Immediate actions are required by the Government.
- Lift financial restrictions on hospitals, paramedics and GPs. This must include removing the ridiculous 5% savings and the suggestion of absolute cash limits. Financial restrictions imposed during this crisis will end up costing more lives and more money long term. Invest in our Health Service. It pays us back with health and wealth.
- Approve emergency funding of £20 billion to save lives
- Ensure maternity services have all the funds required to meet Ockendon’s recommendations.
- Thank the staff who have worked through such tough times.
- Discuss with frontline medical, nursing, midwifery, and ancillary staff about what they think would make an immediate difference. Find ways of making this consultation routine. Implement the most constructive suggestions. Put a full stop to bullying and silencing staff.
- Tell Hospital management to forget the Internal Market, the ICS system and other wasteful bureaucracy. Put more time and effort into patient safety and staff retention, especially personalising shift patterns.
- Pay patient-facing staff a premium rate pending full pay negotiations.
- Put in as much non-medical support (cleaners, catering and care staff) as possible both for staff and patients so there is someone to keep anxious patients safe in A+E and anywhere else where this would help.
- Provide excellent canteens so staff can eat well at work and, if tired, pick up a meal to take home.
- Pay childcare when staff are willing to work extra shifts.
- Recruit retired or qualified staff who have left, for regular short hours working.
- Pay, as if at work, staff who have left to retrain.
- Fund GP services and walk-in centres to provide more services to take pressure off A&E. Make sure these services can link directly by phone or video to expert advisors when necessary.
- Consult with patients and their families about how their immediate experience could have been improved.
- Introduce more Covid protections including encouraging mask use, improving mechanical ventilation in hospitals and schools, make use of public buildings to reduce class sizes. Provide excellent quality school meals.
- Reinstate free Covid tests, nationalise testing & fund local public health.
- Improve staff PPE.
- Take over private facilities required to improve NHS services.
- Nationalise care homes with existing staff protected. Make use of any suitable buildings to increase the provision.
- Pay home visit carers a decent wage and try to win back experienced and qualified staff who have left.
- Encourage migrant staff by lifting the NHS premiums.
- Work to recognise overseas training, or provide additional training for migrants already qualified in medical skills to meet NHS standards.
- Pay informal carers twice the current rate.
- Provide more adaptations for disabled people currently living at home.
- Tackle shortages of medicines such as HRT.
- Bring private contracts/outsourcing back in house.
- Fully fund & expand ambulance services, lift financial restrictions.
- Engage in proper pay negotiations with all NHS staff.
- Protect the NHS as a universal, comprehensive, publicly funded and run, health service.
Immediate actions are required to support the NHS through the April/May 2022 Crisis. We hear both through personal experience and through reports of the difficulties the NHS is facing. The situation must change.
These are some essential short term fixes. We need also to reverse the policies from the 2012 Act, ditch the Health and Care Bill, have a proper plan for the workforce and remove privatisation, the internal market and rationing of care.
Campaigns like ours will continue to fight for the NHS, including making it clear to Conservative MPs that the Health and Care Bill still being discussed in Parliament is utterly unacceptable. Detailed descriptions of the Health and care Bill and other privatisation issues have been covered in other blog posts. This is what needs to be done immediately. If you agree with us please send this to your MP and to your councillors. If you have suggestions as health or social care workers, patients or campaigners please let us know.