Today, legendary Captain Tom Moore opened – virtually – the new nightingale hospital in my hometown of Harrogate. By walking, very slowly, 100 times around his garden, Captain Tom has raised £27m for the NHS. Just when we needed a fillip, here it came.
But Captain Tom shouldn’t have had to do this. These last ten years, the NHS has been systematically and deliberately decimated. Staff shortages and A & E waiting times are at an all-time high, whilst thousands of medics quit the scuttled ship. The donations are so numerous that I can’t help but speculate whether people who voted for the ruination of the NHS are those who felt compelled to donate the most. Buyer’s remorse, perhaps.
Who can forget when Tory MPs cheered as they voted down a pay-rise for nurses in 2017. Of course, true to form, Harrogate’s MP voted against that motion.
Whilst PPE shortages beggar belief, I can do no better than to quote Councillor Pat Marsh:
“Just as Captain Tom would not have been sent to the frontline without at least a helmet and a gun, then our frontline staff have to be given the right tools in their fight against coronavirus.”