The CSP’s chief executive and other health leaders have published a joint letter taking a stand against the pandemic-related violence and intimidation faced by NHS staff.
The letter, which ran in The Times on Wednesday, was written after a weekend of abuse directed at the RCM’s Gill Walton by anti-vaccination trolls on social media.
The incident was the latest in a growing pattern of intimidation faced by people working in healthcare during the pandemic.
The letter, signed by 10 leaders including the CSP’s Karen Middleton, noted the huge support of the majority of the public while the country tackled Covid.
‘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,’ it said.
This had led many healthcare workers to take precautionary measures such as not wearing uniforms or even badges outside of work and reporting incidents to the police.
‘But today 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,’ the letter continued.
‘We will no longer tolerate the unacceptable behaviours 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 abuse aimed at Ms Walton provoked a strong reaction on social media with many organisations, including the CSP, posting messages of support using the hashtag #IStandWithGill.
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