This is nothing to do with arthritis really but the wider topic of those wonderful people who look after us. Following a report on the news a couple of weeks ago I have been doing some digging and stirring. I sent the following to my MP initially on 24th June:
I was appalled to hear on the news yesterday morning that not only does Helen Whately - the so-called Care Minister - have a derogatory view of Student Nurses who have gone into hospitals to help with the pandemic but they also have to pay for their training and run up tremendous debts in the process.
WHY DO NURSES HAVE TO PAY FOR THEIR TRAINING WHEN ALL OTHER MEMBERS OF THE EMERGENCY SERVICES NOT ONLY RECEIVE FREE TRAINING BUT ALSO RECEIVE A SALARY WHILST TRAINING.
A quick bit of Googling reveals the following:
Trainee Police average basic starting salary of £24,177, depending on their force
Trainee Fire £22,459
Trainee Soldier £15,671
Apprentice Ambulance Technician £17,598
Once qualified nurses earn £23,000 a year but have debts around £60,000 to re-pay which can seriously affect their futures.
From the above it would appear that the Government holds Ambulance Technicians in higher regard than nurses!
I seriously consider that nurses should be brought in line with the other emergency services by not only not charging them for their courses but to pay them a salary whilst doing so. Given the huge public increase in recognising the importance and value of professional, committed nurses putting their lives on the line during the current pandemic I consider that this would welcomed by the whole population and be a historic step for the Government. This would also encourage hundreds, if not thousands, of people who would wish to become nurses but have been put off by the financial implications of doing so.
I had this reply today:
I’ve not forgotten your enquiry re nurses training costs compared to others in frontline service. I’m looking for ways to bring this greater attention.
Can I say I am of the view that we can keep Covid-19 at bay but I do fully accept your nervousness and caution. Can you please make contact if you find you can not get what you need. In a crisis people will make things happen but as things settle we soon move on.
Derek Thomas MP
For West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (St Ives)
Since sending the email to the MP I have also contacted the BBC and ITV with the request that they take it up but have heard nothing. I also sent it to the Nurses Union suggesting that they start a campaign to negate training costs for nurses as there would be a lot of public support at the moment but again I have had no response.