The weekly applause ran for 10 weeks during the UK’s first lockdown last spring.
Clap for Carers has returned under the new name of Clap for Heroes but nurses are instead calling for fair pay, safe staffing and adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).
The weekly applause for front-line NHS staff and other key workers ran for 10 weeks during the UK’s first coronavirus lockdown last spring.
Last night during the first revived clap, health and social care workers took to social media to express their upset with many saying they would rather the public stay at home and wear a mask than clap for them.
Lucy Taylor, a nurse from the south-east of England, told NursingNotes; “While we appreciate the gesture from the public, standing on doorsteps and clapping has been politicised and isn’t helping those working tirelessly on the frontline of the pandemic.
“Our profession is already around 40,000 nurses short, we were only scraping by before the pandemic. Nursing needs fair pay, fully-funded training schemes, safe staffing and access to the protective equipment we need to do our jobs and anything less than this bare minimum is an insult.
Before adding; “We are not heroes, we are real hard-working people with families and friends and loved ones – calling us heroes only serves to make it more palatable when one of us dies.”
The NursingNotes COVID-19 memorial contains the names of hundreds of health and social care workers who have died of the virus.
Nurses United UK, a grassroots campaigning group for the profession, has called for the public to write to their local MPs and has been campaigning for a significant pay rise for NHS workers.
Anthony Johnson, lead organiser for the group said; “With so much happening within our society, it’s great to see that the public support is still there but there is SO much more that could be done by the public to show that they care for us.
“This Government continue to react too slow or too late unless it involves their donors. It’d be far better to write to your MP and demand better PPE, a second vaccination on time and a restorative 15% pay rise for NHS workers – that’s how you care for carers.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer added; “Once again we took to our doorsteps to #ClapForOurCarers. But clapping isn’t enough. They need to be paid properly and given the respect they deserve.”