Matt Hancock must support NHS staff as many ‘break down’ on frontline

Support us and go ad-free

NHS staff are “breaking down” on the frontline tackling coronavirus and their mental health must be made a priority now rather than when the crisis is over, Labour has warned.

Shadow mental health minister and A&E doctor Rosena Allin-Khan has written to the health secretary Matt Hancock to seek assurances that medics are getting the support they need.

In the letter, she said the fear of spreading the virus to patients and loved ones, a lack of PPE, an increased workload and witnessing more patients die were taking their toll.

Allin-Khan asked Hancock to outline what provisions are in place to support the mental health of frontline staff, and called on the government to publish real-time data on suicide numbers.

She said it was “clear” from conversations with colleagues and unions that there is a “rise in suicides, self-harm and suicidal ideation among frontline NHS and care staff”.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

“It is vital that in order to tackle this, there is real-time data to understand where particular pinch points may be and where resources need to be directed,” she wrote.

Allin-Khan also said the need for talking therapies is “now more important than ever”, but also urged the government to ensure post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) support is in place once the acute stage is over.

She wrote: “Increasingly, NHS staff are breaking down – I see it first-hand working shifts.

“From a fear of spreading the virus to patients and loved ones, a lack of PPE, an increased workload owing to the number of cases and staff absences, to being redeployed to ICUs and witnessing more patients die – staff are experiencing greater pressure, which is inevitably taking its toll on their mental health.

“At this time of crisis, staff mental health must be a priority now. It simply cannot be an afterthought once the acute stage of the crisis is over.”

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us