I shared this meme on Facebook recently, (artist unknown) to show support for all nursing and care staff, who are of course the ones on the frontline of the Covid-19 crisis and they all do an amazing, superhuman job.
But the UK media has focused (until just the last few days, anyway) on our sainted National Health Service and the impact the virus has had on the lives of its staff and patients.
We, the Great British Public, were even encouraged, (quite rightly, because they are already paying a terrible price for their dedication), to Clap for the NHS on Thursday nights, but what the tabloids and pundits seemed to have forgotten, until the death toll started to rise, were the non-NHS residential care homes, of which there are something like 12,000 in the UK.
My wife and several friends of mine have given their lives and careers to the care of the vulnerable and at risk all over the world and it has always to amazed and angered me that those who we rely on to provide the most essential services in life, are the ones we reward the least for it.
Not that anybody goes into the care industry to become rich, unless you’re an unscrupulous businessman who owns a home, but even then you have to employ staff who…well, care, for the people whose lives they are entrusted with.
Most of these care homes are understaffed and underfunded, aren’t supported by a gigantic infrastructure or supply chain, and are even less equipped to deal with a global pandemic than the state-run hospitals, many of which are already stretched to breaking point. Also, the residents of these homes can and do attend local hospital clinics and emergency departments, making the risk of cross-contamination that much higher.
Clapping for the NHS is all very nice, I’m sure, but how about we expand that to cover ALL care staff?
Social carers work just as hard as doctors and nurses, but they aren’t all getting free stuff in coffee shops, they aren’t being called heroes by the press and they aren’t being allowed into supermarkets with the elderly and vulnerable like NHS staff, despite being just as at risk of passing the virus on to patients.
Oh, and here’s an idea; after all this is over, as well as paying off the debts of student doctors and nurses, how about rescinding all future visa fees for the tax paying, legally resident immigrant workers who are such a vital part of our NHS and social care industry?
Free citizenship for all.
Or maybe as a reward for their service and unthinking selfl-sacrifice, we should continue to make them jump through inhumane and unjustifiable bureaucratic hoops, how about that?
All these conditionality resident, yet uncomplaining and dedicated foreigners, the ones with different skin tones; the ones with strange accents, unusual customs and clothes, the ones who are keeping our country safe and our loved ones alive, why not continue to charge them all obscene amounts of money just to live here and then charge them EVEN MORE, simply to use a health service they work so hard to support?
They leave their families behind every day, not knowing if they’ll be coming home that night, to make sure you can come home to yours for the rest of your life.
Don’t you think anyone who does that should have the right to call the country for which they do it, “home”?
How about we all do the right thing by the people who are quite literally putting their lives on the line for us every day?
Thank you all for your service.
#COVID19 #socialcare #NHS