When I speak of value, I don’t just mean financial.
After the last twelve months it is abundantly clear how little value the Government puts on health and social care workers across the country.
When I speak of value, I don’t just mean financial. I also mean their overall value to society, their value to patients and their undeniable absolute dedication to their roles.
Over the past twelve months, nurses have nursed, carers have cared and cleaners have cleaned – it never stopped – not even for a day. Even when they had inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE), health and social care staff turned up to work knowing the personal risk.
I’ve witnessed first hand over the past twelve months is NHS an already stretched and over-worked workforce do the impossible. Almost overnight the NHS staff developed highly efficient testing systems and a world-envied vaccine rollout. I could go on…
Heartbreakingly we’ve also seen our colleagues admitted to hospital, to intensive care and some die. We don’t know the true number, because unlike military deaths in service, the Government doesn’t make a formal announcement.
As we’ve tracked the number of health and social care worker deaths announced there has been a correlation between the number of staff dying and the availability of PPE.
Despite all of this the Government claim they did their best on PPE, can’t afford more than a 1% pay rise for NHS workers in England and mandated legal safe minimum staffing levels are not required.
Adding insult to injury only last night it was revealed that NHS workers in England would not receive a financial bonus for their hard-work during the pandemic unlike their colleagues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Fair pay, adequate PPE, safe staffing – it shouldn’t be a choice – it should be the minimum.
Health and social care workers across the UK know their worth to their patients, but now they also know their worth to the Government – a body, a number, a statistic.