Hospitals in UK setting up food banks and offering food vouchers for staff those not able to afford costs
LONDON May 24: Six NHS trusts have been forced to either set up food banks or food voucher programmes to help their staff cope with skyrocketing costs, Metro News reported. Reports say that many healthcare workers cannot afford rent, fuel or food, while thousands are considering leaving the profession over the lack of significant pay rises. Professor Alison Leary, chair of healthcare and workforce modelling at London South Bank University, told The Independent that he has been approached by several NHS organisations who are ‘very concerned’ about the impact of the cost of living. Some are looking into starting food exchanges or food banks, and others are looking at other ways to help, for example with the costs of transport,’ he said. According to reports, so far, Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust, Norfolk Community Health and Care, West Hertfordshire, Dartford and Gravesham have introduced such services. Meanwhile, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals launched a staff food bank two years ago, and University Hospitals Birmingham has had one for a number of years. Graham Revie, chair of the Royal College of Nursing’s Trade Union Committee, also said workers are being left out of pocket by rising fuel prices, and some are ‘struggling to feed their families’. He also stressed that ‘thousands’ of nurses are leaving every year, citing pay among the key reasons for doing so. ‘This is an outrageous state of affairs, and a big admission that the NHS knows how its workers are struggling while the government denies them fair pay,’ Mr Revie added.