‘People are leaving because they can’t afford to stay working in the NHS because it’s not worth the stress.’
These are the words of a physiotherapist striking outside Southampton General Hospital today.
NHS workers brandished placards reading ‘look after us so we can look after you’, and ‘broken and broke’.
The physios say they have “had enough”, are being pushed to their limits, and are not receiving the pay they feel they deserve.
The strikes, in Tremona Road, were organised by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, which says staff are under “extraordinary pressure”.
Around 50 NHS staff braved the cold in Southampton, however, around 4,500 members of the CSP took part in events at 33 other trusts across England the same day.
Amy Marshall, who has worked at the hospital for seven years, said she has “no other choice but to strike”.
The stroke physio said: “It’s got to that point where we don’t see that there’s another option, we need the government to listen to us. “We are understaffed, it’s an issue for our patients and their safety, we need more staff, we need better working conditions to care for our patients properly.”
Hayley Payne, a respiratory physio based at UHS for the last three and a half years, said: “We are just as frustrated as the general public.
“We are so passionate about our jobs and love doing what we do, but without proper funding and resources, we can’t give 100 per cent.
“Staff morale is at an all-time low. There’s only so long we can go on like this, people are just exhausted and that’s why a lot of people have left”.
Fellow physio, Aimee Alterra, 34 said: “People are leaving because they can’t afford to stay working in the NHS because it’s not worth the stress.
“We want it to continue to be worth the stress because ultimately, we love our job.
“So fair pay is what we need.”
The NHS workers warned that this would not be the last time they strike, but hope their actions have triggered Government discussions.
Their protests were also in support of other health professionals and members of the NHS.
The UK faces further industrial actions later this month with paramedics, teachers and nurses set to walk out during similar events.
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