UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis branded Donald Trump a “vicious bigot” yesterday, vowing that health workers would lead protests if the US president ever visits Britain.
Mr Prentis told Unison’s annual health conference in Brighton that it was “heartening” to see opposition to Mr Trump’s “sexism and racism” and “great” that a visit had been postponed.
Mr Prentis said: “We know the real reason that vicious bigot abandoned his plans: he would have faced us at the airport and on the streets.
“Let me promise you this: If he ever visits this country, bringing his ignorance, malice, spite and hatred, be in no doubt, we won’t just be on the protests, we will be leading them.”
He highlighted the need to fight for the values of the NHS, saying that Britain’s health system is “a beacon to the world and the envy of the world.”
He said: “But we see a lack of resources, growing waiting lists, reorganisation after reorganisation, staff continually being asked to do more with less, privatisation on the rise and more stress on the NHS’s most valuable resource: its employees.”
Mr Prentis highlighted the achievements of the service in the past — and the contributions made by the Windrush generation, who were now being abandoned.
He said: “Keep up the great work and keep up the fight for the values of our NHS.”
Figures released by Unison show that physical assaults on NHS England staff rose by nearly 10 per cent last year. The data collected suggested that struggling NHS trusts were likely to report increased assaults.
Unison head of health Sara Gorton said that staff shortages are harming patient care and helping to “create a hostile environment” in which health workers are increasingly at risk of being assaulted.
“This desperate situation is only set to worsen as the squeeze on resources gets tighter.
“Safety of staff, who care for us when we are sick or injured, and their patients should be paramount.”
The government should reverse its “ill-thought out decision to axe NHS Protect” immediately, she said.
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