For All Our sakes, Listen!
Doctors for the NHS, which has been campaigning to protect the founding values of the NHS for many years, is appealing to the government to listen to nurses and other healthcare professionals and hear what is painfully obvious: that the NHS is near to collapse and those who work in it are exhausted and increasingly having to choose between the career they love and the need to make ends meet.
DFNHS Chair, retired Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon Mr Colin Hutchinson, said:
‘We deplore successive government’s mishandling of the NHS, which has left our nursing colleagues feeling they have little choice but to strike while ensuring emergency care is not thereby at risk. We encourage the Government to take this opportunity, even at this late stage, to reach out to the nurses and other health professions, to address the many factors that drain the enjoyment from what should be a highly rewarding profession, to the point that many have simply left and others now feel desperate both for their colleagues and for their patients. Notably years of successive underfunding, under-staffing and an absence of any effective workforce plan.
‘We don’t condemn nurses for considering strike action though we are mindful that this could rapidly erode then jeopardise the substantial public support they command. We do strongly condemn those who have driven them to this point and who hold the key to restoring their professional pride and self-respect, but refuse to take those actions: the government. We lay the blame for this squarely at the government’s feet.’
Doctors for the NHS (DFNHS) was formed in March 2015 by the NHS Consultants’ Association (NHSCA) re-naming itself and asking GPs and medical trainees to join. NHSCA was formed in 1976 and was the oldest continual health-campaigning group with DFNHS’s aims. DFNHS remains the only health-campaign group which admits only qualified doctors. DFNHS has just over 600 members nationwide, most of whom are senior Consultants or retired senior Consultants. Its membership represents many years of experience in the NHS, often at the highest clinical levels. It has the explicit aim of countering marketisation of the NHS by gathering the already impressive evidence; pointing to the ill effects of commercialisation and systematic under-funding on NHS services and founding principles; and campaigning widely to stop then repair the damage before it is too late and cannot be reversed. DFNHS has no partisan political affiliation but often works with other groups and health campaigns to further the crucial message that the NHS should be a publicly funded, publicly accountable and comprehensive service free at point of delivery which cannot be controlled, managed or run by private companies.
DFNHS’s press contact is Alan Taman:
07870 757 309