The govt has 'eroded' the NHS: Caller with incurable cancer supports nurse strikes '100 per cent'

13 February 2023, 13:09

Caller with incurable cancer supports nurses 'in everything they're doing'

By Phoebe Dampare Osei

This caller says he supports the nurses' industrial action despite the "terminal" nature of his condition.

Mike who has at least "a year" to live called from the foyer of a hospital in Beaconsfield, explaining to David Lammy he was about to have his fifth round of chemotherapy.

He said he still supports the nurses "in everything they're doing".

"I support them 100 per cent because this government has basically eroded the NHS over the last 13 years and, in my opinion, trying to do a sort of backdoor privatisation by stealth", he said.

"In order to do that, they have to sort of crush the spirits of the people who work in the NHS", he added.

The caller also praised the "professionalism", "care" and "compassion" he has seen in the nurses.

David replied: "Mike I cant tell you how grateful i am to you calling in. This is the most sensitive of times for you - waiting for a fifth round of chemo, terminally ill."

David Lammy offers views as nurses from A&E, intensive care and cancer wards could join new strikes

"I count my blessings - in terms of my general health I'm way better than many of the people I see", Mike said. He commented on the heart-breaking sight of "young ladies who've lost their hair and their skin pallor is just, they look like they're 70 years old and they're really really struggling".

Mike added that the nurses were under a lot of pressure: "Those nurses - they make one tiny mistake - that could end up in somebody dying!"

He said he has been surprised by the "emotional investment that they pout into every single patient" and that "they deserve whatever we could possibly give them".

Mike criticised the government for being "happy to waste billions on things like HS2 which is failing as we look at it" and the "corruption that went on around COVID", saying the money spent on HS2 would have been "enough to pay for the NHS for 10 years".

David then asked how he will feel about the nurses' strikes affecting his chemo treatment and was shocked to hear his caller say: "I would go out and join the strikers on the picket line that's how strongly I feel about it".