Aberconwy Assembly Member Janet Finch-Saunders has urged the Welsh Government to provide better mental health support to social care workers who may lose residents as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a Written Assembly Question to the Minister for Health and Social Care, Vaughan Gething, the Welsh Conservatives’ Shadow Minister for Social Care - Mrs Finch-Saunders asked: “What steps is the Minister taking to promote counselling sessions or access to advice networks for social care workers who have lost residents to COVID-19?

Mrs Finch-Saunders said: “In my continued conversations with care home owners and social care staff, I have been struck by the great emotional toll that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our selfless and compassionate carers.

“The care home setting is a special workplace where many genuine and lasting relationships are forged. Often, staff care for their residents as they were family.

“Given the tragic level of deaths occurring in our care homes, the Welsh Government must do more to protect the emotional and mental well-being of our social care staff. The risk that the current situation will overwhelm our carers, leading to mental burnout, remains far too high.

“Continued communication is paramount. By providing social care workers with access to counselling or advice networks, we can ensure that our valiant front-line staff feel adequately supported through this most challenging of periods."