Pandemic is a stark reminder of NHS underfunding - YEP letters

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It was fantastic to see so many people out clapping for the NHS last week.

by Gilda Peterson, Leeds Keep Our NHS Public

It is important to express our appreciation and show hard pressed and anxious staff that we are fully behind them. But they also need to know that we recognise that they are facing up to coronavirus with one hand tied behind them because of 10 years of drastic underfunding, which is making their jobs even more difficult.

The NHS had less than half the EU average per head of population both of critical care beds and doctors as well as over 100,000 staff vacancies and no safe margin of spare beds - long before Covid 19 hit us all.

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The pandemic has shown how underfunded the NHS is.The pandemic has shown how underfunded the NHS is.
The pandemic has shown how underfunded the NHS is. | jpimedia

The pandemic is a stark reminder of what really matters to us, our families and friends which is being able to access free, fair health and social care when we need it.

Caring for each and everyone of us, regardless of wealth or status is what counts when the chips are down.

Ten years of cuts and fragmentation have put staff in harm’s way.

To truly stand by our wonderful NHS and social care staff at this time of national crisis we must insist that they have all the personal protective equipment they need NOW, immediate access to testing and sufficient ventilators to prevent them having to make nightmare decisions.

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When all this is over we need to honour their sacrifices by ensuring that we rebuild a public not private, national not fragmented, fully funded and resourced national health service and develop social care services along similar lines.

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