Not long ago, in the midst of Covid, we stood outside our front door banging pots and clapping for everything we were worth to thank our frontline heroes for risking their lives to save others .
Fast-forward 30 months and an estimated 100,000 nurses swapped the ward for the picket line this week to join their first strike in the NHS’s 74-year history.
After going all out in the pandemic, they clearly feel betrayed and I’m not surprised.
It’s all too easy to forget the importance of their extraordinary abilities until it’s the only thing getting you or a loved one through difficult times.
Only by seeing them in action can you truly appreciate the selfless dedication their work requires.
And unfortunately, I speak from personal experience.
As I write this, my father is in intensive care at St Bart’s Hospital in London after the pacemaker he had implanted more than 20 years ago became infected and made him very ill.
It had to be removed and now his doctors are waiting for the infection to pass before putting in a replacement.
During this ordeal, the nurses on his ward were there 24/7, caring for him, monitoring his progress, and taking the time to do all the little things to help him feel comfortable until he was well enough is to get home.
Of course I hope that will be very soon.
In the meantime, my gratitude to the angels who keep it running is immense.
And I have seen no change in his care this week because St Barts nurses have decided not to take industrial action.
But although staff at different hospitals have taken different decisions about strikes, I’m sure they will all agree that the Government’s 4.3 per cent salary offer is not only offensive but actually damaging to the NHS.
Yes, the nurses’ demand for a 19 percent pay rise is unrealistic.
We know that healthcare is already under massive financial pressure and collapsing under a huge post-Covid backlog.
But the nurses are unlikely to keep up that whopping pay rise.
All they want is someone to listen to them – and treat them with respect.
In Scotland, the government managed to nip the threat of an NHS strike in the bud with a reasonable offer of between 7.5 and 11 per cent.
We’re not dealing with Mick Lynch’s RMT, whose members are already raking in an average of £44,000 a year – 25 per cent more than the average nurse.
This week we’ve seen heartbreaking stories of NHS workers surviving off patients’ leftovers, but I’ve yet to hear of railway workers devouring passengers’ leftover kebabs.
Support for the RMT’s industrial action is already said to be melting away as the public stands behind the nurses.
The fact is that we are ALL feeling the pinch as inflation hovers around the 10 percent mark thanks to the extra fuel costs caused by Putin’s war.
But as inviting as it sounds, not all of us can have a raise that wipes out those extra costs.
That would only fuel worse inflation and force the government to raise taxes, creating a cycle of misery.
The NHS is a special case, however, and Rishi Sunak would do well to acknowledge that.
Not only is it loved, it has practically overtaken Christianity as our national religion.
We’re lucky it’s there, free for everyone at the point of delivery.
But the desperately low morals of the people we rely on to sustain them threaten their very existence.
Disillusioned nurses leave in droves.
Meanwhile, our health foundations spend an estimated £3billion a year on agency staff because they can’t make the job attractive enough to fill the 39,000 NHS care posts.
If the NHS pays nurses better, it should be able to hire more staff, create a happier, more efficient workforce and have a chance to improve those waiting lists.
As I sat by my father’s hospital bed this week, I thought about the old adage that your health is your wealth.
It often takes a crisis before we realize the truth of these words and their implied meaning that wealth without health is nothing.
So remember, Rishi.
Without the richness of the benevolence of the carers, our health care system could soon be nothing.
It’s a brave PM who would risk it.
Ice children tragic
I found it unbearable to read about the children who died after falling into an icy lake near Solihull.
What could be more fun and natural than children wanting to play in the snow when it falls?
At the age of just six, eight, ten and eleven with their whole lives ahead of them, this is truly a tragedy.
My heart goes out to their families.
The victim was so brave
It was so brave of Georgia Harrison to speak out about the hell her ex-boyfriend went through.
The former Towie star was secretly filmed having sex with Stephen Bear, who made money from the tape on adult website OnlyFans.
Bear has been found guilty of disclosing private sex photos and faces jail time.
Speaking about the ordeal on Good Morning Britain, she said how “hurt and humiliated” she felt – which has to be an understatement.
Learning that the man you trusted was using secret and deeply private recordings of you to make money is the ultimate act of betrayal.
And all too often it is the victim of such a crime who is weighed down by shame and regret.
It’s so brave of Georgia to speak up and take action.
I hope he gets a long sentence and it’s a deterrent to others.
Bye spy, Henry
POOR old Henry Cavill, fired before he was even hired.
After being told he would be coming back as Superman and his return being teased in a cameo, they settled on someone younger and his services were no longer needed.
Was he bitter?
No, he insisted, adding: “This message isn’t the easiest, but such is life. . . (Studio bosses) James and Peter have to build a universe. . . I wish them and everyone involved with the new universe the best of luck and happiness.”
What a generous and gracious response.
Fingers crossed he’s now free to do Bond.
90,000 euros is a slap in the face
COULD it really be true that in 2022 a woman at work needs to be slapped on the butt with a ruler?
I honestly had to read the story twice to make sure we weren’t suddenly transported back to the 1980s through a time warp.
The Northern Irish woman received a £90,000 payout following the incident, which took place during a meeting at a cafe.
According to the statement, the woman was told to get up and turn around, only to be hit on the butt with a ruler by one male manager in front of another.
The one who slapped her laughed and said, “I’m sorry, I had to.”
Her employer, if you can believe it, claimed she “dressed and behaved provocatively”.
In other words, it was her fault.
She made him do it, you know?
I’m happy to hear the woman has received a payout – but £90,000 doesn’t seem like enough to me.
She felt so humiliated and embarrassed by the incident that she could not bring herself to tell anyone.
I’m really sorry that she had to go through this experience.
Women shouldn’t have to put up with this backward-looking sexist nonsense.
That’s 2022, for goodness sake.
Margot looks so good in her stylish hoodie
DIDn’t Margot Robbie look stunning on the red carpet at the premiere of her movie Babylon?
The Aussie actress wore this stunning black hooded low-cut dress with an elegant fur-trimmed curtain for the event, which showed off her incredible figure.
She paired it with a single chunky gold bracelet and black triangles painted on her nails.
Luckily the event was held in LA and not London, otherwise she would have frozen off more than just her little feet.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6940235/clapped-doorsteps-nurses-nhs/ Clearly, having given their all in the pandemic, nurses feel betrayed and I’m not surprised