Community nursing staff were at the Tata Steelworks site last week in order to show their support for steelworkers as they fight for the future of their industry.

District nurses and Marie Curie nurses linked arms with steelworkers as they stood outside the iconic blast furnaces of the Port Talbot plant.

Lynne Driscoll, ABMU operational lead for district nursing in Neath Port Talbot, 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.

‘The health of our community is already greatly affected by deprivation so much so that even the threat of closure has a huge impact on the health and wellbeing of workers, their families and the community.’

Lynne was one of a dozen nurses who went to meet Tata steelworkers to demonstrate their solidarity. They were joined by ABMU’s Chief Executive, Paul Roberts.

Paul 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 the 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 real fear for the future.

‘As a health board we are setting up a group to plan for the potential consequences on our services of major job losses which we hope will not happen.

‘We have also agreed with Swansea University to undertake some research and an evidence review on our behalf to ensure that we are planning a properly informed response to this situation.’