SOCIAL care staff in Wales are being offered support for post traumatic stress disorder for working through the coronavirus pandemic, after concerns that non-NHS staff were not being supported.

The Welsh Government announced funding for a free mental health support service for all frontline NHS staff in April - but many working in private and non-profit care homes are not covered by the scheme.

And now Unison has announced its members who work in the care sector will receive PTSD training and support for working through the pandemic.


Tanya Palmer, UNISON Cymru Wales regional secretary said: “The coronavirus pandemic has thrown a spotlight on the fantastic and essential work undertaken by the thousands of carers in Wales for what often, is very little pay.

“There is no doubt many will suffer Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“If they worked for the National Health Service, mental health support would be provided as a matter of course by their employer. This isn’t the case for many care workers.”

The training is funded by the Wales Union Learning Fund, provided by Welsh government.

Leaders in the care home industry have spoken about the need for mental health support for staff after working through the coronavirus crisis.

Mary Wimbury, chief executive of Care Forum Wales, said: “Any additional support for social care workers at this uniquely difficult and stressful time is to be welcomed.

“Many of the larger social care providers in Wales already have support in place for their frontline staff but smaller-scale operations do not have the capacity to do so in the same way.

“We are in discussions with Social Care Wales and some local authorities about how best to provide a support network similar to what’s available to NHS and local authority staff and we hope this will be rolled out across Wales soon.”

And speaking to the Argus in April, Karen Healey, manager of Tregwilym Lodge in Rogerstone, said she was looking to offer mental health support for staff after losing 14 residents from suspected coronavirus in a month.

“The staff have worked over and above their hours and have worked extra shifts,” she said.

“When you work in a care home, you have that professional relationship, but you also build up a personal relationship with the residents and their families.

“That’s what has made this particularly tough. We are pursuing how we provide the mental health support for staff after this.”