Column: Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, reflects on the invaluable recent work by the NHS

By Andrew Gwynne MP for the Tameside Correspondent

FRONTLINE NHS staff and care workers across Tameside are doing an exceptional job of keeping us and our loved ones healthy and safe during these unprecedented times.

Day in, day out and all year round, our health and social care workers go above and beyond, providing care to the most vulnerable in our communities. The coronavirus pandemic has quite rightly drawn attention to their amazing work.

We owe our brilliant NHS staff and care workers a great deal and people in Tameside have gotten creative when it comes to showing their appreciation.

The way Tameside has responded to the clap for carers every Thursday has been nothing short of incredible. Where I live in Denton, there has also been whistling, cheering, car horns beeping, the banging of pots and pans, even fireworks!

The weekly clap is such a simple, yet powerful way we can say thank you and make carers feel appreciated.

In Tameside, hundreds of rainbows have appeared in windows to recognise the work of our care heroes. Tameside Council’s highways team has also been busy, presenting Tameside Hospital staff with special road markings on Fountain Street and Mellor Road in Ashton which read ‘THANK YOU NHS’, each accompanied by a rainbow.

We are all clearly grateful for the sacrifices of NHS staff and care workers but they should not be sacrificing their health nor the health of their families to work on the frontline.

There have been many horror stories of hospitals and care homes not having adequate supplies of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).

PPE is essential to keep our health and social care workers safe and stop the spread of coronavirus. Greater action is needed to ensure PPE supplies are available, no matter if there are problems with their supply or distribution.

The best way we can recognise the efforts of our health and social care workers is by providing them with better pay and working conditions once this crisis is over. It is astounding that many find themselves locked into precarious contracts, paid nothing more than the minimum wage. This is not the way we should be treating our care heroes, now or ever.

Let us work together to demand better for the people who work so hard to provide us with the best.

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