This is my interview with a clinical support worker. It’s presented without commentary and just my questions and the answers. I’ll let the words speak for themselves.
Ashley Black: What do you do and what’s your background in the NHS?
John Taggart: Clinical Support working for 6 years, mostly Accident and Emergency
AB: Thank you for speaking to me. My first question is this, what’s the mood in your hospital?
JT: Mood in the hospital is horrible, staff morale is at its lowest I’ve ever seen it, so many staff are off sick due to mental health been affected by the job including myself. Nobody wants to be there anymore. .
AB: Could you give me an example of your working day?
JT: The Days are all over the place due to staffing and sickness but typically, we go in, and staff handover would be given. Staff allocation area is on the board, but due to staff shortages, you could be moved to an area within the Emergency Department to cover or even a ward that has even less staff. Patients are suffering due to lack of staffing, so it is having a knock-on effect.
AB: What’s your biggest concern about the NHS today?
JT: Patient safety and staff welfare is a massive concern; I love my job dealing with patients and helping them in time of need, but it’s only just being met due to the NHS crisis.
AB: What do you think about the strike?
JT: I am 100% behind the strike and fully support my colleagues through this. We have been treated like dirt for far too long. Patients are massively at risk, and my colleague’s welfare is at risk. The cost of living is taking its toll on so many NHS staff members who are no different to anyone else. The Scottish Government need to stop blaming everyone else for their failings with the NHS and do something to fix this mess, or it will just get worse than it already is. Glasgow Airport staff can get 15% why can’t NHS staff?
AB: What are the three main issues facing NHS staff?
JT: Patient Safety, Staffing, Staff welfare and mental health.
AB: It’s 2025, and nothing has changed. How will NHS Scotland look?
JT: The Staff should walk away from this mess. Just keep striking until the Scottish Government and Humza Yousaf listen to us. If we are still in this mess come that time, I’m more than certain many staff would have left by then on to a better job I certainly will as I don’t know how much more I can take.
AB: It’s 2025, and staff have their demands met. How will NHS Scotland look?
JT: Patients will get the attention they deserve and pay for. Staff will stay in jobs and actually enjoy being at work or having to do almost seven days a week just to get by.
AB: What would you say to people that dismiss your concerns by pointing out that it’s worse for NHS staff elsewhere in the UK?
JT: I would say come walk in our shoes. Come and do a full shift and see for yourself how bad it is. I’m sure if Sturgeon and Humza came and did a few 12-hour shifts with us on our ward, they would see the crisis in our NHS.
AB: If you could sum up the mood of the NHS in one word, what would it be and why?
JT: Worthless. The reason I’ve said this is because of all the hard work staff put in, we all feel worthless nobody respects us or what we are trying to do.
Next, Ashley Black speaks to another member of NHS Scotland staff. Do you have any suggestions for who else she could speak to? Send your suggestions to [email protected]