Lib Dems launch calls for more mental health support for health and care system in Woking

May 18, 2020 7:37 PM

Will Forster supporting NHS hospital in WokingThe Lib Dems are calling on the Government to ramp up mental health support for health and care staff in Woking to ensure "world-class" support for those tackling the virus head on.

Highlighting the "deep scar" coronavirus will leave on health and care staff in Woking, the local Lib Dems have put forward a package of mental health measures, including:

  • 24/7 access to mental health support for health and social care workers, through a dedicated helpline.
  • Guarantees that health and care staff will no longer be penalised for time off due to mental or physical ill health, including when transitioning between roles.
  • Introduce an 'occupational health passport' so workers do not have to relive mental health traumas when they change jobs.
  • Additional training to ensure there are mental health first-aiders in every health and care workforce.
  • Steps to standardise the quality and service offer to ensure that every health and social care worker can access the same, high standard of mental care support regardless of where in Woking they are based.

The Lib Dems want the roll out of these services to be for all staff whether or not they are directly involved in patient treatment in recognition of the wide scale of the impact of the COVID-19 across all teams.

If adopted the proposals will improve access to mental health support for all those working in health and care settings.

Munira Wilson MP, Lib Dem Health, Wellbeing and Social Care spokesperson said:

"COVID-19 will leave a deep scar on our health and care workforce who have gone above and beyond to tackle this dreadful virus. Thousands have lost colleagues, endured serious illness or faced significant trauma."

"Our proposals include a mental health support hotline open to staff 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Our hospitals and care services are staffed around the clock so the support services staff need should be too. In addition we propose measures to ensure NHS and care staff are not penalised for days off due to ill health."

"The UK mental health response to COVID-19 should be world-class. That means investing now to prepare for the challenges ahead."

Councillor Will Forster, Lib Dem spokesperson for Woking, added:

"The clap for our carers every Thursday evening is not just a gesture - people want to see those working on the frontline supported throughout the coronavirus crisis and beyond."

"We cannot underestimate the toll this crisis will have on our health and care staff in Woking. There needs to be long term support to help all those who have risked so much to care for all those affected by the virus."

"Ministers must not stick their heads in the sand. It is essential they roll out these measures urgently otherwise they are denying our health and care staff support when they need it most."