Welsh Conservative candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan Matt Smith has seconded calls from Janet Finch-Saunders for the Cardiff Labour government to adhere to vaccination timescales more rigidly.
The Welsh Conservatives’ Older People’s Champion – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – urged the Cardiff Labour government to adhere to its original vaccination timescales as a means of confronting poor mental health among elderly residents.
The intervention came in the form of a question to the Minister for Mental Health, Wellbeing and the Welsh Language. Commenting on the need to address mental health among the elderly and vulnerable, Finch-Saunders said:
“Since the early days of the pandemic we have known that those aged 70 or older, regardless of medical conditions, are at increased risk from Covid-19. As a result, these vulnerable people have largely remained indoors and are often struggling with loneliness, fear, and anxiety as a result.
“I am informed by healthcare officials that the demand for mental health treatment among this group has only grown as a result of the recent and necessary public health restrictions, and that this growth in need must be addressed quickly to avoid long-term life-threatening consequences.
“Our single biggest weapon providing assurance to these individuals is a quick vaccination process. But this is certainly not happening.
“The Welsh Government must adhere to its original vaccination timescales if it is are to address this looming mental-health crisis. I have also asked the Minister to ensure that access to loneliness support groups and mental health support services is properly maintained.”
Matt Smith added: "Senior citizens in the Vale of Glamorgan are experiencing avoidable anxiety and stress resulting from poor communication from the Cardiff Labour government concerning vaccine roll out.
"The Cardiff Labour government is sticking to its vaccine slow roll. Yet perversely this has not led to improvements in timetabling or information for senior citizens on when they will be receiving their jabs."