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CHASE FARM PICKET 11.01.23 002

We seem to be living in two different worlds, but only one is real.

In one world, the prime minister tells us again today that there's no crisis in the National Health Service.

In another world (the real one, in which we have the misfortune to live), the Independent's headline reads: "50,000. That's the record number of patients forced to wait 12 hours in A&E each week - a massive jump from 30,000 in just two months."

Also in the real world, NHS employees, after a decade of wages that have fallen far behind rises in the cost of living, are striking. Today it was ambulance drivers, and members of Defend Enfield NHS (DENHS) were supporting them on the picket line outside Chase Farm Hospital - they're among the people on the photograph above. Below is the statement that they issued today.

Proud to support ambulance crews and paramedics

defend enfield nhs logoDefend Enfield NHS members were proud to support the ambulance crews and paramedics at Chase Farm Ambulance Station on their picket line today January 11th.

There is no doubt that there is immense public support for their strike action as illustrated by the hooting of horns from the vast majority of the passing traffic. Despite the erroneous threatening statements put out by the health secretary, ambulances were clearly still on the roads and providing a promised level of support without the need for government legislation. The level of distress being experienced by ambulance crews, paramedics and all our NHS staff, when they cannot carry out their duties of care for patients as well as they would wish, is clear for all to see.

As the ambulance crews maintained, until the pay issue is fixed, the NHS can't be. Staff will not be retained and will continue to drain away until there are enough recruits being paid a proper wage to make working conditions tolerable again. 

The government needs to listen to the workforce.

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