NHS : Exhausted nurse: ‘We are not machines and Boris is exploiting us’

NHS : Exhausted nurse: ‘We are not machines and Boris is exploiting us’

For a ‘tidal wave' of Omicron infections, Cameron wants all people in England to have a third dose of Covid vaccination this year.

‘I need your cooperation to deliver the fastest, largest immunisation drive this country has ever seen.'

That will not be easy. I know you are fatigued.' On our part, I can guarantee you that our Government will do all possible to help you.'

But nurse Kirsty Brewerton questioned his ‘courage' in the face of a pay raise dispute and a staffing problem.
In a scathing letter to the Conservative party, she accused him of exploiting NHS personnel by demanding ‘more and more' in return for ‘empty promises'.

‘If we want to boost Britain, we need to have the manpower to do it while sustaining other services. ‘I can guarantee you that we are now unable to do so safely.'

‘We need more than claps and a pay rise below inflation, which equals a loss.

‘Pay us a decent wage if you are willing to do anything for us.'

Kirsty penned the letter on behalf of NHS Say No, a campaign group warning of a mass departure owing to inadequate pay and conditions.

They want a 15% salary increase to make up for a decade of real-term pay losses, significantly less than the controversial 3% offered last summer.
Critics argue it's a pay decrease owing to inflation and tax increases.

For Kirsty, talented colleagues are leaving because they can no longer afford the position.

‘I believe it's a joke; I'm astonished he has the audacity to ask more of us,' she remarked.

‘When I saw the letter, I knew I had to respond, and I hope he read it.

People are leaving food banks because they can no longer afford to work as nurses. That is true. Most NHS personnel leave for financial reasons or because they don't feel respected.

‘Paying people decently is hardly rocket science.'

The NHS has a record number of physicians and nurses, the Government says.

The retention rate is also high, and the workforce is not growing quickly enough to fulfil demand.

Between April and September 2021, about 14,000 nurses and midwives retired in the UK.

The NHS has 40,000 unfilled nurse vaccines and 100,000 vacancies overall.

Kirsty, 34, says delivering the booster aim with sustaining present services is unrealistic.

Over 5 million people are believed to be waiting for treatment because to the Omicrom wave.

Staff and resources will be redirected to providing vaccines, causing further delays and cancellations of non-urgent operations.
But, she warned, ‘we are not machines'.

‘We will do it,' she said.

‘The NHS has a problem, they feel guilty and responsible because who else can do it? No one.

‘But we aren't. We are limited in number.

‘The reality is that people are dying due to a lack of staff, and nothing is being done about it.

‘We are just supposed to go further and faster. It's risky.'

No one knows how Omicron will affect hospitals, but experts think admissions may exceed the 4,583 established in January's second wave.

Kirsty believes ‘we are in a worse position today than 2020' due to staff departures and ‘demoralised and fatigued' staff.
According to a recent study, nearly three-quarters of NHS employees considered leaving owing to health issues.

But Kirsty, a senior nurse, said colleagues were already stressed before the outbreak.

For ten years, the single mother of one has worked for the NHS.

Due to the stress of her profession, she had a ‘mental collapse' in 2019.

‘I was too sad to work. ‘I almost had PTSD since my work load was impossible,' she claimed.

‘I'd be alone in resus with three critically ill patients when there should have been three nurses, or in corridors with god knows how many people waiting to go on the ward.

A perpetual conflict of thinking about doing a good job or a terrible job. That is not why you enter the profession.'
Her colleagues were ‘wearing garbage bags and begging local schools to make visas because we had nothing' when Kirsty returned to work in the initial wave of the pandemic.

Her pleas for aid have gone unanswered.

My struggle for fair wages, suitable PPE, and good working conditions lasted all of 2020. ‘No one cares,' she added.

Kristy encouraged Ministers to take the NHS ‘out of the political arena' and develop a concrete plan to address the staffing situation.

The Conservatives pledged to hire 50,000 more nurses in 2019, but roughly half of that number comprised government employees.

Nobody knows how many medics are being trained to satisfy future demand.
MPs initiated an inquiry into ‘ending worker drain' last month.

To guarantee the number of clinical workers in training meets future demand, they had earlier rejected an amendment from ex-health minister Jeremy Hunt.

‘Whenever there is an election or anything else, all they speak about is the NHS,' added Kirsty. Where are the promised 40 hospitals and thousands of nurses? It's always empty promises.

A game? I wish [ministers] would spend a month on the ward and learn how their policies affect people.

‘They keep increasing the skills, the workload, the problems people bring in, and what we have to do for them, while the money has gone down.'

This pandemic has put huge strain on all NHS personnel, and the prime minister has congratulated them for their efforts.

Our health and care personnel are well supported by the NHS, which continues to provide helplines and wellbeing hubs for them.

‘NHS personnel received a 3% salary boost this year, and we invested record amounts in the health care. We will reduce vacancies and increase the workforce by 50,000 nurses by the conclusion of this Parliament.'

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