The Workers Union is calling on the UK to back its brave NHS staff this winter.
The announcement came as news reports continued to shed light on the stresses and strains faced by NHS workers.
A spokesperson for The Workers Union said: ‘This winter the NHS will enter an unprecedented period of demand, as workers deal with a perfect storm of COVID cases, staff shortages and shameful abuse from a minority of the British public. As an organisation that has always – and will always – stand four square behind our brave and brilliant healthcare workers, we are calling on everyone to do their bit to help them. That means following government guidelines, being patient at the local surgery or hospital, and showing empathy towards those that sacrifice so much to keep us fit and healthy.’
The situation has been compounded by fears that staff who refuse to comply with the government’s mandatory vaccine programme will leave the service, putting even more pressure on hospitals and other healthcare settings. At the same time, a report by the House of Lords secondary legislation scrutiny committee has criticised the evidence on which the policy was based, saying that there was a ‘lack of a thorough and detailed impact assessment’ to support a requirement that could see ‘£270m in additional recruitment and training costs and major disruption to the health and care provision.’
The Workers Union Says…
In situations such as these it’s easy to criticise the decision-making of NHS leaders and politicians. But how many of those throwing peanuts from the gallery would swap jobs with them? The truth is, we all have a part to play in making this better. Despite criticism from the House of Lords, the government has shown that in requiring NHS staff to get vaccinated by April 2022, they are, at a stroke, trying to protect the sick and vulnerable, as well as reinforce the idea that healthcare workers have a professional duty of care towards their patients. Yes, it’s not perfect, and intelligent exceptions must be made, but this is an imperfect world, in which squabbling, vested interests and ambition often obscure clear-eyed thinking. It is remarkable, then, that so much has been achieved in terms of vaccines and healthcare initiatives – despite the inevitable static of discontent.
To avert another crisis, we need to take the holistic view. As a country, we must not outsource responsibility to MPs and others to help us help our NHS. There are things that all of us can do to protect the dignity of those working on our behalf and reduce the risks of systemic meltdown. So let’s stop, think and pull together. After all, there are so many more things that bind us together than divide us.