6 Demands from NHS staff to help us tackle Coronavirus

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Janet MacLeod Trotter
Janet MacLeod Trotter signed this petition

We are a group of NHS doctors and nurses calling for support as we face a dangerous pandemic. At times like this, we rely on the NHS and social care more than ever. But they have both been dangerously weakened by years of cuts. The shortfall in staff, equipment and beds mean we're not in the position we should be - and this will needlessly cost lives.

That’s why we’re calling on the UK Government and devolved governments to urgently take the following measures to protect NHS workers and the general public:

  1. COVID-19 testing and personal protective equipment (PPE) must be available for all NHS and social care staff now
  2. Those relying on social care (or ‘Direct Payments’) must be given immediate support if carers go sick 
  3. NHS support staff (including those outsourced) must receive at least living wage, paid sick leave for illness or self-isolation and an increase in statutory sick pay 
  4. Bring private health resources into public service without compensation to fight COVID-19 and aid NHS response 
  5. Make all information that the Government is basing its strategy on wholly available for public scrutiny
  6. An immediate end to legislation enforcing eligibility checks and charging in the NHS, including those related to residency status or national origin, allowing all patients to use the NHS without fear

17,000 NHS beds have been cut since 2010 while private hospitals get 30% of their income from NHS patients on waiting lists. Tens of thousands of staff are outsourced from the NHS to private companies. Many have zero-hour contracts lacking the security of paid sick leave and face very difficult decisions to self-isolate and lose pay. 

Undocumented migrants and others are told they are not eligible for free NHS care. Many fear approaching the NHS worried about unpayable bills or being reported to the Home Office. All of these are immediate dangers as we fight coronavirus. 

As NHS staff, we know the pressures on staff even before Coronavirus hit and we know the fears of outsourced workers and undocumented patients facing economic hardship. We must value our staff and ensure their security and we must ensure our patients trust the NHS to treat them without reservation. 

This pandemic shows that a thriving publicly owned and run NHS and social care sector are essential to ensure that all citizens have equal access to the best care. Indeed, a thriving state is essential for a thriving society.

Please sign the petition to strengthen the NHS response to coronavirus.

Dr Sonia Adesera
Dr Tom Gardiner
Dr Helen Salisbury
Dr Mona Kamal
Mark Boothroyd, A&E Staff Nurse
Gay Lee,  Palliative Care Nurse
Iain Wilson Clinical Nurse Specialist
Dr John Puntis
Dr Tony O'Sullivan
Alia Butts CAMHS Specialist Practitioner and Psychotherapist
Dr Brian Fisher (SHA)
Cllr Dr Hosnieh Djafari-Marbini
Dr Coral Jones, GP
Dr Yannis Gourtsoyannis. Infectious Diseases
Dr Rita Issa, Academic Clinical Fellow in General Practice
Dr Aislinn Macklin-Doherty, Oncologist
Dr Louise Irvine