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DAUK’s Dr Louise Hyde in Inews: How to fix the NHS

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Better safety and protection

Frontline doctors want the Government and/or the NHS to provide a physically safer working environment, with more air purifiers in hospitals, better ventilation, and FFP3 masks (which provide the highest level of respiratory protection) across all areas while Covid-19 rates are high in the general population.

Improve health and well-being

The grassroots lobbying organisation Doctors’ Association UK said the NHS should ensure staff have access to food and drink at all times. “If too busy for breaks, get a tea-lady (or man) to go round,” Dr Louise Hyde, a GP with the association, said.

“The NHS could provide emotionally safer workplaces by ensuring shifts had realistic arrangements for handovers and time for debriefing;, by tackling any culture of bullying or toxic HR culture; by ensuring all staff have protected holiday time, time off for weddings and funerals, and are not made responsible for making swaps or finding locums to replace them.

“Ultimately, treat health care workers as the valued, skilled professional workforce that they are, with human needs and lives which cannot be sacrificed indefinitely for their job.”

Visas for elderly relatives of overseas-born NHS staff

Over the last 12 months has highlighted numerous cases of NHS staff – born overseas and now British citizens – forced to choose between their job and returning to their country of birth to look after ailing parents, as tighter immigrations rules reduced the chance of obtaining an adult dependent relative (ADR) visa to almost zero.

It is a ripple effect of th “hostile environment” policy introduced when Theresa May was Home Secretary.

With about 170,000 non-British NHS staff, the restrictive immigration rules are disproportionately affecting healthcare workers. The British Medical Association, along with other organisations such as the BAPIO (the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin) and APPNE (Association of Pakistani Physicians of Northern Europe), have campaigned for rules on ADR to be relaxed.

Just 70 ADR visas were issued by the Home Office last year – in contrast 2,325 ADR visas granted between April 2010 and March 2011.

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