My compulsion to stay working within the NHS is largely driven by guilt.

As a healthcare professional, nothing I have experienced in the last decade under a Conservative government gives me much hope that things are going to improve in urgent and emergency care any time soon, but I can’t bring myself to leave.

For reasons I think I understand in part, the electorate has deigned to give the reigns of power to a politician whose relationship with truth and principle is as flexible as the rejected man’s charisma and judgement isn’t.

I can do little but reflect upon the disappointment, concern and anxiety I feel for my country, my colleagues and my patients. I have no faith in the newly-elected prime minister’s pledges to invest in the NHS or to improve the lives of those most need it.

After a decade of under-investment in healthcare in England and Wales, the damage has been done and – much like the Tory manifesto pledge to replace most of the 21,000 police they drove away, any investment at this point will simply be bandaging over the scars of their own neglect.

The ideologies and values that gave us Austerity, Universal Credit, Windrush, Grenfell and Brexit have been endorsed, albeit reluctantly due to a political Hobson’s choice, by the country. This is who we are now. I must find a way to function under this yoke. If my fears are right, the underprivileged and the infirm will become more numerous and need help more than ever.

Perhaps I am in a position to walk away from the frustrations and inadequacies of healthcare in the UK today, but not everyone has that luxury. Many of my colleagues may be hanging on for their retirement, their health or their homes. And so we all try to hang on to our sanity.

The ever-increasing tide of patients struggling to find the right treatment in a withering healthcare system will not be helped by my departure, much less an exodus of healthcare professionals.

None of the above deserve to be neglected, abandoned or forgotten.

I begrudgingly recognise that I have a professional duty and so I convince myself to stay, in full recognition I’m likely to become burned out and abused by a country that has lost its way and a healthcare system that is doomed, but still needs me.

I watch, powerless, in the vain hope that our newly-emboldened right-wing, pro-brexit, morally dubious government might – against all expectations – give me reason to be positive.


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