Posted: Thu 25th Feb 2021

Ambulance crews in Wales left ‘physically and mentally fatigued’ due to Covid pressure

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Feb 25th, 2021

Ambulance crews in Wales have been left “physically and mentally fatigued” due to the pressure placed on the NHS by Covid-19, a Senedd Member has said.

Four Welsh Ambulance Service staff members have lost their lives to the virus, including 41-year-old ICT  worker Kevin Hughes from Valley, Anglesey.

Newport West MS Jane Bryant said the pandemic had taken a significant toll on the service during a Senedd plenary session held yesterday.

She has called for more support to be provided for staff, including extra PPE to keep them safe.

The Labour MS said: “This last year has been an incredibly hard time for everyone at the Welsh Ambulance Service, from the paramedics who’ve been on the front line to the dedicated staff in the control rooms and those staff who support the service.

“Sadly, we saw earlier this month that the Welsh Ambulance Service lost a fourth member of staff to coronavirus: Kevin Hughes, aged 41 from Anglesey.

“Many members of staff are physically and mentally fatigued due to the increased pressure on an already busy service.

“Support and protection is needed, such as the supply of PPE, investment in vehicles and equipment, as well as investment in the workforce.

“Can the minister outline what more can be done to support our ambulance service workforce, both over the coming months, and as we come out of the pandemic?”

Health Minister Vaughan Gething said the Welsh Government had recently increased investment in new ambulance vehicles.

He also pointed to the increased support put in place for the well being of ambulance staff.

He said: “When it comes to well-being, we’ve worked with social partners, so that’s our NHS Wales employers and trade unions, to have a multilayered well-being offer for health and social care workers in Wales, including in particular paramedics as well.

“There’s a confidential Samaritans listening support line, funded by the Welsh Government, dedicated for health and care workers in Wales.

“We have a number of free-to-access health and well-being support apps, like Mind, Sleepio and SilverCloud.

“We have a range of different resources and, on the Health Education and Improvement Wales website, there’s a useful list of what all of those resources are.

“It’s a matter I regularly discuss with the trade unions in my regular update with them, as well as the partnership arrangements in place.

“On PPE, we continue to have a successful delivery of PPE for our front-line workers.

“There have been over 647 million items issued in the last year to health and social care—the vast majority were directly sourced by the NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership, with all contracts awarded subject to robust governance.”

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