Bleeding Them Dry: Underpaid NHS Staff Left Suffering and Unable to Provide Care

Niamh examines the strikes, pay disputes, and tensions surrounding the NHS.

The cost-of-living crisis has had a huge impact on all of us and most sectors of society have been hit. We’ve seen strikes by Royal Mail, ScotRail, and soon we’ll see a record-breaking strike of NHS paramedics, junior doctors, and nurses. We’re often told that the NHS is at breaking point, but this time it really might be. A lack of government funding is a prescription for NHS walkouts and a crumbling health service.  

Rising fuel prices, volatile housing markets, and the cost of bread increasing by 18%; the hits to the economy, and the British people, have been relentless. Many of us don’t get the chance to pull ourselves up off the floor or regain our balance before the next blows come and this has been devastating. 1 in 5 Brits are struggling to put food on the table and both depression and inflation rates are rising at unprecedented levels. These are challenging times for all of us, but it doesn’t mean we need to stay silent. And many of us aren’t.  

 

Credit: Creative Commons

Huge proportions of the country are frustrated with the lack of support and action from the government, and we’ve seen this anger and disappointment channeled through strikes. These strikes have shown how important public workers are. ScotRail services were cut by 90% which created chaos for Scots, and Royal Mail strikes of 115,000 workers (and poor planning on my part) meant that deliveries of letters and birthday presents were delayed by days, or sometimes weeks.  

For years, staff within the NHS have demanded improvements to working conditions, and pay, claiming that they are significantly overworked and undervalued. The Royal College of Nursing has repeatedly called on the government to act, stating that currently, NHS services are “not safe”, and ministers are refusing to listen and implement change. During the height of the pandemic, NHS workers were given priority access to supermarkets, windows were plastered with rainbow posters, and every Thursday our streets were filled with those clapping for carers or musicians playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. But claps, praise, and colourful drawings don’t pay the bills, and ministers need to appreciate that.  

After increasing pressure, the British government responded by giving a 3% pay rise to NHS staff in 2021 and claims it will provide another 3% rise this year to help staff members cope with the cost-of-living crisis. All NHS workers in Scotland were offered a £2,205 pay rise in October 2021, averaging out at about a 7% increase in wages. But for many, this isn’t good enough and has just added insult to injury. In some cases, these ‘pay-rises’ would actually mean long-term pay cuts for staff members, with Pat Cullen, the general secretary of the Royal College of Nurses claiming that a 4% pay rise would leave “an experienced nurse more than £1,400 a year worse off.” 

 

Credit: Creative Commons

Inflation rates have soared to 9% so far and are on course to reach 11% by the end of the year. The government’s proposed rise of 72 pence per hour for nurses and other NHS staff simply isn’t enough according to experts, or most of the general public, who 73% of in a recent poll, supported increasing pay rates of NHS staff in line with inflation rates. The Royal College of Nursing has asked for a 17.6% pay boost for all NHS staff except for doctors and dentists, which if agreed, would cost an extra £9 billion to the British government.

While this is a staggering amount, it is important to ask the question of what is the real cost of not acting. 27% of NHS trusts in England have opened food banks for staff, nurses have been eating leftover food from their patients’ trays because they don’t eat at home so that they can feed their children, and there are multiple reports of staff phoning in sick before payday because they can’t afford to pay for fuel to travel to work. When we think of our heroes, of who got us through the pandemic, most of us would argue it was the tireless fight of our key workers, not our politicians. How can ministers turn their backs on those who saved lives, and gave their own lives, to navigate us through one of the most challenging times modern Britain has seen? 

 

Credit: Creative Commons

The cries of NHS staff have been ignored for far too long and measly pay rises that end up being long-term pay cuts have just rubbed salt in an already raw wound. The six major unions of NHS staff have all described a willingness to communicate with ministers, and are still willing to have conversations, but will now lead some of the biggest-scale industrial action seen in the country of the century. Ambulance workers in Scotland who are members of the GMB Union will be the first group of the NHS to strike, starting a 26-hour strike on the 28th of November. Over 350,000 members of staff in England and Wales have also voted to take part in industrial action over the coming months if wages don’t increase to reflect the cost-of-living crisis and it is estimated that up to 3 million operations in England alone could be postponed due to the impact of strikes on hospitals and patients.

The NHS, and those who work in it, care about patient safety and wouldn’t put patient safety at risk unless absolutely necessary. The government has a duty for the protection of lives, of the NHS, and of the country, to ensure that it doesn’t cost people an arm and a leg to survive.

Comments

comments

52 thoughts on “Bleeding Them Dry: Underpaid NHS Staff Left Suffering and Unable to Provide Care

  1. Hi, I do think this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to return once again since I saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.

  2. I was just seeking this information for some time. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, at last I got it in your website. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that don’t rank this kind of informative web sites in top of the list. Normally the top websites are full of garbage.

  3. Fantastic goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are simply extremely magnificent. I really like what you’ve acquired right here, really like what you’re saying and the way by which you are saying it. You are making it enjoyable and you continue to care for to stay it smart. I can not wait to read far more from you. That is actually a great website.

  4. Another thing I’ve noticed is the fact that for many people, poor credit is the reaction to circumstances past their control. Such as they may have been saddled with illness so that they have more bills for collections. Maybe it’s due to a work loss or the inability to do the job. Sometimes divorce or separation can really send the financial circumstances in the wrong direction. Many thanks for sharing your ideas on this website.

  5. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my
    blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter
    updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe
    you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me
    know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  6. Asking questions are in fact pleasant thing if you are
    not understanding anything entirely, except this post presents pleasant understanding
    even.

  7. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I?ll certainly return.

  8. You really make it appear so easy with your presentation however I
    to find this topic to be really something that
    I think I’d never understand. It sort of feels too complex and extremely vast for me.
    I’m taking a look ahead for your subsequent submit, I’ll attempt to get the
    cling of it!

  9. whoah this weblog is fantastic i really like
    studying your posts. Keep up the great work!
    You realize, many persons are hunting round
    for this information, you can aid them greatly.

  10. Having read this I thought it was extremely informative. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this informative article together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  11. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though
    you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know
    what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting
    videos to your blog when you could be giving us something informative
    to read?

  12. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get got an impatience over that
    you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this hike.

  13. Hey there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and
    say I truly enjoy reading your posts. Can you recommend
    any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects?

    Many thanks!

  14. Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem with your website in internet explorer, would check this? IE still is the market leader and a huge portion of people will miss your magnificent writing because of this problem.

  15. Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to produce a top notch article… but what can I say… I hesitate a whole lot and don’t manage to get nearly anything done.

  16. Your style is really unique in comparison to other people I’ve read stuff from.
    Thank you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess
    I’ll just book mark this web site.

  17. Terrific post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more
    on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you
    could elaborate a little bit further. Bless you!

  18. Somebody necessarily assist to make critically posts I would
    state. This is the first time I frequented your web
    page and so far? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this particular post amazing.
    Excellent process!

  19. My programmer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from
    PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on a variety
    of websites for about a year and am worried about switching to another platform.
    I have heard excellent things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress posts into it?
    Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

  20. Appreciating the commitment you put into your website and detailed information you offer. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed information. Wonderful read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  21. I think that is one of the most vital info for me. And i am happy reading your article.
    But want to commentary on few basic issues, The website style is ideal,
    the articles is in reality excellent : D. Good process, cheers

  22. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us you actually recognize what you’re speaking about!
    Bookmarked. Please also discuss with my website =).
    We may have a hyperlink alternate agreement among us

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

THE STAND