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Letter

An urgent appeal to the Welsh Government from NHS Wales workers

Llythyr yn Gymraeg

We are healthcare workers currently battling against the coronavirus pandemic. This is an unprecedented human crisis which is placing a huge strain on the Welsh NHS and all frontline staff. We are prepared to give our all to save lives, but at the moment, the UK Government is doing nowhere near enough to prevent the spread of the virus nor manage the pressure on the NHS.

Frontline workers are not currently being systematically tested for the virus, meaning we have no way of knowing who to isolate in order to stop it spreading, including within hospitals. The lack of testing runs contrary to World Health Organisation guidelines and is a fundamental obstacle if we want to contain the virus and ensure the highest possible provision for patients and staff.

We welcome the announcement by the Welsh Government to roll out the testing of healthcare professionals. However, this is just the first step that now needs to be rapidly implemented and then massively expanded upon: we cannot afford any complacency, and our fight against this virus must be relentless.

In addition, we are not currently being provided with proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to stop us being infected while we are working. The more doctors that get sick and have to isolate, the longer it is going to take to control the spread of this virus.

We call on the Welsh Government to take the initiative and immediately implement the following urgent steps to support frontline workers in the NHS and beyond:

  • Institute mass testing and tracing of all NHS workers and their families, as well as staff such as care workers working in other frontline services with vulnerable groups.
  • Urgently supply adequate PPE for all NHS staff and others working with suspected cases, from doctors to carers and porters.
  • Introduce routine testing of all current and new inpatients.
  • Create an agreed, standardised admission route for assessment and testing of anyone presenting with respiratory/COVID-19 symptoms at all frontline medical services and specialisms, not just GPs and A&E (i.e., mental health services, paediatrics, radiography, etc).
  • Institute an immediate ban on all non-essential hospital visiting.
  • Ensure that NHS staff are being advised on safe working and are able to take adequate rest periods to avoid burnout.
  • Immediately suspend hospital accommodation fees for staff.

We also have a dangerous shortage of Intensive Care Unit beds in Wales, as well as a lack of the ventilators that we need to treat the sick. As the crisis intensifies, the current shortages will become untenable for staff, patients and the NHS itself. We therefore also call on the Welsh Government to:

  • Immediately requisition all private healthcare and other healthcare facilities so they may be used to treat the sick (as the Spanish Government have recently done).
  • Urgently order and/or manufacture new ventilators on an industrial scale.
  • Draft healthcare workers with ICU experience into hospitals.
  • Produce an urgent strategy for staff recruitment and rapid training, passing emergency legislation if needed.

Going forward, the Welsh Government needs to work collaboratively with frontline staff if we are to defeat the virus and emerge from the crisis.

If these demands require immediate additional funding from the UK government, we will support you in fighting for it. Silence is no longer an option.

Yn ddiffuant,

List of names

Support

Do you work in health in Wales? Sign the letter.

If you don’t work in health but would like to leave a message of support or solidarity with this campaign then please leave a comment.

45 replies on “An urgent appeal to the Welsh Government from NHS Wales workers”

I’m not a health worker but I’m convinced that this is the scale of response needed on the basis of all the evidence as the Coronavirus spreads across the world.

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I’m an old retired nurse who demands that our government put their ‘money where their mouth is’. Stop messing around with our healthcare workers and those most vulnerable in society’s lives. Act now!

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This is a well thought out and reasonable set of demands. It is essential our NHS staff are given the support they need in order to support us. Welsh Government needs to do everything it can to avoid more deaths – this is what these demands will help to acheive

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Both my fiancé and daughter are frontline nurses and need protection. This MUST NOT be taken lightly as both and all other nursing staff face the same dangers. If I could I would deliver each and every one of them a safety net to guard against this virus. But I cannot but others can give them some protection

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This American Paramedic sends their support. Many of us are facing the same issues, may your govt. quickly supply you with the testing and PPE you request.

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I do not work in care industry, but am Vunerable so to isn’t partner who has been on ITU and ventilatated plus my son when he was young twice on ITU and ventilated. I know how extremely hard they work here some of the time having to literally run back and fore for fluids as another nurse is pushing last bit through.
Please please Welsh government follow by example of England getting ventilators made by F1 etc… you as our government need to do more!!! #INTHISTOGETHER💙

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Please ensure people are appropriately protected to do their job, you would expect a fire fighter to enter a building wearing flip flops and his boardies for protection would you?!

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This is so, so, so important. Stay at home. Welsh Gov… Give the Health Service and others in high risk of exposure jobs such as care the protection they deserve. My mother is 88 and I would like to keep her around a little longer.

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NHS staff cannot stand the recommended space apart from patients or each other so it is vital they are tested urgently and receive the necessary PPE. Come on all Governments,these are urgent requests from frontline brave people. Good luck to you all.From a vulnerable,elderly lady.

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We need to throw the kitchen sink at this! Thank you to all the health staff who are working during this crisis. The demands above are a reasonable request to enable the health system to respond as well as it possibly can. We do not want to look back on this time with any regrets.

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We need mask fittings!! We need testing we need adequate ppe. I’m a nurse and have two young children I am putting them and myself at risk not to mention patients if I do not have these three basic things to continue my work throughout this time. I have tried and tried to arrange mask fitting in my own time left numerous messages but no one has got back to me!

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Please ensure this is done ASAP to improve the care of the patients and look after the NHS staff.

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Please please test frontline staff as soon as possible especially the ones living with family members in the “at risk group”

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Domestic staff in our hospital have no protection. The infection control team said domestics are safe with just apron and gloves. Saying we are safe as long as we don’t lick the surfaces. Shocking.

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I am classed as a key worker although admin based but ppe needs to be in place for everyone

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I had seen a post from a front line worker looking for accommodation as the hotel near the hospital where they were staying in have decided to close. At times when we are too tired to travel or too scared to bring home the virus to our family, where do we go?

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Have not been tested and as admin staff we are working in main hospital with no protection? Can we work from home with laptop

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I am a staff nurse in critical care and our PPE is woefully inadequate. I feel like a dead woman walking

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Wales TUC is showing great leadership on this urgent matter. Nurses and care workers in Italy and Spain have reported that lack of PPE has greatly fueled the virus spread in their countries. Dr Michael Ryan of the World Health Organisation has stated the UK may experience a more severe outbreak of COVID-19 than elsewhere in Europe. With PPE and testing for the health and social care workforce, Wales can protect its people.

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Sending staff in to work without adequate protection is like sending troops marching into machine gun fire – and that was just over a hundred years ago. Have government learned nothing? And then they charge them to park their cars or sleep over. “Led by donkeys” isn’t in it.

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I’m not a health worker, but a family member is a paramedic, who are even more front line in some places. They don’t have enough POE to protect them. Please please help, particularly in the Aneurin Bevan health area.

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It is important that you all know how strongly we, the general public are behind you. There can be no excuses from anyone in authority who will not/does not provide and support you with everything you need to provide the services that are greatly needed by vulnerable people in their time of greatest need and especially during this pandemic.

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More must be done to support our NHS workers during this crisis – the measures detailed out here need to be acted upon!

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Agreed, Welsh NHS saved my life 5 years ago and I was shocked to see the salaries these guys were on when I checked. Have spent the last 4 weeks using MY skills to source PPE. Have +5 million Certified FFP2 Masks waiting to ship nest week.Great to give something back…Keep going guys, the people will make sure you are not just recognised but rewarded.

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