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Captain Sir Tom’s NHS Gifts Must Be Protected Says Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson In Wales

The Health and Social Care spokesperson for the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Senedd Candidate for SE Wales has asked for guarantees that funds received from Captain Sir Tom Moore’s monumental fundraising efforts benefiting the NHS Wales Employee Wellbeing Service will not trigger reduced or reallocated future funding.

Captain Sir Tom’s incredible fundraising achievement inspired and moved the nation during this time of national crisis. Over £30,000,000 was raised by Sir Tom for various NHS charities across the UK. Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s Employee Wellbeing Service has received £115,000 from Sir Tom’s charity fund.

Speaking days after Captain Sir Tom’s funeral, Jo Watkins, the Liberal Democrat Health and Social Care spokesperson and Senedd Candidate for SE Wales, Jo Watkins, has asked for guarantees from NHS Finance Directors that gifts from Sir Tom’s efforts will not be factored-in to future spending reviews.

The Liberal Democrat Councillor for Caldicot is concerned about the future long-term funding of various NHS initiatives supporting NHS staff mental health and wellbeing.

Jo Watkins said:

‘‘It would be an affront to Sir Tom’s achievements and memory if future levels of core spending on NHS staff mental health support were to be trimmed or reallocated by finance directors or accountants in future spending reviews.’’

Liberal Democrat Senedd candidates across Wales, says Councillor Watkins, are campaigning for increases in spending to support NCH mental health services for staff and their families.

‘‘The NHS Employee Wellbeing Service is dedicated to alleviating Covid-related
anxiety, stress and fatigue. I am already hearing reports of ICU nursing staff leaving the profession as the pandemic has taken such a toll on their mental health.  Liberal Democrats are concerned that medical, nursing and ancillary staff will simply leave the NHS if mental health services are not adequately sustained in the long term, ’’ said Jo Watkins.

Jo Watkins added:

‘’Gifted funds raised from Captain Sir Tom’s efforts can never be used as an excuse for ‘re-directive accounting’ or for trimming future core NHS budgets.

The Aneurin Bevan University Health Board NHS Employee Wellbeing Service has already benefited from a payment from Sir Tom’s fund of £115,000

This welcome gift and other future donations from Captain Sir Tom’s funds must be protected and ring-fenced within this financial year. Sit Tom’s gifts must not be factored-in to any future core financing reviews of spending on NHS staff wellbeing.’’