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A Magazine for Sheffield

The NHS was created 73 years ago. Now we need to fight for it.

On 3 July, NHS workers are asking the people of Sheffield to come out in support of a proper pay deal, protection for frontline workers and a health service in public hands.

John cameron k P Ot EG Vd Ef Q unsplash
John Cameron on Unsplash.

73 years ago, we created the world’s first universal health service.

Now, as we battle the most serious pandemic in 100 years, with millions on waiting lists, the NHS is being applauded but starved of real resources. The truth is that the NHS was struggling before the Covid-19 pandemic. Years of government cuts have led to 100,000 vacancies and the number of hospital beds being halved in the last 30 years.

As the NHS celebrates its 73rd anniversary, where is the funding? The staff? The prioritisation of the future of the NHS?

A day of action has been called by Keep Our NHS Public, Health Campaigns Together, NHS Workers Say No and NHS Staff Voices. Join us nationwide to demand patient safety, pay justice and an end to privatisation.

There are over 50 demonstrations happening nationwide. Sheffield Save Our NHS, NHS Workers Say No, healthcare workers and trade unionists have teamed up for the demonstration on 3 July at Barker's Pool, 12-2pm. The protest is risk assessed, socially distanced and masks are essential.

Worker safety is one of the reasons we will be protesting.

  • Over 77,000 NHS hospital workers have caught Covid.
  • 1,500 health and care workers have died.
  • Thousands more are suffering the effects of Long Covid, which will also affect the performance of the NHS in the future.

Even now, despite the increased infectiousness of new variants, workers on Covid wards are still not being provided with the highest levels of PPE. The pandemic has allowed the government to massively increase the role of the private sector within the NHS, with billions of pounds paid out to private companies, many of which have failed to deliver on the provision of PPE and test and trace.

Demands of the demonstration will include:

  • Reject the government’s 1% NHS pay offer – demand a substantial pay rise for all NHS and care staff.
  • Reject the public sector pay freeze – demand a substantial pay rise for all key workers.
  • Ensure the safety of all patients and workers.
  • End privatisation – bring NHS services and other services back into public ownership.
  • Fully fund the NHS and public services.

The fight for our NHS needs the support of everyone. We’re all users of the NHS, and we can see how quickly it’s being privatised and how it’s been deliberately underfunded. We need to reward, recruit and retain staff. Instead the government has recommended an insulting 1% pay rise for NHS workers, broken promises to recruit more staff, axed bursaries and created a hostile environment that deters overseas staff and fuels racism.

Please come and show your support. Get involved in the fight for the future of the NHS.

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