Perhaps our NHS will now get the backing it deserves

Posted on: 16th April 2020

Of course I was relieved to hear news about the Prime Minister this week and pleased he is turning the corner and is now recovering from the deadly Coronavirus; just as I am for the many thousands of others who our NHS has saved from a much worse outcome. He says “it could have gone either way”.

“I will be grateful for the rest of my life”, he said. And added, “They kept putting themselves in harm’s way, kept risking this deadly virus. It is thanks to that courage, that devotion, that duty and that love that our NHS has been unbeatable,” he said. He particularly picked out two nurses who remained in rota by his side throughout – both were foreign nationals, one from the EU, working in our NHS. We echo these words of appreciation.

And for those of us who have campaigned for years to protect and rebuild our NHS and social care systems it is encouraging to hear these words clearly uttered with unquestionable sincerity. Especially since the Prime Minister and his Party during the past decade consistently voted to:

  • Reduce NHS funding;
  • Open the NHS to the risk of profit before patient care;
  • Cut nurse bursaries;
  • Reject extra investment;
  • Precipitate a mass exodus of EU health staff including nurses;
  • Discourage other foreign health workers;
  • Oppose mandatory safe staffing on hospital wards and in primary care settings;
  • Cause the greatest shortage of NHS staff, including nurses;
  • Cause greater indebtedness amongst local NHS trusts than at any time;
  • Undermine the morale of NHS staff.

One of a number of silver linings in the dark cloud of this pandemic emergency is that, hopefully, lessons will have been learned and the NHS will in future get the support it deserves and not just be used for photo opportunities at election time.