Cefin Campbell, Plaid Cymru’s Member of the Senedd for Mid & West Wales, has called for urgent action to support NHS staff in Mid & West Wales who have been left overwhelmed by the pandemic pressures.
A recent survey by the Unison trade union found that across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, over three in five (62%) of NHS staff have been left feeling overwhelmed after long, intense shifts, whilst a further 57% of health staff surveyed were thinking of quitting their jobs - with 54% of these say they are actively looking to leave.
It was concluded in the findings that the main reason given for wanting out was the negative impact work is having on employees’ mental health (67%) – with 4 in 10 of health workers (40%) health workers have had to take time off work for mental health reasons during the pandemic.
Of over half of the health employees considering leaving their jobs, a further 59% felt that their pay doesn’t reflect the jobs they do.
Responding to the figures, Cefin Campbell has called the findings “alarming” – and has expressed concerns over the likely impact such burn-out and pressure is likely to have on the NHS workforce as well as wider healthcare provision and services across Mid & West Wales.
In a question to Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health & Social Services, he has called for greater clarity regarding what actions the Welsh Government are undertaking in addressing the increasing number of NHS staff looking to leave the NHS as a result of pandemic pressures.
Cefin Campbell, Member for Mid & West Wales said:
“Throughout the pandemic our NHS staff have gone further than ever before in risking their own lives to care for the vulnerable and frail within our communities.
However, from speaking with NHS staff across Mid & West Wales, I am all too aware of the toll this endless strain, countless hours of work and wider uncertainty have had in leaving so many feeling low, burnt-out, and undervalued.
As reflected in these alarming figures from Unison, such diminishing morale and wider pressures are seeing many staff increasingly consider early retirement or a change of career.
To lose such staff now would have a devastating impact on our health provision in Powys. Even prior to the pandemic, the pressure facing the NHS was significant, and considering Covid's impact on services and waiting lists, it’s vital the Welsh Government do all they can to support our NHS staff at this difficult time.”