Frontline matters: how ‘Clap for Carers’ speaks to the heart of our NHS

6 MINS

“Let’s look after what we have, respect what we’ve got and see the value that exists in the NHS. I’d love that respect to carry on, long after this crisis is over.”

Over the last week, our blog ‘Frontline matters’, with Senior Consultant Andrew Lovegrove, has been taking a deep dive into the things we’re learning about our NHS workforce, and what the crisis is impacting upon in the lives of our frontline staff.

Quite often, when we have one common enemy, we can find ourselves coming together to fight it, and this is true for Covid-19. A revived sense of pride, care and understanding from the public of what our NHS workforce do, combined with incredible stories of staff going above and beyond to saves lives and battle the virus, means we’re looking at the whole service differently.

With the undeniable important coverage of ‘Our Health Heroes’ a mainstay on our TV’s, the way in which we’re thinking about frontline staff and key workers has changed dramatically, but what can we learn from this, and what will we take away in years to come once the crisis is over?

“It’s incredibly important that this shift in how the public view key workers and the NHS is maintained. We’ve all become more appreciative of the health service over the last few weeks, thinking of the Thursday evening Clap for Carers event for example. We need to think about how we build on that and ensure that it transfers through to how people use the service more sparingly, only when they really need to.

The NHS is not a charity, it’s paid for and it’s there when we need it. We need to continue this amazing respect for our healthcare workforce. I love that we have the privilege of turning up to A&E when we need it, and don’t have to worry about upfront payment for critical care.

The cost of abusing the NHS is incredibly draining. This crisis has highlighted just how close to capacity the NHS operates at both in terms of physical space, resources, but also the workforce. How quickly we needed people to come back out of retirement, because we just don’t have the slack in the system to cope with sudden increases in demand.

This awful thing that has happened has made us realise that something must be done to stop the whole thing come crashing down around us. I do hope that we value these services more in the future, off the back of this terrible situation.

We want these services to continue, but to do that we have to recognise we have to pay for them. The notion of the health and social care workforce being ‘low-skilled’ almost implies they’re not a priority, but this has clearly demonstrated how important and valued these people are to society.”

Skills for Health, the Sector Skills Council for Health, are advocates for the NHS and healthcare workforce. For five years we’ve been showing our gratitude with the national Our Health Heroes awards, a campaign tailored to recognise the thousands of support staff who make the NHS what it is. With our knowledge and experience of working within the NHS, we understand the challenges the workforce face, and Our Health Heroes is a fantastic way to ensure support is unwavering.

Show your support of Our Health Heroes and get in touch with us to find out how you can help.

Andrew Lovegrove

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