The Labour Party in Torbay is calling for a major review and improvement of the health and wellbeing of NHS staff working in Torbay.
The local Party has hundreds of members in Torbay many of whom work in the NHS or have family members who are front line workers within the local health Trust.
A Labour Party members meeting on 26th January focused on NHS issues. Keith Ridley, GMB Branch Secretary and NHS colleagues provided updates on how staff and the service were coping during the pandemic. The meeting heard complaints about inadequate PPE, poor working conditions, lack of support, stress and in some cases fear about going to work.
Everyone at the meeting praised the way staff have put the care of others first, but said, “It is time to really look after those who care for us.”
Chair of the Torbay Constituency Labour Party, Andy Symons, said, “We read reports every day about the heroic work of NHS staff, so we were shocked to hear about the lack of support for those on the front line. We were particularly concerned to hear that NHS management appear to be doing everything to mitigate against possible claims when staff get Covid or issues relating to stress at work.”
The meeting also expressed concern about the growing role of the private sector in the delivery of health and care and compared the poor performance of the Track and Trace systems provided by SERCO at a cost of £22billion to that of the NHS which is doing a fantastic job delivering the vaccination programme across the UK.
Andy Symons went on to say, “In a week when Torbay Hospital was on Opal 4, the highest level that indicates resources are stretched to breaking point with no available beds or staff, we would have expected to hear reports of managers also going the extra mile to ensure the health and wellbeing of our dedicated NHS staff. It was therefore shocking to hear about the issues many are facing day in and day out. If we do not see a considerable improvement in pay and conditions across the NHS we can expect a major exodus of nurses and other front line staff in the near future.”
Labour members working in the NHS thanked the public for their generous donations and added, “We know we have the support of local people. Staff do their best to be outwardly strong and to do the best we can for patients, but as a result, many people are not aware of the many work place issues we face”.