Nurses show solidarity with Port Talbot steelworkers

Mass job losses in steel communities could be devastating for mental and physical health

Community nursing staff were at a Tata Steel site today (April 1) to show their support for steelworkers as they fight for the future of the industry in the UK.

Nurses show solidarity with Port Talbot steelworkers

Thousands of job losses are expected as Tata bosses consider closing its UK operations. The move would affect people working at Tata Steel UK operations in Port Talbot, Trostre, Shotton, Llanwern and Newport in Wales and Rotherham and Corby in England.

District nurses and Marie Curie nurses linked arms with steelworkers at the Port Talbot site as health bosses warned of the effects on health any mass job losses could have.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University (ABMU) Health Board district nursing lead Lynne Driscoll said: ‘This is a close community and we all stand together in times of need – supporting each other. Many of our colleagues have family working in the steel works.’

ABMU chief executive Paul Roberts said: ‘Any potential closure or significant reduction in the Port Talbot steelworks is a major issue for the NHS and ABMU Health Board. We therefore stand shoulder to shoulder with the local Tata workforce and wider community in their fight to save the industry and associated jobs.

‘The potential health implications for the communities we serve are huge – job losses are a serious physical and mental health issue. This could also have devastating implications for our staff; many colleagues have family members employed in the steelworks and associated businesses and there is a sense of fear for the future.’

ABMU Health Board chair Andrew Davies said: ‘As a member of the Welsh Government's Tata taskforce, I have also contacted other health boards in Wales that are similarly affected by the situation in Tata in order to co-ordinate an all-Wales response to this latest situation.’

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