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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 March 2020

Coronavirus hospital worker: amazing response from staff - but worst still to come

NHS staff are on the front line, photo by DFID/CC

NHS staff are on the front line, photo by DFID/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Some parts of the hospital seem strangely normal. Like the orthopaedic wards - where we seem to have more than the usual number of hip and knee replacements taking place, perhaps in readiness for when these are deemed non-essential procedures.

Of course, everywhere is still very short of staff. But families are making visits, and patients are being treated and discharged.

In and around A&E, things are very different. Advice and procedures are changed, sometimes hourly, as the situation evolves. We have to set up 'clean' and 'dirty' areas as we attempt to isolate patients who may have Covid-19.

Personal protective equipment shortages mean we have to improvise when covering equipment and protecting staff. We still have the same numbers of trauma-related injuries and other serious conditions, but now we have many patients walking in or arriving by ambulance with all the symptoms of the virus.

The response from staff is amazing as we support each other with understanding and humour, but the worst is still to come. I see young staff who are shellshocked and scared.

The hospital trust has promised that self-isolating won't count on sickness records and that vulnerable frontline staff can be redeployed to other areas. But make no mistake, we are also angry that cuts and 'rationalisation' over recent years makes us ill-equipped to deal with this crisis.

An NHS health professional

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 18 March 2020:


Workplace news and analysis

Stop Press: postal workers deliver massive strike vote and offer to become additional 'emergency service'

East London bin workers strike to get back unpaid holiday pay

Determined St Mungo's homelessness workers strike for three days


International socialist news and analysis

French local elections: CWI candidate elected

New pamphlet: constituent assemblies and the revolutionary programme


Socialist history

South Africa: 60 years marking the Sharpeville Massacre


Coronavirus

Coronavirus: workers must not pay the price!

Capitalist crisis and corona: Johnson's budget for the bosses

Coronavirus - a workers charter 2020

Coronavirus: socialist planning, not capitalist chaos!

Coronavirus housing emergency - suspend rent and mortgage payments, seize empty homes

PCS union demands better deal for benefits claimants

Councils must break austerity rules

Action needed to protect shop workers and access to essential goods

Coronavirus hospital worker: amazing response from staff - but worst still to come

'Health not profit' strike wave sweeps Italy

United States: private healthcare exposed as Trump throws money at markets

Workers at Lewisham coronavirus hospital walk out after not being paid

Coronavirus - waste processing employers putting us at risk

Bexley bin workers strike over lack of hand sanitiser

Going viral: socialist letters and comments on the coronavirus crisis

Under the microscope: socialist coronavirus news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Help us fund the Socialist

Stop gentrification of Lea Bridge

Tory student plot defeated at Cardiff uni

Nottingham uni occupation ends

Socialist Students speaking tour

Selling the Socialist


Readers' opinion

TV: Noughts and Crosses


 

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