The first event organised by Brent Keep Our NHS Public saw a cross party and non-party group, along with Brent Trades Council, demonstrate outside the Willesden Centre for Health and Care today.
The event coincided with the 73rd anniversary of the NHS and centred on defending it from privatisation, including the US takeover of some Brent GP surgeries and the potential selling of patient data, and support for the NHS15 campaign for a 15% rise for health workers who have lost 20% of their pay in real terms over the last 10 years.
Apart from fairness to the staff the pay rise is also necessary for the effective running of the NHS , with 100,000 vacancies and 36% of nurses thinking of leaving already impacting on the quality of care. A significant increase such as 15% would help maintain staff numbers and improve recruitment, leading to a reduction in waiting times for patients and better care all round.
Our NHS as a 'public good' is being undermined in a variety of ways but immediate action on pay would make a considerable difference in the short and longer term.
Clapping is not enough.