The Royal College of Nursing is currently balloting for strike action, putting patient safety at the heart of the campaign. Unless we address workforce shortages and staff pay and conditions things will not improve.
Angela, North East resident, KONPNE supporter and Nurse (retired) speaks from experience
We at Keep Our NHS Public care passionately about the NHS and the people who work in it. We are demanding a pay increase for all NHS staff and an end to NHS privatisation.
I recently retired as a registered nurse. I have worked at home and abroad in hospital and community settings. The emphasis on patient care rather than profit differentiates the NHS from anywhere else I have worked. The Tories were against the NHS when it was formed in 1948 and they want to see it privatised now.
Recently, the Health And Care Act was carefully rushed through Parliament, avoiding media coverage. There is no longer a NATIONAL Health Service – it has been split into 42 parts, called Integrated Care Systems. We believe that this Act drives the NHS further down the road of privatisation. Integrated Care Boards can now decide which services will be provided and who provides them. The NHS will no longer be the default provider. The NHS is in crisis – the Government would have you believe this is due to the pandemic when, in fact, there have been years of underfunding and outsourcing of services.
Let’s not forget the suffering of essential workers during Covid. Healthcare workers were caring for patients with no or inadequate PPE, and many healthcare workers died . The government awarded contracts for PPE to totally unsuitable providers, without any scrutiny – such was their concern for workers. There was a Fastlane for Tory friends and donors. Millions of pounds were wasted on PPE which was not fit for purpose. When it came to testing for Covid, they could have used proven local Public Health services , but instead they paid Serco and Sitel £37 Billion for a Test and Trace service which has been shown to have had no effect on the course of the pandemic. Who says there is no magic money tree?
Morale in the NHS is extremely low. NHS staff want to give you good care. A recent survey of tens of thousands of nurses showed that, on their last shift, a huge majority said there was not enough staff or time to give the care they wanted to. We want minimum staffing levels enshrined in law, as they are in Wales and Scotland. The government are refusing to do this.
The Health And Social Care Committee say there is a shortage of 50,000 nurses – we know that in the last year 40,000 nurses have left the NHS, with workplace stress and lack of work-life balance being some of the reasons cited for leaving. Whilst the committee made it clear that it is unacceptable that some nurses are struggling to feed their families, pay rent and travel to work, the Government ignored their calls for a meaningful pay rise. Last week’s budget will see the poorest in our society suffer even more. There is already talk of benefit cuts and cuts to public services.
The Royal College of Nursing is currently balloting for strike action. We are putting patient safety at the heart of our campaign. Unless we address workforce shortages and staff pay and conditions things will not improve. We are demanding a pay award of 5% above inflation. We are saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. We demand fair pay and working conditions so we can give you the care you deserve.
We are asking you to please support us. Thank you.
INFO: Click here for the Enough is Enough website