Responding to the announcement from Welsh Government on how an additional £100 million will be spent in the Welsh NHS, Jane Dodds MS has called for the money to be used to rebook operations and treatments cancelled as a result of the pandemic. She has also called for greater investment in NHS staff welfare, as many workers have reported an increased level of burnout and deteriorating mental health over the past 15 months.
Jane Dodds MS, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:
“The pandemic’s impact on NHS waiting times has been huge, with many examples or cancelled and delayed treatments, operations and consultations.
"It is absolutely right as we emerge from this pandemic that funding should be used to help those who’s care has been delayed.
Turning to the need to invest in staff welfare and mental health provision to protect the NHS workforce in the long term she added:
“We know the immense pressure that staff were under before the pandemic hit and now is the time to invest in staff welfare and support. I want to see an investment to provide meaningful mental health and occupational health support to all staff in the NHS and an extension to the 24/7 NHS support line to all staff, not just those in clinical roles.
“I’m also calling on the Welsh Government to work with industry leaders to develop a culture throughout the NHS that is inclusive which encourages staff learning and progression. By protecting time for staff to keep learning we will not only keep staff within the NHS, but the staff will be happier and healthier too.”