A YORK MP has hit out at Public Health England over the way they have kept people informed following the Coronavirus outbreak in the city.

York Central MP Rachael Maskell has raised concerns about how MPs, the NHS, the council and other statutory agencies have been briefed over Coronavirus developments in the city.

Ms Maskell praised the updates from Public Health England, however she had to seek out updates and the latest information, as it wasn’t made readily available to MPs, the media and other agencies.

She also highlighted the impact that poor communications has had on her constituents and the local economy in York, and believes that better communications could have alleviated some of the concern in York.

The Health Secretary praised her for her actions over the weekend and agreed for a meeting between her and the Health Minister who is overseeing the Coronavirus situation.

In the exchange Ms Maskell said:  “I particularly thank Public Health England for the advice it has provided throughout the weekend, but levels of concern remain high in York. Not only is that impacting on the local economy, but people are concerned. That concern could be alleviated by better communication and if the statutory bodies—including the local authority, the university, the police and other authorities—are kept better informed about what is happening. Will the Secretary of State meet me to discuss what has happened in York and learn from that so that it can be repeated in a better way elsewhere?”

Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care said:

“I agree that through experiencing a challenge such as this, when things are moving fast and information flows very quickly, we can always improve the way in which those flows occur. The Minister leading on this will be happy to meet the hon. Lady to discuss these matters because, as she rightly identifies, we must constantly seek improvement. I pay tribute to the approach she has taken, given that the two cases identified in England so far involve residents of her constituency.”

The Secretary of State confirmed that if people have a cough or flu like symptoms that they should isolate themselves and contact NHS 111 or phone their GP. People should also remember to wash their hands.