I try not to comment on political issues anymore mostly because it often brings so much hate and ignorance my way that right now I don’t have the strength to deal with it. Obviously I do things offline to support the causes and movements I believe in, but opening myself up for the keyboard warriors I do tend to avoid.
Yet today I have to speak up, across the country the heart of our NHS system is striking. For too long the nursing community has been treated with such disrespect by our government that it’s heartbreaking but also it’s intolerable.
I like everyone throughout the pandemic stood on my doorway and clapped and banged saucepans to acknowledge the courageous work our NHS staff were doing throughout this incredibly hard time. I watched nurses that I know and love come home broken and exhausted. Blisters on feet, scaring on faces from PPE and isolating themselves from their own families to save others. Yet as the pandemic went on clapping on a Thursday started to leave me with a bitter taste in my mouth. Not because I don’t love and respect those in the NHS but because it felt like a façade. Whilst we the public gave thanks the powers of be were ignoring the cries for a decent quality of living, for protection of those that were caring for us all.
Last year I watched as the clapping and the giving of thanks for the NHS turned to a campaign of blame in the media and public gratefulness turned to public abuse and frustration in A &E ‘s and wards around the country. Also I have personally witnessed this contempt and abusiveness before anyone comes for me.
Being a mom of a complex needs child I have often found myself in the hospital with my late son. I have watched the level of care and compassion given to patients and their families by the nurses. I have seen nurses who are ending a 12 hour shift yet to have a break for a drink or food due to caring for a patient or literally covering the wards. Staff giving up annual leave to cover for sickness and so much more. This wasn’t just in the midst of the pandemic it’s was before and after and is happening right now too.
Something has to change, we cannot keep taking the goodwill of nurses to keep our hospitals running. Quality nurses are leaving the service in droves unable to feed their families on the wages they earn. Having to leave healthcare completely taking their skills and experience with them.
I’m also aware that this is not the only public service that needs investment but right now l can only speak on my personal experience and what I have seen within the NHS.
I stand by everyone of those nurses that strike today. I understand how hard this decision was to make as it goes against all you believe in. Sometimes though you have to make a stand and this is yours. I also know that this isn’t just about the quality of life for yourselves and families, I have watched you as you have cried at the standard of care being given to your patients due to staffing shortages and lack of resources. I have seen you in A & E apologise again and again as you are being abused by those waiting to be seen. I have seen the tears when you didn’t think I could see.
I stand behind you all and hope and pray that your income finally comes some way in par with the service your provide. I stand behind you as you fight to save the NHS from falling further into privatisation oblivion.
I stand beside you because I love and respect each and everyone of you.
Nurses have saved my life, nurses have saved my child’s life. Nurses have become my dearest friends and some incredible nurses have walked beside and held me when my world crashed around me. They have loved me, cried with me and miss my beautiful boy alongside me.
I hope this industrial action will only be needed once. I pray that change happens swiftly.
Please everyone support your nurses today, whatever you feel about delayed appointments, missed treatments these failings do not fall at the feet of our nurses. Please don’t buy into the illusion and before your swallow the rhetoric that we all have to give a bit right now for our countries sake just take a little look at the reality of this. Just look a little closer at whose wages are rising, whose employment benefits are vast and whose expenses are out of control. Believe me it’s not those that are holding the hands of people in pain this evening, it’s not those who are treating your child right now and it’s not those who are the bedrock of our NHS.
I stand with nurses, today and everyday.
Sign today and tell the government that you Stand with nurses too.