Do you agree with our choice for this month’s hero and villain?
Welcome to our section called Heroes and Villains.
Heroes and Villains
Each month, we take a look at who have been the stand-out “goodies” and the “baddies” for nursing and healthcare over the last few weeks.
Let us know if you agree with our choices for December and if you have any suggestions for next month (without being unnecessarily rude, please).
Although not normally associated with positive workforce policy, Uber offered NHS nurses in England free taxi rides to and from work over Christmas. Using an official NHS email address, nurses could register to claim two £10 Uber codes to use when public transport was either closed or limited on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The offer was available to all NHS staff as part of the firm’s initiative to help them spend more time with their loved ones during the festive season. Uber was expecting the demand to be high, as NHS England 2017 figures revealed 350,000 NHS staff went to work on Christmas Day last year.
The importance of the public health agenda appears not to have got through to the minister who is responsible for the brief, namely Steve Brine. Councils have described a £85m cut to public health grants next year as a “deep disappointment” and “incredibly short-sighted”. In a statement last month, public health minister Mr Brine confirmed a reduction in the public health grant from £3.215bn in 2018-19 to £3.134bn in 2019-20. Commentators warned the cut would “further constrain local authorities’ ability to deliver vital public health programmes such as obesity, drug and alcohol, sexual health and children’s services”.