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UK News

Christian Medical Fellowship says ‘we need to pray’ for NHS nurses as they turn to foodbanks for help

by Alex Collett

Nurses are said to be skipping meals to feed and clothe their children and are turning to foodbanks for help.

It's while other NHS staff are struggling to afford the journey to work because of the rising cost of living.

Steve Fouch from Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) told Premier it is a serious situation: “It's been an ongoing issue for some time. But I think the current energy and inflation crisis has made it worse than it's been, I think, ever before.

“The pay of nurses and midwives is now at a level really, where people are questioning whether the hours that they're working and the demands being put on them, are worth it when they could actually go into other sectors and work more sane hours, with less pressure and responsibility and more pay.

“This is at a time when the pressures on the health service are critical, and the financial pressures that they're facing as individuals are escalating as they are for all of us.

“So they're asking the same questions that everybody is at the moment, can I afford to put my heating on? Can I afford fuel for my car? Can I afford to drive to work? Or am I going to have to take and find another cheaper way of getting there?”

Mr Fouch said these are big questions that are looming in people’s minds and shared the worrying statistic that the NHS still has 40,000 nurse vacancies unfilled at any one time, over most wards.

He warned that most units are running below safe capacity, or certainly a low below their ideal staffing capacity, in some cases, almost below safety.

Mr Fouch said we need to pray for our NHS nurses at this time: “We need to be praying for their health, their mental health, as well as physical health.

“That they are able to stay well, through all of this. I think we need to be looking at ways in which we can support and put our arms around people, particularly within our own congregations.,

“Also in the wider community, how can we just be saying thank you, and encouraging and supporting and providing practical help and support where we can to people who are struggling, it's going to be about us, the church, getting alongside people and praying alongside them.”

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