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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 May 2019

300 NHS nurse suicides in seven years - fully fund our health service now!

Nurses marching for the NHS, photo by Paul Mattsson

Nurses marching for the NHS, photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Beth Webster, nurse, Cardiff West Socialist Party

The NHS crisis has reached horrifying new levels. Over 300 NHS nurses have died by suicide in seven years. In 2014, one nurse a week took their own lives.

This is a tragic reflection of how overworked and desperate staff have become in a health service decimated by Tory austerity.

The risk of female nurse suicide is 23% above the national average. More mental health support is desperately needed for frontline workers who deal with traumatic situations as part of their day-to-day job.

Breakdown

It has become part of the culture to just get on with it. It's common for nurses to break down crying on the ward, and to come in when sick because they feel too guilty to leave colleagues even more understaffed. These conditions, which cause and exacerbate mental health problems, will not change until the NHS is properly funded.

Wards are severely understaffed and nurses' pay has been held down so that many work several jobs to make ends meet. There are 40,000 unfilled nursing vacancies and recruitment has been made even more difficult since the Tories cut and abolished the student bursary. One of the student nurses who took her own life was working two other jobs on top of her full-time training.

The Tories are indifferent to the terrible consequences of their cuts. The NHS is 8 billion in deficit. Patients are dying in corridors and staff are being driven to suicide. We need the Tories out now.

Health trade unions should be leading the fight against these intolerable conditions. We need to push the leadership from below into action. By linking with other unions and public campaign groups, we can push the Trade Union Congress to call coordinated strike action, forcing the Tories out and a Corbyn-led government in.

We demand the nationalisation of pharmaceutical and medical supply companies, which drain NHS resources for their own profit.

All privatised parts of the NHS should be brought back into public ownership, and PFI debt must be cancelled. Only in a fully funded, democratically run, socialist NHS will the needs of patients and staff be fully met.

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In The Socialist 1 May 2019:


News

Build student unions and walkouts to fight climate change and Trump!

300 NHS nurse suicides in seven years - fully fund our health service now!

Port Talbot steelworks rocked by an explosion - nationalise the plant to save jobs and lives!

Build a universal safety net - abolish Universal Credit!

Universal Credit disaster behind foodbank rise

Fracking mess


Local elections 2019

Local elections 2019: Time to stand up and fight the cuts!

Wirral Tories raise spectre of Militant

Leicester: No-cuts budget only way forward

Worcester: Fightback against library cuts

Union action needed to fight Tory Derbyshire Council cuts


Workplace news

Valentine victory: School strike beats council cuts

Strike ballot: huge result must launch fightback

Usdaw ADM 2019

Communication workers oppose second EU vote, and back new socialist 'Clause IV' for Labour


International socialist news and analysis

India General election shows crying need for independent socialist alternative

France Telecom: Privatisation in the dock

Scandinavian Airlines walkout disrupts Nordic air travel


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

EU elections: Countering Farage's right-wing Brexit Party

Swansea anti-far right protest

Waltham Forest TUC May Day


Opinion

Knife crime - a product of capitalist misery

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

NHS:

triangleFrimley hospital staff fight back-door privatisation

triangleBarry Hospital workers fight to save ward from closure

triangleStrike action wins privatisation reprieve at Bradford hospitals

triangleTV: Young, British and Depressed - "What is wrong with our society that all these people are feeling this way?"

triangleBradford: All-out action to defeat backdoor NHS privatisation

Health:

triangleBangladeshi campaigners fight mining giant for justice

triangleLincolnshire health visitors' solidarity rally

triangleHealth workers strike against 2,000 loss of pay

triangleHealth visitors strike for the first time ever

Tories:

triangleLobby of TUC: Upbeat meeting calls for trade union lead to boot out Tories

triangleTUC: Lost opportunity to organise a united struggle

triangleTories in tatters: Corbyn must seize the time

Nurses:

triangleReverse the GP cuts

triangleWorkplace and union news in brief

Mental health:

triangleWest London Socialist Party: The mental health crisis

Pharmaceutical:

triangleCash-starved health service ripped off by big pharma - fund our NHS now!

PFI:

triangleNon-fiction: 'Unhealthy Profits: PFI in the NHS'

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