A Thanks to the NHS – on its birthday…

It is sixty-nine years since Labour founded the NHS in 1948. Eluned Morgan AM for Mid and West Wales is calling once again for people in Wales to voice and demonstrate their appreciation of the much valued Health Service.

Speaking on the 5th July anniversary Eluned Morgan said, “Staff have welcomed more than 44 million babies into the world since the NHS was founded. That’s incredible. I was baby number 12,936,350 to be delivered by the service’s dedicated and talented midwives.

“However, following the Brexit vote there’s evidence that many of our overseas workers feel unwanted and unappreciated.”

The Labour Assembly Member is calling once again for people in Pembrokeshire to voice and demonstrate their support for local NHS workers from overseas through signing the #DiolchDoc campaign cards which are available from her office and via her Facebook page www.facebook.com/ElunedMorganAM

Commenting on the campaign, Eluned said, “The National Health Service has been essential to many of us in Britain. It’s a life support system – bringing us into the world and looking after us to the very end, but with the Conservative austerity policies, it is the NHS itself which is now in need of some life support. In the light of the Brexit vote many of our overseas medical staff feel unwelcome. We need to demonstrate our commitment to those who have come to Wales to help us out.”

The NHS employs 72,000 workers from around the world and in Wales the NHS is the largest employer. In September 2016, Mid and West Wales Labour AM, Eluned Morgan, launched the #DiolchDoc campaign which focused on thanking EU and overseas staff working within our NHS.

Eluned added, “With the collapse in the number of nurses from the EU registering to work in Wales and evidence from the General Medical Council suggesting that 55% of EU doctors were thinking of leaving the UK due to the lack of clarity in terms of migration status, it is essential that we ensure that Welsh people demonstrate that we appreciate the help that they are giving our NHS.”

#DiolchDoc became a twitter trend that gained considerable support across the region. The campaign demonstrates that workers should be welcomed as a part of Welsh communities.

One of the NHS’s biggest challenges is attracting staff, especially within rural areas such as Mid and West Wales. The consequences of Brexit will continue for many years, but training Welsh NHS workers to replace those who are leaving will take time. The UK is heavily reliant on EU NHS medical staff. In Wales, the current percentage of EU workers is recorded at 7%.

Eluned Morgan said, “With Brexit closely approaching it’s imperative that we recruit and retain a much needed health and social care workforce from the EU and overseas.

“People working within our NHS are our biggest asset, without their dedication and hard work our health service would collapse. We need to think about our current workforce and focus on creating a pipeline for the future.

“#DiolchDoc is a great way to reassure current NHS Doctors and Nurses from overseas that they are welcome in our country and to show our appreciation for all they do for us.”