NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor has added his voice to a group of health leaders, calling out abuse against healthcare workers. This follows online abuse directed at Royal College of Midwives chief executive Gill Walton after she encouraged pregnant women to get vaccinated against COVID-19. In a letter to The Times, they asked the public to "call out the hate and abuse by this small, aggressive minority". The letter was signed by Gill and Matthew, alongside other leaders including Christina McAnea, of Unison; Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges; Chris Hopson, of NHS Providers; Pat Cullen, of the Royal College of Nursing; and Dr Chaand Nagpaul, of the BMA.
As health and care professionals, we have been moved by the support given to us by the public throughout the pandemic. However, a small but sinister tide has been rising of people who, at best, seek to undermine the important public health advice we give, and, at worst, incite abuse and violence against us. As individuals we have already taken personal action including not wearing uniforms or badges in public and reporting the worst abuse to the police. Today, however, doctors, nurses, midwives, physios, porters, podiatrists, cleaners, indeed the whole NHS workforce, come together to stand against the vitriol to which we have been subjected. We will no longer tolerate the unacceptable behaviour of those who respond aggressively to polite requests to wear masks in our hospitals and GP practices or who stand outside hospitals shouting denials of the pandemic’s existence, and who use their platforms to incite violence against us.
The public’s support has carried us through the most challenging period any of us have ever faced, and we are proud to serve. Today we ask again for their support, to stand with us and call out the hate and abuse by this small, aggressive minority.
Gill Walton, Royal College of Midwives | Christina McAnea, Unison | Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges | Matthew Taylor, NHS Confederation | Chris Hopson, NHS Providers | Pat Cullen, Royal College of Nursing | Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA | Professor Karen Middleton, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy | Edward Morris, Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists | Steve Jamieson, Royal College of Podiatry
Read the letter on The Times website.