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68 Sporting Minutes - 68 Years of Your NHS

NHSNUST are happy to endorse this letter from Dr Chris James and encourage every football fan to spread a much needed NHS smile.

"Dear Football Fans,

2016 marks 68 years of the NHS and we write to you in hope that you may be able to help us in organising a small gesture to help with morale, which unfortunately finds itself at rock bottom.

We are aware that the NHS is a heavily political beast and with the current Junior Doctor contract dispute we understand that people have strong views as to the rights and wrongs of this. We do not write to you to sway you either way on this issue. Rather we are asking for you to join us in celebrating the efforts of 1.4 million workers, not to mention the many who came before us over the last 68 years, in providing free world-class healthcare for all, regardless of means or status, from cradle to grave. We believe that is a beautiful ideal that is celebrated far too infrequently.

We would ask that on the weekend of 23/24th April 2016 you join us in celebrating those 68 years of service with a minute of applause on the 68th minute of fixtures nationwide.

Morale is at rock bottom in the NHS. We are a service at breaking point and it is only due to the goodwill of the incredible staff that we are able to continue to provide safe patient care. As a Junior Doctor it is an absolute privilege to work alongside the consultants, nurses, physios, occupational therapists, pharmacists, porters, cleaners, managers and a host of others who make the NHS the service that it is today. Furthermore, it remains a privilege to provide this service 24/7, 365 days a year and it is for the right to do so safely that we find ourselves in dispute with this government.

I do not, however, ask you to support our cause as Junior Doctors. I do not ask you to apply political pressure or make political statements. I would simply ask that you help us spread a much needed NHS smile to combat the tears and frowns that I am seeing all too often on the wards of a once great institution.

Football is the great leveller and brings so much joy to so many millions. A one minute ovation on the 68th minute of 6 premier league games across the weekend of 23/24th April could spread smiles across 1.4 million NHS staff and hopefully spread a few onto the faces of their friends and families as well.

With Hope,

Dr Chris James"

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