As a retired care worker who is a carer for a disabled partner I have the utmost respect for NHS workers who have seen first-hand the effect the pandemic has had on patients, staff, and services.

The NHS was already underfunded, but now it is at breaking point. An urgent injection of funds is vital to save our health service..

The NHS is feeling the pressure of the 100,000 vacancies, which means that our health service is understaffed with health workers often having to do the job of more than one person.

Staff are leaving because they have had enough and there is little incentive to stay or join the NHS.

The safety of patients and conditions for staff have been getting worse even prior to the pandemic - and it has been happening for over 10 years. NHS staff have seen their pay eroded while responsibilities and skills have increased and lots of staff are struggling to make ends meet.

NHS workers are paying for this crisis with their mental and physical health and in their pay packets. Patients are suffering as a direct consequence. It’s vital that we support NHS workers fighting to save our health service. Major health unions and over 40 organisations are calling on this government to act, to improve the health service, and to safeguard it for future generations. They are calling on the government to:- Approve emergency funding of £20 billion to save lives this winter, invest in a fully publicly owned NHS and guarantee free healthcare for future generations and pay staff properly: without fair pay, staffing shortages will cost lives.

I urge readers to support the SOS NHS Emergency Funding petition c/o

Joan Pritchard-Jones