JULIE ELLIOTT: Government must remember the work of our health services
The last year has been a difficult one for our NHS – the pressure that those who work in our health services have been under has been huge, but they have really shown the best of this country.
In Sunderland we are lucky to have such a strong history in contributing to the work of the NHS through the University of Sunderland, who are busy training our next generation of healthcare workers to ensure this continues in the future.
As one of the best locations in the country to train in the health profession, the University of Sunderland is ensuring that we continue to have the highest quality health services in the future.
This is important because, whilst evidence this week showed the Government struggling to make key decisions at key points during the pandemic, our health workers were out there taking care of our loves ones and keeping us healthy.
They showed the best of this country – and alongside other front-line workers, they kept this country going through one of the most difficult periods of our lifetimes.
It is therefore shocking that the Government proposed a real-terms pay cut for our healthcare workers. By giving them a below inflation pay rise, our healthcare workers will actually receive less money in relation to the cost of living than they did last year.
They deserve better, and that’s why I have been calling for the Government to commit to giving our health and social care workers a proper pay rise.
The vaccine rollout is yet another example of how effective and hard-working our health services are in Sunderland.
They are managing to get to thousands each week, contributing to the hundreds of thousands of people that are getting vaccinated up and down this country.
Alongside an army of volunteers, they are doing an inspirational job ensuring that we are all protected against the virus.
The vaccine is safe, and provides good protection against coronavirus. I would encourage anyone who has been offered it to get an appointment booked in as soon as they can.
I was lucky enough to get a vaccine through the GP led roll out, and I am booked in to get my second dose to boost the protection.
Of course, there still remains a risk, and it is on all of us to go out and enjoy ourselves in the newly reopened pubs and restaurants responsibly, wearing a mask when we can, but we are able to go out because of the work done by our health services. We should remember this – and so should the Government.