Have your say..

Welcome to our regular column where a local resident has their
say about something on their mind. This month a nurse from Lewisham
Hospital starts a discussion about Personal Protective Equipment, the lack of it and the importance of testing of all frontline workers
and much more besides
“We were all so moved last Thursday when the clapping and cheering started at 8pm. We were seriously moved and we all felt so appreciated, you cannot under estimate the importance of such solidarity.
But that appreciation fades when on the wards and we’re faced with patients who we so much care for but we’re expected to look after with just the barest of personal protective equipment. Going from patient to patient so badly protected is distressing for all concerned.
Similarly, the lack of testing of NHS staff, many of us find it unfathomable, we’re all asking ourselves and each other, why countries such as Germany are so on top of this and the UK is so behind? We have some of the
world’s best scientists, laboratories and manufacturers and here we are a bio-hazard in our own workplace!
And then there’s the situation in care homes for the elderly and disabled. This is causing us all much concern and stress. The trouble is public health and social care have been so badly hit by cuts over the past decade it is, perhaps, hardly surprising that we now face this crisis feeling like we’re working with both hands tied behind our backs.
Yes, we have to pull together, heed all the good advice, show our love and compassion, our appreciation but above all else it requires the right personal protective equipment and for NHS and care workers to be tested.
I have always been aware that a hospital, a health care system, locally, regionally and nationally, requires and depends on the work of so many different people, everyone of them doing their important job, part of a big
essential patchwork, all interdependent. Look how all of a sudden we appreciate the job of the supermarket shelf stacker, the bin men, the delivery drivers. The people on zero hour contracts, the low paid, the people that keep society going in times of crisis. We’re now short of fruit
and veg pickers, forever we’ve depended on migrant workers to do this back breaking work and without them there will no fresh fruit and veg to keep us fit and healthy. Yet, all too often they’re scapegoated and blamed for the shortage of houses, jobs, rise in crime and so.
If there’s one thing we can take from this crisis it is that we have to collectively reprioritise things, shake up the pieces and put them back together in a different order.