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WALES NEWS ROUNDUP: Calls to help older people with fuel costs, prisoner suicide at Usk prison AND 10,000 Welsh NHS staff self-isolating

Wales News Round-Up  for the 12th of January 2022.

Wales older people’s commissioner urges for more support for fuel bills.

More older people on low incomes should get money to help with rising fuel bills, the older people's commissioner for Wales has said.

Helena Herklots warned that pensioners may face a choice between food or fuel if the winter fuel support scheme is not made more widely available.

The Welsh government said it was fully committed to supporting families.

Prisoner Suicide at Usk Prison 

A prisoner killed himself after being told he could not live at home with his children upon release, a report said.

Gwent coroner Caroline Saunders called it "devastating news" and urged changes to how soon-to-be-released prisoners are dealt with.

10,000 NHS staff currently self-isolating in Wales

There are currently 10,000 Welsh NHS staff off work either sick or self-isolating, the highest since April 2020, according to the health minister.

Eluned Morgan said some councils have also had to redeploy workers because of shortages in social care. Five local authorities in south east Wales have put out a plea to relatives to help with care.

Speaking at a news conference, Ms Morgan said: "Just over 8% of staff are currently off work sick or self-isolating - that's around 10,000 people. 

"These levels of staff sickness are putting even more pressure on our healthcare system at a time when it's already seeing incredibly high demand for emergency and medical care.

"The number of NHS staff off with coronavirus is at its highest level since April 2020."

Mark Drakeford stated how Wales is not past the peak of the Omicron wave, and that restrictions will be continued to be under review. The first minister placed an emphasis on the importance of supporting the Welsh NHS and ensuring that it is not placed under too much pressure over the upcoming weeks.


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