Will the Minister make a statement on support for occupational health services for the social care sector in Wales this winter?
The Welsh Government fully recognises the incredible physical and emotional demands that the pandemic has placed on the social care workforce. We are closely monitoring the impact and are working with partners to provide immediate additional support to respond to people’s changing physical and mental health needs.
Social Care Wales have developed its website to provide a one-stop location for Covid-19 guidance and resources, with up to date information about well-being support that is available to the sector. This includes an Employee Assistance Programme, funded by Welsh Government, to ensure that there is ready access to longer term support, including face to face counselling where needed.
In addition, people across Wales, including social care staff can access free online therapy without needing to go through their GP. People aged 16 and over experiencing mild to moderate anxiety, depression or stress can sign-up for a 12-week course of SilverCloud online therapy via their smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.
Finally, we recognise the benefits that have been felt by NHS staff accessing our Health for Health Professionals service. The contract for this service ends in March 2022, and we are currently undertaking a tender for a service from April 2022 that will cover all NHS and social care staff in Wales.