Dear Secretary of State
We are writing to you as representatives of 435,000 health and care staff that live and work in our capital regarding the proposed support package for Transport for London currently being negotiated between your Department and the Mayor of London.
We are very concerned that the types of conditions currently being reported as part of the proposed bailout will unfairly hit health and care staff financially and, critically, could undermine attempts by the NHS and the social care sector to retain and recruit staff in London against the tide of rising living costs.
In a survey earlier this year, nursing staff in London said that the capital’s high cost of living is forcing them out of the city due to high accommodation and travel costs. 57% of respondents said they are considering or planning to leave London in the next five years.1 Currently, there are over 9,100 vacant nursing posts in the NHS in London alone, and over 20,000 health and care vacancies in total across the capital representing the highest vacancy rate of any region in England at 9.3%
We recognise that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on London’s economy.
However, we urge you to fully consider the implications any proposed conditions will have on the health and care workforce. Staff must not face any additional financial barriers which will impact their ability to live and work in the capital. Any conditions imposed must not further compromise our health and care system’s ability to provide safe and effective patient care.
Our workforce has demonstrated its commitment to caring for the city’s population in response to COVID-19. They have been pushed to their limits and are now bracing themselves to respond to the second wave in London. London’s health and care staff must not be penalised for working above and beyond to keep patients, the public and our community safe.
- Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London; and Chair, Transport for London
- Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor, Transport; and Deputy Chair, Transport for London
- Clare Moriarty, Government Representative, Transport for London
- Andrew Gilligan, Government Representative, Transport for London
- Sir David Sloman, NHS Regional Director for London