A growing number of hospitals in the UK are having to set up foodbanks for NHS staff in need amid the rising cost of living crisis.
With inflation having now risen to the 40-year UK high of 9%, and costs continuing to increase across a broad range of areas including food, fuel, and energy bills, it has now been exclusively revealed by The Independent that six NHS trusts in England have has to set up food banks for staff struggling to afford the basics.
Others have chosen to launch food voucher schemes or emergency “hardship” loans, and some have increased the payments made to workers to help cover their travel costs.
A number other hospitals have also confirmed that they are considering making similar moves.
According to the Cavell Nurses’ Trust – an organisation supporting nurses, midwives, and health assistants in financial difficulties – there has been 140% rise in the number of people seeking help in the first four months of 2022, compared with the same period in 2021.
Professor Alison Leary – chair of healthcare and workforce modelling at London South Bank University – also told The Independent they have been several NHS organisations who are “very concerned” about the impact of the cost of living on their staff.
“Some are looking at starting food exchanges or food banks, and others are looking at other ways to help, for example with the costs of transport,” she added.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) also echoed the concerns of many health leaders, saying that rising costs have had it seeing staff “struggling to feed their family.”
Graham Revie – chair of the Royal College of Nursing’s Trade Union Committee – explained that many staff are being left out of pocked and also stressed that “thousands” of nurses are leaving the profession 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.
Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT), Norfolk Community Health and Care, West Hertfordshire, Dartford and Gravesham have so far needed to introduce some of these services to help staff in need, with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals having already set up a staff food bank in 2020, and University Hospitals Birmingham also having had one for a number of years.
Addressing the situation and the findings in The Independent’s report, a government spokesperson said: “We are incredibly grateful to all our NHS staff and we recognise the pressures caused by the rising cost of living.
“We are taking action worth over £22 billion in 2022-23 to help households with the costs of energy and to ensure people keep more of their money.
“This includes by cutting fuel duty, raising the threshold at which people start to pay National Insurance and cutting taxes, for the lowest-paid workers on Universal Credit so they can keep more of what they earn.”
Featured Image – The Trussell Trust
Manchester United issue response after banning Manchester Evening News and select journalists from press conference
The Manchester Evening News (MEN) along with a number of sports journalists have reportedly been banned from attending a Manchester United press conference after publishing a story on an apparent rift at the club, claiming that manager Erik ten Hag has ‘lost the dressing room’.
Citing the reason behind the ban as being due to Chief Man United Writer and well-known sports reporter, Samuel Luckhurst’s recent story, which claimed that ten Hag is “losing the confidence” of his players, he and at least three other journalists won’t be in attendance after Sky Sports went so far as to suggest as much as “50%” of the dressing room.
It is thought that Sky‘s chief reporter Kaveh Solekhol, David McDonnell of The Mirror and ESPN‘s Rob Dawson are among the other individuals to have been barred from joining this afternoon’s presser as per instruction from United‘s Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs, Andrew Ward.
Issuing a statement to The Manc and journalists across the country, the club said: “We’re taking action against a number of news organisations today, not for publishing stories we don’t like, but for doing so without contacting us first to give us the opportunity to comment, challenge or contextualise.
“We believe this is an important principle to defend and we hope it can lead to a re-set in the way we work together.” It is unclear how long the suspension is set to be upheld but it is likely they will only serve a one-match ban — pardon the pun.
The MEN reiterated that the initial story was “multiply-sourced”, adding that they had not been banned as a result of previous stories that were largely seen as critical of the Man United head coach and/or his squad, including prior claims players were starting to “doubt” his tactics and managerial style.
Furthermore, the outlet goes on to state that several other journalists have claimed they were prevented from asking questions in press conferences by Ward in the past “over perceived negative coverage”, adding that the club have expressed their “regret” over having to issue the ban. The move has been welcomed by many fans, with several saying it is reminiscent of Sir Alex Ferguson’s hardline approach to the media.
Man United have made one of their worst starts to a campaign in decades and, despite winning their first trophy in six years under the Dutchman with an EFL Cup win last season, have unfortunately been breaking all manner of unwanted records of late.
ten Hag’s team suffered another disappointing loss against Newcastle at the end of November and now face another tricky task as they prepare to face a Chelsea side who are starting to gather some semblance of form.
Countless Reds and neutrals alike will no doubt now be tuning in for his pre-match press conference at 1:30pm ahead of the mid-week Premier League fixture against the West Londoners on Wednesday night (8:15pm kick-off).
The former Ajax manager has made no secret of the troubles he faced when he first arrived at Old Trafford but is clearly keen to avoid others from airing any of their rumoured dirty laundry.
Featured Images — The Manc Group/Manchester United
Adult film star and LGBTQ+ icon Sophie Anderson dies aged 36
Adult film star and much-loved LGBTQ+ icon Sophie Anderson has sadly died aged just 36, as confirmed by colleague, influencer and friend Rebecca More.
The recognisable UK porn star and internet personality, best known for being one-half of the viral online duo ‘C*ck Destroyers’ alongside More, was announced dead on Tuesday, 5 December following reports from numerous media outlets before being confirmed by her former co-star.
Sharing the news on social media, Rebecca wrote: “I’m devastated hearing the awful news of Sophie’s passing. We shared some amazing times together and that’s how I’m going to remember her.
She signed off by adding, “This is so tragic but I know you are now at peace. I will always, always love you and hold a special place in my heart”.
Her heartfelt sentiment was echoed online as countless people on social media have paid tribute to the viral sensation who was an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community and all things queer culture, as well as sex positivity in general.
As mentioned, it was only on 17 November that her ex-partner Spedding himself passed away, but the former footballer was also disturbingly found to be the one behind previous claims she had died that turned out to be a hoax earlier this year.
Regardless, the news unfortunately appears to be genuine this time and it’s clear from the reaction online how saddened so many people from all walks of life are to learn of her passing.