Press release on behalf of Keep Our NHS Public – for immediate use, 23 March 2020
Our petition on Coronavirus started by NHS staff reaches nearly 50,000 signatures in only 4 days
A Change.org petition headed-up by national NHS campaigning organisation Keep Our NHS Public has already reached almost 50,000 signatures after going live on Wednesday night.
The petition which is led by around 20 NHS workers across a range of areas, calls on the government to act now over the pandemic with a list of six key demands. These demands include access to testing and personal protective equipment for all staff, adequate sick pay for NHS support workers, and an end to legislation enforcing eligibility checks and charging in the NHS to enable all to access it without fear.
Dr John Puntis, Paediatrician and Co-Chair of Keep Our NHS Public says:
“Politicians have done too little too late – precious time has been lost and deaths will occur that were preventable. The British public should be angry, not least because after ten years of austerity the NHS is ill-prepared to deal with a pandemic. Health workers, the disabled, those on low pay or with no jobs are not being adequately supported. This petition is a wakeup call to those in power – we are all at risk. As a doctor who has worked in the health service for 42 years, I urge everyone to sign this petition and make it impossible for politicians to ignore our outrage.”
Dr Mona Kamal, Consultant Psychiatrist, who is named on the petition and a member of Keep Our NHS Public says:
“We are now facing the most serious public health crisis since the creation of the NHS and it has come at a moment when our health service is arguably at its weakest. We are ten years into a deliberate ideological campaign by consecutive Conservative governments to defund and degrade the NHS through austerity cuts, through attacks on NHS staff and students and through private sector takeovers of certain lucrative services. NHS campaigners have been sounding the alarm for a long time and we are now frankly terrified that the Covid-19 crisis will finally lay bare the impact of the ten years of austerity and it will be our patients and staff that pay the price.”
Clearly this petition, backed by a range of NHS workers, has struck a chord with the public who know that listening to them during this crisis is what matters most.
Spokespeople are available for broadcast interview. Contact Samantha Wathen, Press Officer for Keep Our NHS Public on [email protected] or call 07776047472
Notes to editors