IT’S a tough call to weaken and discredit such a well-established well-loved organisation as the NHS, but Mr Sunak’s government is working hard to achieve this. First, they have to de-fund it (this has been going on for a decade at least) then they have to publish stories of how the organisation is struggling and failing (these stories are in the media nearly every day) and finally they have to let the private sector in to ‘solve’ the issues (the latest manifestation of this is Sajid Javid calling for people to pay to see their GPs)

So when Mr Sunak says the nurses pay award is unaffordable it turns my stomach. It appears that bankers bonuses are affordable, but not decent wages for nurses. We have nurses in work having to use foodbanks unable to afford to live on their wages. Before the formation of the NHS the desperate cry of those in illness and pain was ‘can we afford the doctor?’ I have had conversations in the Okehampton Medical Centre and in town with people consumed with anxiety about whether they can afford to go private for urgent procedures.

As a volunteer I have recently witnessed the highest level of take up in the Okehampton Foodbank to date.

Patients are not dying because nurses are striking. Nurses are striking because patients are dying. Along with rock star Rod Stewart, a long-term Tory supporter, I would assert that this government are wrecking the country and it’s time to ‘let someone else have a go’.

In the meantime we absolutely need to maintain support for the striking nurses and express that support with demonstrations, letters, speeches or however we feel we can.

Paul Wilson, Okehampton