UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

UK Nurses - From Showcase to Exploitation

The dynamic and progressive celebration of British social history that was the Olympics Opening Ceremony included a powerful reminder to the world that this country still really values the NHS and its universal service - personified in all our minds by the nurses who care for us. Whilst Polly Toynbee writing in the Guardian strikes the right note about the celebration, we all still recognised a source of our pride. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/30/danny-boyle-olympics-ceremony-partial-history  It means we are not America with its profit driven health care system brilliantly exposed by Michael Moore in Sicko.

But days later the utter disrespect that the Tories have for nurses is revealed in the same newspaper:

The Mid Yorkshire Hospital Trust has been asking Nurses to carry out cleaning duties on wards because of a shortage of cleaners despite the obvious consequence of taking them away from patient care.

Polly Toynbee records the loss of over 4,000 nursing jobs this year. Presumably the undertakings not to make cuts on front line services are not even worth a mention these days. No one believed it then, no one believes it now.

One of the best jobs in the world in a service that is still a source of great pride, is now a nightmare of covering for lost jobs, coping with cuts whilst still trying to put patients first.