At the meeting of Lichfield City Council on 20 April, 2022, Liberal Democrat Leader Councillor Paul McDermott (Stowe ward, pictured here outside Minster Hall) asked Lichfield Mayor Councillor Robert Yardley the following question under Standing Order 82 (a):
Would the Mayor acknowledge the hard work and personal sacrifices of the teachers and medical professionals in Lichfield during the Covid pandemic and would he therefore disassociate himself from the derogatory comments made by our Member of Parliament that they regularly failed to adhere to the Government lockdown rules?
The Liberal Democrats have warned the NHS is at "breaking point" after new figures uncovered a mental health crisis sweeping through staff across health services in the UK.
A Freedom of Information Request tabled by the Party to all NHS Hospital Trusts has revealed that there have been at least 8.3 million mental health sick days since 2017, steadily increasing since then.
The Liberal Democrats are calling for a host of improvements to help tackle the NHS mental health crisis especially the workforce. There are 100,000 vacancies in the NHS. The health service cannot function properly when it is this understaffed, when staff are stretched so thin and working excessive hours. Not knowing from day to day if you are going to be lacking a key colleague is a major determinant of the stress which lies behind the mental health crisis.
Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader and Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper has written to Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, calling for action.
Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:
"These staggering figures show the NHS is facing a tidal wave of mental health-related absences. This must be a wake-up call to this Conservative government that they can't turn a blind eye to this crisis any longer.
"Years of the Conservatives taking the NHS for granted has left our health service understaffed and overworked, while the pandemic has worsened the huge pressures facing frontline staff.
"Sajid Javid needs to come up with a clear plan to support NHS staff, starting by fixing chronic staffing shortages and reducing unsustainable workloads.
"Every day that the Conservatives go on ignoring this problem will mean more NHS staff falling ill from work-related stress, and more patients going without the care they need."
Strength in Numbers Campaign
Sadly, far from heeding any on this concern, the Government seems determined to ignore the advice of over 100 health and care organisations that would guarantee independent assessments of how many health and care staff we need now and in the future. A coalition of these behind the #StrengthInNumbers campaign has issued a briefing urging MPs to vote to keep the Lords' amendment to the Health and Care Bill that will guarantee independent assessments of how many health and social care staff we need now and in future. But if past experience is anything to go by this troop of unthinking sycophantic tory MPs will do what they are ordered to do not what, for the health of the country, they should.
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