Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1162/33587
From The Socialist newspaper, 12 January 2022
Low pay, stress and Covid drive: NHS staff crisis
- Fight for 15% pay rise
- End privatisation
- For a fully funded NHS
Health workers submitted an 800,000-strong petition for an NHS pay rise to Downing Street Photo: Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
Matt, NHS nurse
Over 20 NHS trusts have declared critical incidents amidst staff shortages. NHS worker absences are at around 120,000, around half of those self-isolating. Numerous trusts have cancelled 'non-emergency surgery', and once again there's been mass redeployment of staff in an attempt to cover both staff sickness and increased demand. NHS staff are again being pushed to breaking point.
Staff shortages are nothing new to the NHS; prior to the pandemic there were already 50,000 unfilled nurse and 10,000 doctor vacancies. The NHS has been systematically underfunded and attacked for decades by consecutive governments and the results are clear to see. In my trust, ICU nurses have been forced to look after up to six patients rather than the recommended one-to-one care. On wards across the hospital, two nurses for 30 patients is now commonplace.
With staff already struggling pre-pandemic, the last two years have caused huge stress and fatigue. Health workers responded to the pandemic with a fighting spirit and a sense of solidarity we can all be proud of. But we're humans not machines. For nearly two years we've been expected to work flat out, in new and unfamiliar workplaces - going above and beyond in the name of care. NHS workers don't have much left to give.
Throughout the pandemic, support from the public has been inspiring. But the Tories don't share those feelings. After a decade of below-inflation and 1% pay rises, the best they could offer NHS staff was a pitiful 3%, well below the 15% we called for.
Staff are leaving. NHS workers face a deadly cocktail of squeezed wages, fatigue and stress from the pandemic. However, if our health unions took the lead and campaigned clearly for 15%, that fatigue and stress could be turned into anger and action.
We've seen the priorities of the Tories and the capitalist bosses throughout the pandemic, it's all about profits for big business. The health and care bill further increases the influence of private companies in our health service. Unfortunately, the opposition of Sir Keir and the Labour Party is hardly opposition. Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting has stated that he'd happily use private providers in the NHS.
In order to defend the NHS we need bold socialist policies and an end to privatisation. We need a party that backs up our fight for a 15% pay rise, and that stands for the nationalisation of privatised health and social care. Join us to help build a new mass workers' party that fights for the bold socialist policies needed to save our NHS.
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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.
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In The Socialist 12 January 2022:
Super-rich get richer, while we can't make ends meet. Join the fightback!
Blow to establishment as jury backs Colston Four
Covid, stress and cutbacks fuel school staff shortages
Tories concede under cladding pressure but don't go far enough
Low pay, stress and Covid drive: NHS staff crisis
Shameless Johnson partied through lockdown
Energy price crisis: nationalise energy giants to save us from Â£600 hit
Energy bosses: 'Jump, cuddle and eat porridge while we raise prices'
Kazakhstan: Working-class revolt only suppressed by massive mobilisation of troops
Solidarity with workers protesting in Kazakhstan
Protests against BBC transphobia
Leeds People's Budget: We beat council cuts before, we will again
Communities fight back against Rio Tinto mine
North London NHS - "It's going to be us who saves it"
Southampton student vote for online exams must be accepted
Coventry bin workers' pay strike
10,000 tube workers vote to strike over jobs, terms and pension cuts
East Mids rail conductors force concessions, train managers' dispute continues
Carmarthenshire gritters take action as Plaid-led council reneges on agreement
Jobcentre Coronavirus outbreak leads to reps meeting call
South Yorkshire bus strikes spreading and getting stronger
Weetabix workers defeat 'fire and rehire' and ballot on improved pay offer
Invergordon Royal Mail mutiny wins
Don't Look Up: An entertaining satire on corporate power and the US establishment
Anne: Hillsborough and the fight for justice
Money Heist: A Robin Hood tale set in modern-day capitalism
War criminal Tony Blair knighted
Bullying weighing room culture at the races
Free prescriptions? Maybe when you're older
Obituary - Pauline Wall
Obituary - Ethan Bradley 1993-2021
The Socialist 12 January 2022 |
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