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Unpaid carers spent extra 92 MILLION hours looking after relatives with dementia since lockdown

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unpaid carers spent extra 92 million hours looking after relatives with dementia since lockdown

Unpaid carers have spent an additional 92million hours looking after loved ones with dementia since lockdown –and women are bearing the brunt, figures reveal today.

The Alzheimer’s Society has found that families and friends have been forced to dramatically increase their caring responsibilities since the end of March.

This is partly because paid caring services have contracted during the pandemic just at the point many dementia patients have seen their symptoms worsen due to isolation and anxiety, the charity says.

Unpaid carers have spent an additional 92million hours looking after loved ones with dementia since lockdown

Unpaid carers have spent an additional 92million hours looking after loved ones with dementia since lockdown

Unpaid carers have spent an additional 92million hours looking after loved ones with dementia since lockdown

It estimates that women carried out 62million of these 92million extra hours and are more inclined to have caring responsibilities.

Of 1,102 unpaid carers polled, it was found that 68 per cent of women felt more anxious, 52 per cent had developed problems sleeping and 71 per cent were constantly exhausted.

Among the men, 50 per cent felt more anxious, 46 per cent had problems sleeping and 63 per cent were constantly exhausted.

Women comprise about 67 per cent of all unpaid carers and are more likely to give up work to look after older parents, in-laws or spouses.

Kate Lee, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘I’m so angry that families and friends out in the community have been left to fend for themselves as the people they love with dementia have declined in front of their eyes. 

‘They have been fighting against the odds to give decent care to their loved ones. The Government must never abandon families with dementia again. 

‘Lessons must be learnt to prevent any further tragedy this winter.

‘Coronavirus has laid bare the dire state of social care for all to see – the lasting legacy from this crisis must be a universal social care system, free at the point of use, that provides quality care for every person with dementia who needs it.’

She added that the charity’s helpline was speaking to family carers every day who were ‘completely burnt out’ and working all hours. 

The charity has accused ministers of failing to do enough to protect dementia patients and their loved ones throughout the pandemic.

Previous figures have shown that 25,000 patients with the disease died in March and April alone – twice as many compared to previous years.

Although a significant number of dementia patients succumbed to the virus itself, others died from conditions caused by social isolation and a lack of medical care.

The additional hours of care were calculated after 953 unpaid carers were asked how much time they spent looking after their loved ones a week before and after the lockdown. 

This figure was then multiplied by the number of weeks since lockdown and then again by the estimated 470,757 unpaid carers across the UK.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: ‘We know that many carers have gone to extreme lengths to protect their loved ones, including cancelling their care packages to reduce the risk of this deadly virus being brought into their home.

‘The impact of this extra stress on their bodies and minds has been increasingly significant, as the weeks have turned into months.’

The Alzheimer's Society has found that families and friends have been forced to dramatically increase their caring responsibilities since the end of March

The Alzheimer's Society has found that families and friends have been forced to dramatically increase their caring responsibilities since the end of March

The Alzheimer’s Society has found that families and friends have been forced to dramatically increase their caring responsibilities since the end of March

Liz Kendall, Labour’s social care spokesman, said: ‘Families have at best been an afterthought and at worst ignored. 

‘This report provides yet more evidence of the terrible strain Covid-19 has put on families whose loved ones have dementia.

‘Many families have been pushed to breaking point taking on extra responsibilities for caring for their relatives and thousands more have been unable to visit their loved ones in residential homes.’

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: ‘We know this has been a particularly challenging time for people with dementia and we remain committed to providing them, their families and their carers with the information, advice and support they need.

‘Through our adult social care winter plan, we are testing care home residents and staff regularly, providing free PPE to care homes and we have ring-fenced over £1.1billion to support providers through our infection control fund.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Police officer who missed Manchester Bomber said he should have taken a ‘more proportionate’ break 

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police officer who missed manchester bomber said he should have taken a more proportionate break

A police officer who missed the Manchester Arena suicide bombing because he went for a kebab with a female PC admitted he should have taken a ‘more proportionate’ break.

Mark Renshaw travelled in a car from Victoria Station to Mazaa’s kebab shop in Longsight, Manchester, to get takeaway with British Transport Police (BTP) officer Jessica Bullough – a round trip of 41 minutes.

The pair then ate their food at a Northern Rail office for another hour and a half.

PC Renshaw – who was a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) at the time – said he thought the 41 minute journey wasn’t part of their two-hour and nine-minute break because ‘if someone was to flag us down we would deal with that incident’.

He also said the pair were wearing high-vis and had their ‘personal radios’ on them.

However, he did say that the break should have been ‘more proportionate’ than the two hours and nine minutes the pair ended up taking.

PC Bullough yesterday admitted to the inquiry she would ‘probably’ have asked Abedi what was in his rucksack had she seen him and said her break should have been between 50 minutes and an hour.

She came back on patrol shortly after suicide bomber Salman Abedi walked along Victoria railway station platform towards the City Room foyer of the arena.

He then detonated his home-made explosives at the end of an Ariana Grande concert, killing 22 people and injuring hundreds of others on May 22, 2017. 

Even so, PC Bullough received a Queen’s Police Medal award for her bravery in 2019.

PC Mark Renshaw - who missed the Manchester Arena suicide bombing because he drove five miles away for a kebab with a female PC - admitted he should have taken a 'more proportionate' break

PC Mark Renshaw - who missed the Manchester Arena suicide bombing because he drove five miles away for a kebab with a female PC - admitted he should have taken a 'more proportionate' break

PC Mark Renshaw – who missed the Manchester Arena suicide bombing because he drove five miles away for a kebab with a female PC – admitted he should have taken a ‘more proportionate’ break

PC Renshaw travelled in a car from Victoria Station to Mazaa's kebab shop (pictured) in Longsight, Manchester, to get takeaway with British Transport Police (BTP) officer Jessica Bullough - a round trip of 41 minutes

PC Renshaw travelled in a car from Victoria Station to Mazaa's kebab shop (pictured) in Longsight, Manchester, to get takeaway with British Transport Police (BTP) officer Jessica Bullough - a round trip of 41 minutes

PC Renshaw travelled in a car from Victoria Station to Mazaa’s kebab shop (pictured) in Longsight, Manchester, to get takeaway with British Transport Police (BTP) officer Jessica Bullough – a round trip of 41 minutes

PC Renshaw told the inquiry today: ‘My understanding at the time was that when we went to get food, I thought that was not part of our rest because we were [wearing] high-vis and if someone was to flag us down we would deal with that incident.’ 

John Cooper QC, for the victims’ families, asked: ‘Were you on high-vis patrol at the kebab shop? 

‘Does that mean you could have gone anywhere as long as you were in uniform in the Manchester area? You could have gone shopping in Tesco to get a Danish?’

The officer replied: ‘If that was my refreshment of choice. 

‘If we came across anything, we had our personal radios with us.’

He was asked why they had chosen the kebab shop in Longsight, and told the inquiry: ‘I was based at Manchester Piccadilly and was not familiar with that area of Manchester. 

‘At that time possibly we went there because it was the only one I knew.’

‘Have you learned your lesson?’ Mr Cooper asked.

PC Bullough receiving a Queen's Police Medal at Buckingham Palace

PC Bullough receiving a Queen's Police Medal at Buckingham Palace

PC Bullough receiving a Queen’s Police Medal at Buckingham Palace 

‘I would go in a more proportionate time frame,’ PC Renshaw said. 

The inquiry also heard that a worried member of the public asked Abedi, ‘What have you got in your rucksack?’ but was ‘fobbed off’ after raising concerns to security. 

Christopher Wild spoke to the 22-year-old, dressed in black and with a ‘massive’ rucksack, as his appearance and presence outside the concert appeared ‘strange’ and ‘dodgy’ to Mr Wild and his partner Julie Whitley – both believed to be from East Yorkshire.

The couple were waiting in the City Room – the foyer of the arena – to pick up Ms Whitley’s daughter, 14, and her daughter’s friend, after the concert.

They came across Abedi, hiding at the back of the City Room, shortly before he detonated his home-made rucksack bomb, at 10.30pm.

Mr Wild told the hearing in Manchester: ‘I just thought it was strange. It’s a kids concert. It just all seemed very strange to me why he would be sat there.

‘He was keeping out of view and that’s another reason why I thought it was strange.

‘I started to think about things that happened in the world, I just thought it could be dangerous.’

Paul Greaney QC, counsel to the inquiry, asked the witness: ‘What danger was it? What did you think he might do?’

Mr Wild said: ‘Let a bomb off.’

He continued: ‘I decided to have a word with him. Because Julie was wary of him and so was I. I just wanted to know why he was there.

PC Mark Renshaw and PC Jessica Bullough drove five miles from Victoria Station, close to the arena, to Mazaa's kebab shop in Longsight to fetch their food - a round trip of 41 minutes

PC Mark Renshaw and PC Jessica Bullough drove five miles from Victoria Station, close to the arena, to Mazaa's kebab shop in Longsight to fetch their food - a round trip of 41 minutes

PC Mark Renshaw and PC Jessica Bullough drove five miles from Victoria Station, close to the arena, to Mazaa’s kebab shop in Longsight to fetch their food – a round trip of 41 minutes

The officer came back on patrol shortly after suicide the bomber walked along Victoria railway station platform towards the City Room foyer of the arena

The officer came back on patrol shortly after suicide the bomber walked along Victoria railway station platform towards the City Room foyer of the arena

The officer came back on patrol shortly after suicide the bomber walked along Victoria railway station platform towards the City Room foyer of the arena

‘I asked him what he was doing there, did he know how bad it looked, him sitting there out of sight of everybody?

‘I felt a bit bad about challenging him, but I asked what have you got in your rucksack?

‘He didn’t reply, he just looked up at me.

‘I said “It doesn’t look very good you know, what you see with bombs and such, you with a rucksack like this in a place like this, what are you doing?”.’

Mr Wild said Abedi told him he was ‘waiting for someone’ and asked him a couple of times “what the time was”.

‘He seemed on edge, nervous,’ Mr Wild added.

Shortly after, at around 10.14pm – around 16 minutes before Abedi detonated his rucksack bomb – Mr Wild approached Mohammed Agha, a Showsec steward, the security contractors for the arena.

He said he told him he was ‘very concerned’ about the man, hiding with a large rucksack.

‘He said he already knew about him and that was it really,’ Mr Wild said, agreeing he felt ‘fobbed off’.

Mr Wild was himself injured in the blast but not as seriously as his partner, who spent 11 days in hospital and has to ‘live with the consequences of that night to this day,’ the hearing was told.

Mr Greaney asked Ms Whitley what she thought the ‘dodgy’ man could be.

Ms Whitley replied: ‘I did think he could be, yeah, I thought he could be, I can’t think I thought he had a bomb, that he could be a terrorist maybe.

‘But I can’t say that I thought a bomber, but he just looked dodgy.’

John Cooper QC, representing some of the victims’ families, said the man the witness saw had a backpack, was dressed in black and was on his own.

Ms Whitley replied: ‘I know what you are saying, I thought it but I never voiced it, what he could be.’

Mr Cooper continued: ‘Let me just delicately ask you, and no one is going to judge you by what you thought, but if you are holding back, no one is going to judge you on this, but what did you think in your heart of hearts?’

Ms Whitley replied: ‘I thought he was maybe going to do something, either have something in the backpack, like a gun or something.

Jessica Bullough, pictured, went on an 'unacceptable' two-hour break the day of Salman Abedi's suicide attack - and would 'probably' have asked what was in his rucksack had she seen him, an inquiry has heard

Jessica Bullough, pictured, went on an 'unacceptable' two-hour break the day of Salman Abedi's suicide attack - and would 'probably' have asked what was in his rucksack had she seen him, an inquiry has heard

Jessica Bullough, pictured, went on an ‘unacceptable’ two-hour break the day of Salman Abedi’s suicide attack – and would ‘probably’ have asked what was in his rucksack had she seen him, an inquiry has heard

‘I never thought it could be a bomb, but I could not believe he was there, that he had got there, so that made me think perhaps he is.

‘I perhaps thought he was a bomber maybe.’

The inquiry, expected to conclude next spring, will continue on Wednesday morning.

Yesterday, PC Bullough broke down in tears as she spoke about how she had struggled to cope in the arena following the explosion. 

She was a probationer and the senior officer on duty was dealing with a burglary elsewhere at the time. 

‘The training I had was not sufficient to deal with what I was witnessing,’ she said.    

Last week the inquiry was told about 30 minutes before the explosion security worker Julie Merchant, checking for merchandise bootleggers, had briefly drawn Pc Bullough’s attention to a ‘praying crank’ on the upstairs level of the foyer.

Ms Merchant said she did not think the man was a bomber but thought it ‘worth mentioning’ as he had ‘secreted himself away in an area he should not have been’. 

She told the inquiry: ‘I just thought it was worth mentioning.

‘Even though I was not suspicious of him, like worst case scenario he was going to be a bomber, I was suspicious that he had secreted himself away.

‘In that way it was a security issue … because he was in an area he should not have been, an area that is all tucked away.’ 

PC Bullough said she had no recollection of anyone approaching her to raise concerns and was ‘confident’ that no-one told her about a person praying. 

Speaking at the inquest yesterday, Mr Greaney asked her: ‘When you look back, does that seem to be acceptable?’

She replied: ‘No, unacceptable.’

Mr Greaney went on: ‘You had just missed Salman Abedi walking to the City Room from the train platform.

‘Obviously we all know what he is about to do but if you had come on patrol 10 minutes earlier and you had seen that man walking in that way would you have regarded him as suspicious?’

PC Bullough said: ‘Even though it was a train station with people travelling with large rucksacks on their back… looking at the footage if he had walked past me with that bag on his back I probably would have asked him what was in it.’

How PC was awarded with a Queen’s Police Medal for her bravery during the bombing  

The PC who is today facing difficult questions over her conduct during the Manchester Arena bombing originally received a medal for her bravery during the terror attack.

Pc Bullough, from Leigh, was one of four British Transport Police officers to get on the scene first along with three community support officers. 

She was handed a Queen’s Police Medal, an award created in 1954 to recognise gallantry or distinguished service. 

At the time she told the Leigh Journal:  ‘It was like utter carnage when I got there; like something out of a war zone.

‘It was a tough situation but it’s our job so we helped as many people as we could to get them out and save as many people as possible.

‘I carried as many people as I could out of the building and gave them first aid.

‘Obviously you don’t expect that to happen every day of your life but I think the adrenaline kept me going.’ 

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She said her suspicions would have been raised by somebody walking ‘nearly to the ground’ with a heavy rucksack.

She later became the first member of the emergency services to arrive at the scene of the explosion after she ‘overtook colleagues’ as she dashed across and provided assistance to casualties.

Giving evidence, her supervisor, William Drysdale, said he too had not previously witnessed anyone praying at the venue but did so on the raised mezzanine level of the City Room at about 9.40pm.

Asked if he thought that was unusual at the time, he replied: ‘Yes and no.

‘Yes, because I had never seen it before and no, as far as I knew being a Muslim if you have not prayed you find a quiet spot and then you pray there.’

Mr Drysdale said he did not regard him as suspicious.

He stated to police that the man’s backpack was ‘so large that it was above his head’.

In his statement, he went on: ‘As I looked a little bit longer I saw him rocking back and forward.

‘I couldn’t tell if he was kneeling or sitting because he was quite low behind a 3ft wall which he was behind as we were just a slight angle from him.

‘I knew he was not standing because the wall is only very small.

Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard Pc Bullough, who joined BTP in July 2016, was the most experienced officer at the Arena complex after another constable with 30 years of experience was called away to deal with a burglary suspect at Piccadilly rail station.

Stephen Corke said he normally would have been standing on the raised level of the foyer from about 10pm for concerts but he would have been at the opposite end to where Abedi hid for nearly an hour out of sight of CCTV cameras.

When the bomb was detonated there were no uniformed officers in the foyer despite instructions that one officer should be positioned there at the end of the concert.

They had left the arena unpatrolled for 40 minutes while all took a meal break at the same time, despite instructions to stagger their breaks and finish by 9pm.

PC Corke was not among them because he had decided to check on a ‘vulnerable location’ that was on his way from Greater Manchester Police headquarters to Victoria Station, he said.

The location, which he did not specify, was only on the route because a road was being dug up in Ancoats, and he only did a ‘drive by’ check, he added

As a result the officer was at the wrong end of Deansgate, one of the main shopping streets in Manchester, when the bomb went off and he had to drive at speed down the street to the arena.

His colleague, Matthew Martin, who was the passenger in the car, said they had visited Oxford Road and Deansgate stations to ‘watch a few trains go in and out.’

PC Corke would normally have positioned himself on the mezzanine floor close to where Salman Abedi, the bomber, spent an hour hiding.

He was asked if he had seen Abedi waiting in the City Room with a rucksack on his back, whether he would have realised he was out of place.

‘I’d like to think so yes. If it was for a period of time I would agree with you entirely,’ he said.

Mr Greaney said there were a lot of ‘ifs and buts in this’ but asked, ‘would you have approached him?’

‘There’s a good chance of that, yes’ the officer said.

But the inquiry heard that PC Corke had spent seven hours dealing with the arrest and interview of a burglary suspect at Greater Manchester Police headquarters at Central Park before heading to Piccadilly Station.

He claimed he had been on hold to the team at the ‘evidence review gateway’ at British Transport Police headquarters in Birmingham for an hour before he could complete the paperwork.

PC Corke said he ‘scrounged a lift’ with another officer who was on duty and chose to ‘pop into a vulnerable point.’

Pictured: Ambulances and police arriving to Manchester Arena following the explosion

Pictured: Ambulances and police arriving to Manchester Arena following the explosion

Pictured: Ambulances and police arriving to Manchester Arena following the explosion

Mr Greaney asked: ‘You knew the expectation was that you would be back by 10.30pm. May I ask you a very direct question and seek a direct answer, why were you not back by 10.30pm?

‘The route we had chosen, we chose to visit a vulnerable point and I mistimed it by a couple of minutes,’ he said.

The inquiry heard that PC Corke completed the interview by 5.40pm, five hours before the attack, and told his sergeant at 9pm that he would finish of the paperwork and take a quick meal break before heading to the arena.

‘I was aware that I had to get back to the concert and I thought that I could commit to both within that timescale but unfortunately I mistimed it by a couple of minutes,’ PC Corke said.

‘On the night in question, it did not come into my mind that someone would stoop so low as to do something like that in that location. It was never in the back of my mind.

‘We all received various degrees of counter-terrorism briefings but not on that night in question. There was nothing to indicate there was any threat on that evening.’

PC Corke said his role was to conduct ‘a general high visibility patrol showing there are police in the area to the all the security staff, the merchandising people and the waiting parents.

‘The main thrust of that would be ensuring that the people leave the arena in a safe fashion, getting on the trains and leaving the area.

PC Lewis Brown from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) was a trainee Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) with British Transport Police (BTP) at the time being mentored by PCSO Jon Morrey.

He admitted that they had both taken an hour and a half meal break in a room at Victoria Station, when the maximum time should have been an hour.

It meant that from 8.58pm to 9.30pm, while Abedi made his way up to the City Room, there were no police officers patrolling the outside of the arena.

PC Brown was asked by Nick de la Poer QC for the inquiry: ‘Was there any perception that the deployment at Manchester Arena or Victoria Station being an easy option?

‘No there was nothing voiced that it was an easy option,’ he said.

Mr de la Poer asked what his sergeant would have thought if he had turned up and found them all on a meal break.

‘I believe the sergeant would have wanted to know why we were on a break for that time, if there was any good reason and would have words of advice with us,’ the officer said.

‘Was there any good reason?’ Mr de la Poer asked.

‘No, I just think we were on break too long,’ PC Brown said.

The inquiry, expected to conclude next spring, continues on Tuesday.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Nicola Sturgeon warns Scots they may face a stricter lockdown with MORE pubs and restaurants closed

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nicola sturgeon warns scots they may face a stricter lockdown with more pubs and restaurants closed

Nicola Sturgeon warned Scots that an even stricter lockdown could be on the cards with more pubs closed under new regulations she plans to introduce within days.

A new tiered system of restrictions will come into force in Scotland on Monday November 2 if approved at Holyrood next week, the First Minister revealed today. 

She said some areas may face stricter measures than those currently in force in the central belt – which includes Glasgow and Edinburgh – where licensed hospitality venues including pubs and restaurants have been temporarily closed. 

The SNP leader used her daily coronavirus press conference to confirm she will lay out the plans tomorrow, as she announced 15 coronavirus deaths and 1,456 positive cases in Scotland in the past 24 hours.

‘What that means is (that) over the course of next week we will be assessing the up-to-date data and assessing whether all of the country would go into a certain level of the new framework or whether parts of the country would go into one level and other parts of the country into another,’ she said.

A new tiered system of restrictions will come into force in Scotland on Monday November 2 if approved at Holyrood next week, the First Minister revealed today.

A new tiered system of restrictions will come into force in Scotland on Monday November 2 if approved at Holyrood next week, the First Minister revealed today.

A new tiered system of restrictions will come into force in Scotland on Monday November 2 if approved at Holyrood next week, the First Minister revealed today.

She said some areas may face stricter measures than those currently in force in the central belt where licensed hospitality venues including pubs and restaurants have been temporarily closed. Pictured is the Ubiquitous Chip restaurant in the West End of Glasgow

She said some areas may face stricter measures than those currently in force in the central belt where licensed hospitality venues including pubs and restaurants have been temporarily closed. Pictured is the Ubiquitous Chip restaurant in the West End of Glasgow

She said some areas may face stricter measures than those currently in force in the central belt where licensed hospitality venues including pubs and restaurants have been temporarily closed. Pictured is the Ubiquitous Chip restaurant in the West End of Glasgow

‘As part of that we will be considering, of course, whether there are parts of the country that need tougher restrictions than those in place in the central belt right now, or whether there are parts of the country that might be able to have less tough restrictions.

‘We need to assess that on the basis of the up to date data.’

Under the temporary restrictions already in place, bars and licensed restaurants in five health board areas – Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley – have been forced to close for all but takeaway services.

Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes elsewhere in Scotland are only allowed to serve indoor customers between 6am and 6pm with a ban on alcohol inside, although alcoholic drinks can be served until 10pm in outdoor areas.  

Her Cabinet will decide if these restrictions, brought in on October 9 to stem a rise in cases and due to end on October 26, will be extended until the implementation of the tiered framework.

Under the temporary restrictions already in place, bars and licensed restaurants in five health board areas - Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley - have been forced to close for all but takeaway services

Under the temporary restrictions already in place, bars and licensed restaurants in five health board areas - Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley - have been forced to close for all but takeaway services

Under the temporary restrictions already in place, bars and licensed restaurants in five health board areas – Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley – have been forced to close for all but takeaway services

She told the briefing the new measures in the tiered framework, if approved will aligning with the UK Government’s new furlough scheme. 

The First Minister said she hopes a ‘reasonable degree of cross-party consensus’ will be reached before the framework is debated.

She added: ‘In publishing the outline framework later this week, I would also intend to then have a few days where there are comments made on that and we might tweak it ahead of the parliamentary debate to take account of any obvious points that people wanted to be rectified.’

Ms Sturgeon said flexibility will also be important in the framework, adding: ‘It’s important we get it as right as possible.

‘It’s equally important, given what we’re dealing with, that we don’t become an absolute prisoner of any framework because we need to retain a degree of flexibility.’

A total of 49,164 people have now tested positive in Scotland, up from 47,708 on Monday. The daily test positivity rate is 11.4 per cent, up from 6.4 per cent on the previous day. 

Of the new cases, 500 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 393 in Lanarkshire, 198 in Lothian, and 116 in Ayrshire and Arran. There are 824 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, up by 70 in 24 hours. Of these patients, 69 are in intensive care, a rise of eight.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Prince William consoles distraught restaurant owner during private Zoom chat

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prince william consoles distraught restaurant owner during private zoom chat

The Duke of Cambridge has made a private Zoom call to a Liverpool restaurant owner after he spotted her crying on Channel 4 News about the devastating impact the pandemic has had on her business.

Prince William, 38, consoled Natalie Haywood, owner of the Leaf Group, in a virtual call yesterday with Liverpool DJ Yousef.

On October 9th, Haywood appeared on Channel 4 News but struggled to contain her emotions when she discussed the prospect of making her staff redundant and potentially closing her business.  

The cafe owner and DJ Yousef were invited to speak privately with the Duke of Cambridge, with both praising the Prince for spending 45 minutes chatting to them about how Liverpool’s hospitality industry has suffered badly in recent months. 

The pair revealed the royal wanted to know ‘what was going on on the ground in Liverpool’. 

Prince William revealed on his @Kensingtonroyal Twitter account that he'd Zoom called Liverpool cafe owner Natalie Haywood, top left, after she broke down on Channel 4 News on October 9th about the impact Covid is having on her business. The pair were joined by DJ Yousef, top right, during the call on Monday

Prince William revealed on his @Kensingtonroyal Twitter account that he'd Zoom called Liverpool cafe owner Natalie Haywood, top left, after she broke down on Channel 4 News on October 9th about the impact Covid is having on her business. The pair were joined by DJ Yousef, top right, during the call on Monday

Prince William revealed on his @Kensingtonroyal Twitter account that he’d Zoom called Liverpool cafe owner Natalie Haywood, top left, after she broke down on Channel 4 News on October 9th about the impact Covid is having on her business. The pair were joined by DJ Yousef, top right, during the call on Monday

Impact: Earlier this month, Natalie was seen breaking down while being interviewed by Channel 4 News as she talked about how she'd been forced to close her business for the forseeable future

Impact: Earlier this month, Natalie was seen breaking down while being interviewed by Channel 4 News as she talked about how she'd been forced to close her business for the forseeable future

Impact: Earlier this month, Natalie was seen breaking down while being interviewed by Channel 4 News as she talked about how she’d been forced to close her business for the forseeable future

The emotional interview saw Natalie in tears as she described how she feared making her staff redundant

The emotional interview saw Natalie in tears as she described how she feared making her staff redundant

She told the news programme 'every day we open to lose money'

She told the news programme 'every day we open to lose money'

The emotional interview saw Natalie in tears as she described how she feared making her staff redundant 

Last week, Haywood made the sad decision to close the flagship Leaf restaurant on Liverpool’s normally bustling Bold Street for the foreseeable future due to the latest coronavirus lockdown rules imposed on the region.

She said the decision to close the city centre restaurant was due to the dwindling number of visitors in the area due to the tier three restrictions and that if it closed, staff ‘were at least guaranteed two thirds of their wage’. 

Natalie told BBC Breakfast today she had initially thought the request was a hoax. 

She said: ‘We got a phone call out of the blue last Friday and it was a request that we join the Duke for a call yesterday.

‘Obviously I was completely shocked and initially thought it was a hoax really. And I was completely floored and so amazed that he could give us his time to listen to what is going on on the ground in Liverpool.

‘He spent 45 minutes talking to us on a private Zoom yesterday.’

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34624124 8860123 image a 32 1603210544215

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34625812 8860123 image a 33 1603210569728

Today, Natalie tweeted: 'Amidst all of the doom & gloom it was amazing to have the opportunity to speak to the Duke of Cambridge today about the challenges facing the hospitality industry in Merseyside'

Today, Natalie tweeted: 'Amidst all of the doom & gloom it was amazing to have the opportunity to speak to the Duke of Cambridge today about the challenges facing the hospitality industry in Merseyside'

Today, Natalie tweeted: ‘Amidst all of the doom & gloom it was amazing to have the opportunity to speak to the Duke of Cambridge today about the challenges facing the hospitality industry in Merseyside’

Natalie followed up the interview by sharing her thanks to the Duke on Twitter, writing: ‘Amidst all of the doom and gloom it was amazing to have the opportunity to speak to the Duke of Cambridge @KensingtonRoyal today about the challenges facing the hospitality industry in Merseyside at the moment.

‘Thanks to the Duke for listening, it means a lot.’

Yousef, a popular DJ in Liverpool who has been vocal about the pandemic’s effects on the live events industry, was also invited to speak with the Duke.

He told BBC Breakfast: ‘He was asking questions essentially about our situation in Liverpool and the difficulties that we’ve been experiencing since the beginning of lockdown.

‘He was just calm, compassionate and he asked really poignant questions, he didn’t want anything to be filtered.

‘He wanted to know the real situation and I have to say he was a lovely guy and particularly with myself and a lot of other people trying to kind of bring attention on to what’s been happening across the events industry, to have someone of his status to even give us his time was quite something.’

Kate Middleton, 38, appeared effortlessly elegant today as she was joined by Prince William, 38, to launch her lockdown photography exhibition by meeting one of subjects

Kate Middleton, 38, appeared effortlessly elegant today as she was joined by Prince William, 38, to launch her lockdown photography exhibition by meeting one of subjects

Kate Middleton, 38, appeared effortlessly elegant today as she was joined by Prince William, 38, to launch her lockdown photography exhibition by meeting one of subjects

The Duke and Duchess sat side-by-side on a bench within the hospital grounds as they heard from Sotiris about the work the hospital staff have undertaken throughout the pandemic

The Duke and Duchess sat side-by-side on a bench within the hospital grounds as they heard from Sotiris about the work the hospital staff have undertaken throughout the pandemic

The Duke and Duchess sat side-by-side on a bench within the hospital grounds as they heard from Sotiris about the work the hospital staff have undertaken throughout the pandemic 

He said afterwards on Instagram: ‘He was cool, down to earth and nice, and fun too. When I begun djing over 20 years ago, I never thought I’d be invited to speak to the future King about how to help save the rave. Crazy day.’

Earlier today, Prince William joined Kate Middleton to meet with one of the subjects from Kate’s lockdown photography competition at Waterloo Station. 

The Duchess of Cambridge, 38, launched the Hold Still community photography project in May, and invited people of all ages, from across the UK, to submit a photographic portrait which they had taken during lockdown.

The mother-of-three received more than 31,000 entries from members of the public in just six weeks and last month unveiled the top 100 images in a digital exhibition. 

Portraits from the competition have now gone on show in 80 towns, cities and areas across the UK, bringing the stories of individuals and families during lockdown back to their communities.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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