Newsletter to SHA members in
Wales: No. 8
At the time of writing this publication, Wales is using a fire brake to try and curb the increasing rise in transmission of the virus. Unfortunately, the number of people losing their lives is also increasing.
27/10/20 Total confirmed cases 45,046, total individuals tested 713,105, total positive tests 668,059, total number of suspected COVID-19 deaths 1,790.
COVID-19 and Mental Health
Welsh Government has recognised the effect of COVID-19 on mental health and has appointed Eluned Morgan Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing. It is estimated that people with mental health problems will rise from 8.8% pre COVID-19 to 11.9% by 2022/2023.
COVID-19 and air pollution
A positive impact of COVID-19 has been a reduction in air pollutants and road traffic accidents. Concentrations of some air pollutants, including carbon dioxide decreased between March and May during the lockdown.
COVID-19 and unemployment
The rise in unemployment could see an increase in people suffering from a limiting longstanding illness. Public Health Wales forecast also shows a higher percentage of adults with chronic health conditions.
To cope with COVID-19 other services were stopped or reduced. It is estimated that post COVID-19 it will take a Senedd term for the Welsh NHS to ‘catch up’ with these services. Plus, there will also be additional demands post COVID-19 as mentioned above and, effects of ‘long COVID’ which are currently being monitored.
SHA Cymru AGM
Thank you to those who attended the AGM via ZOOM on 15 October 2020. This method allowed more members to attend than in previous years and may result in a combination of ‘in-person’ and ‘on-line’ meetings being used in the future. Thanks to Adrian Sharratt for facilitating this.
Rebecca Evans MS gave an interesting and informative talk setting out Welsh Governments response to COVID-19 challenges in budget management and future planning. There is continued uncertainty post BREXIT but future regional investment in Wales relies on UK Government honouring ‘Wales won’t be worse off’.
Alison Scouller was re-elected as Chair, Sue Thomas was re-elected as Treasurer, Linda Lewis was elected as Secretary and Tony Beddow as Assistant Secretary. Alison Scouller, Linda Lewis, and David Llewellyn Davies were agreed as delegates to SHA UK Central council. Philippa Ford and David Smith agreed to act as Auditors. The constitution, standing orders and standing financial instructions were agreed. Linda Lewis was elected as Welsh Labour conference delegate.
An all member meeting has been organised to discuss SHA Cymru’s future work plan, the Welsh Labour Party’s draft manifesto and SHA Cymru’s response. This will be held on 9 November 2020 at 7pm. Further information will follow. Alongside this, SHA Cymru officers are still planning ongoing policy discussions with Vaughan Gething’s policy advisors.
Members are reminded that SHA Cymru Wales have set up three working groups.
- BAME group looking at health inequalities
- Safe Staffing group monitoring how the new Act is working
- Performance group looking at selected service issues in the Welsh NHS
If anyone is interested in joining any of the groups, please let me know Linda Lewis firstname.lastname@example.org
Labour tasked social justice campaigner Baroness Doreen Lawrence with leading a review into the impact of Coronavirus on black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. Baroness Lawrence worked closely with Marsha De Cordova, Shadow Secretary for Women and Equalities to investigate why BAME communities are disproportionally affected and propose recommendations. Baroness Doreen Lawrence has set out 20 recommendations for the government to protect those most at risk from coronavirus and tackle inequality in the longer term.
Central Council met on Wednesday 30 September 7pm. It was once again an exceedingly long agenda with very few items covered in the allocated time. Difficulties remain with planning an AGM for 2020 and 6 March has been suggested for 2021. The SGM, that over 50 members called for, has not been forthcoming and a 5-person group has been set up to look at this. While some members of the group are part of Central Council, it is unclear how others on the group were selected to take part. The outcome will be reported when there are any developments.
SHA Cymru officers would like to hear your thoughts on these newsletters and if you would like to contribute in any way.
We would also be interested to hear how you would like to see SHA Cymru develop and move forward. Would you like more frequent all member meetings, do you think SHA Cymru should concentrate on specific aspects relating to Health and Social Care etc.
Send any thought to Linda Lewis email@example.com