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More than half a year after Boris Johnson was warned of the dangers of Covid-19, nurses still do not have adequate protective equipment.

That’s why they held a protest outside Downing Street yesterday (June 3) – to demand better protection, and higher pay.

The government – as you may have come to expect – isn’t interested.

It isn’t an unreasonable request – especially for black, Asian and minority ethnic staff who have been proven to be more susceptible to the virus.

The campaign group Nurses United wants a 10 per cent pay rise for nurses and enhanced PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic, after a report by Public Health England (PHE) revealed that more than 10,000 nurses, midwives, and nursing associates had contracted COVID-19, and a disproportionate number of BAME NHS staff have died.

The group is now calling for the government to provide FFP3 respirator/filtration masks for all nurses rather than the surgical masks currently recommended for nurses working outside of high-risk areas.

In response, the Tory government has shrugged.

A Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson said the NHS Pay Review Body would make recommendations on the next annual pay increase for nurses from April 2021, and that guidance on PPE had been developed in consultation with the medical royal colleges, based on World Health Organization advice.

That means “no”. The Tories are quite happy to continue putting hard-working medical staff in danger while they try to keep the rest of us alive.

And it doesn’t matter how many nurses die – or walk away in disgust leaving a weakened National Health Service to struggle on.

Source: Nurses take pay and PPE protest to Downing Street | RCNi

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