I had worked in the NHS since 1980, and took voluntary redundancy in March this year.
The reason I felt unable to continue in my beloved job was my anxiety and stress levels were through the roof because cutbacks made it increasingly difficult to do my job to a professional standard acceptable to me and to keep my patients safe. Working in the community with a supposed caseload ‘cap’ of 25, mine and others caseloads crept up regularly to 50 and more.
Patient contact reduced and the amount of paperwork increased. Referrals kept coming in and waiting lists grew.
As a single parent until 2012 mine was the only income with no pay rise for four years. All my utilities increased, along with petrol and food costs. Because I was top of my pay band I got no increments so my wages were literally the same for four years.
The purpose of the strike is to raise awareness of the effect of cuts and no pay rise, on working conditions and morale.
Patient care is not affected during the strike period.
The author will be affected by the plight the nurses find themselves in should they ever need medical attention, nurses are leaving the service in droves and recruitment is down.
This Government instigated the 20 per cent saving to be made in healthcare which gave ME voluntary redundancy, and has led to large numbers of agency staff plugging the gaps at ridiculous cost.
I marched on Parliament in 1982 for a 12.5 per cent pay rise. Is asking for a measly one per cent really too much?