Domestic Abuse helpline and through Next Link in Bristol [link].

Good News for Disabled people who employ their own PAs.  The Government has confirmed that thousands more employees will able to receive support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) after the eligibility date was extended to 19 March 2020 [link].

a.   Under the scheme announced by Chancellor last month, employers can claim a grant covering 80% of the wages for a furloughed employee, subject to a cap of £2,500 a month. 

b.   To qualify and to protect against fraudulent claims, individuals originally had to be employed on February 28 2020.  If any employer now thinks they are eligible for support, they can find out more here [link].

The DWP have confirmed people applying for Universal Credit will now be able to use their existing Government Gateway account to confirm their identity, helping to speed up their claim.  This will be available to those residents who have used the Gateway in the last 12 months to access their Personal Tax Accounts, including to check their tax credits, send a personal tax return, or check their state pension.

Others applying for the benefit can continue to confirm their identity using GOV.UK Verify [link]

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