Saturday, 11 September 2010
STRIKE A SPARK
Nurses in the NHS work hard in difficult circumstances and are thus highly regarded by the majority of the country. They suffer verbal hostility and abuse on a regular basis and violence is a common occurrence, particularly in A&E and mental health departments. Despite the NHS staff remain dedicated to those who require care.
It is somewhat of a surprise then that this commitment and dedication doesn’t cross over into the political arena.
For many years the refusal of nursing staff to take any proactive actions to prevent damage to services and care has been justified by the simple doctrine of ‘If we strike people will suffer’. A doctrine actively encouraged by management and successive Governments.
So it appears that whilst nurses refuse to take any action which will immediately impact on patient care, they remain complicit in the deterioration of the same care over a number of years by neglecting to defend it.
The NHS has been slipping into the private market place for many years now. Almost all non-frontline services are now run by private businesses eg cleaning, food and repair services. All this has happened without so much as a whimper of concern from staff or unions. The formation of Foundation Trusts and giving GP’s the responsibly to but services in, will only serve to speed up the privatisation process.
If nurses were to go on strike how long would it be before the Government were forced to make concessions? It wouldn’t be possible to bring the Army in as they have done when Fire services have walked out, and there is certainly not enough scab labour to fill the role. Nurses therefore are in a very unique position to halt this privatisation.
The time has long passed for the signing of petitions or looking for unions for support. Lose your short sighted idealistic vision of how to care and get on strike before the NHS doesn’t exist.