An NHS body in Wales has sent staff information on how to access a food bank as part of an organisation-wide email on ‘financial wellbeing support “.
The email was made public after an anonymous worker from NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership (NWSSP), which provides logistical support to health services across the country, shared it with BBC Wales.
The staff member told the broadcaster: ‘I was sad that people were struggling so much that we had no choice but to go to food banks.
They added: “I was also a bit in disbelief that people would suffer after putting so much time and energy into helping others.”
As inflation hits 40-year highs of 9.4%, the latest recommended wage increase has been widely denounced as a cut in real terms.
The email, sent with the title ‘Financial wellbeing support’, told staff that ‘things are difficult for many of us with the current cost of living crisis’, according to BBC Wales. .
He shared money saving tips for parents and information on the Money Helper Advice Siteas well as links to information on “how to access a food bank” and a service to locate them.
Hugh McDyer, health officer at the Unison Cymru Wales union, told the BBC the content of the email was “no surprise”.
He added that while the post may have been ‘well-meaning’, it was a ‘sad day when our members have to make choices about heating or eating or going to a food bank to make sure their families eat. “.
A spokesperson for the NWSSP said: “At the NWSSP, we recognize the incredible hard work, commitment and dedication that our staff undertake on a daily basis. We are prioritizing and supporting our staff through the cost of living crisis and this is something the NWSSP regularly discusses in partnership with our union colleagues.
“An internal communication on the subject of health and wellbeing was issued to NWSSP staff on July 13, 2022, in response to a series of questions from our staff. This communication contained factual information which directed staff to a number of organizations which provide advice and support, including debt relief, childcare during the summer holidays, free school meals, inexpensive summer vacations and tools and resources to help manage finances. This also included a minor reference on how to access a food bank.
“The communication was not intended to offend, but rather to communicate the wide range of support available to NHS staff, family, friends and contacts.”
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