Rachael Maskell MP
Rachael Maskell MP

On Sunday 5 July, the NHS is marking its 72nd anniversary. The creation of the NHS is one of Britain’s proudest achievements, providing universal, free at the point of use healthcare to all those who need it.

For 10 weeks, we thanked our NHS and care staff for their difficult work during the COIVD-19 crisis by clapping for them on Thursday evenings. The last clap took place on 28 May, but NHS and care staff have continued to work tirelessly on the frontlines to combat the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.

To recognise their continued work, as well as the NHS anniversary, we are taking to the streets once again on Sunday 5 July at 5pm to unite in one more clap for carers. NHS and care staff now need more than a clap, it is time that they had a real pay rise too. The MP for York Central has asked the Health Secretary and Chancellor when they will be issuing their remit letters to start the NHS Pay Review Body process and award NHS staff and Care Staff their long overdue pay rise.

As lockdown easing continues, we must all continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This means continuing to socially distance, and 2m is still recommended as the best way to remain safe. Face coverings should also be used on public transport, in enclosed spaces and anywhere where you could potentially put someone else at risk. We must not risk putting out NHS under immense pressure again by allowing COVID-19 to freely spread.

The local lockdown announced for Leicester is a disturbing reminder to us all that COVID-19 is still very much with us and remains as dangerous as when the pandemic first began.

Ms Maskell, MP for York Central, said:

“I am immensely proud of the extraordinary work that NHS and care staff have done so far during this crisis. I have been struck by their professionalism, care and commitment to each and every patient. They have gone beyond their duty to serve us and ensure that the nation is cared for during this difficult time.

“I know, in York, of the sacrifices that have been made in their personal lives, including limiting contact with their own families, to ensure that they are able to care for our loved ones as if they were their own. They deserve all of our respect, admiration and support.

“I want to pay tribute to all NHS and care staff, as well as all those who have followed the rules and stayed safe during lockdown. It is because of them that we have seen a levelling off of COVID-19 cases and deaths in York, but we are not through this crisis yet, so must do everything we can to get through this as soon as possible.

“As we all come together again to clap for our excellent NHS and care staff, I also want our NHS and care staff to receive a pay rise, now long overdue.

“Let’s also commit ourselves to remaining safe as the lockdown is eased in order to ensure that the progress made in limiting the spread of the virus in York is not jeopardised. I strongly urge the people of York to avoid taking any unnecessary risks which could contribute to a second spike of the virus and risk overwhelming our NHS and care services.”

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