It’s time we showed NHS staff how valued they are | Letter

Yvonne Williams asks why comfort and recognition flow to the privileged rather than to productive members of the workforce

Jonathan Malesic’s article (Your work is not your god: welcome to the age of the burnout epidemic, 6 January) sheds vital light on the psychological contract between public sector employees, their employers and society. Meaningful work and public recognition are vital to their wellbeing and sense of purpose. How else can we explain why so many nurses and doctors have remained in post despite the burgeoning workload and pay freezes of the past decade? How else can we understand why anyone would endure the gruelling conditions on Covid wards day after day? Boris Johnson forgets this at our peril.

When he opines that hospital staff “may feel overwhelmed” it must seem like a slap in the face. Desperate social media posts from the frontline indicate that we are burning out the people we need most. When cheese and wine are consumed by ministers and their staff on grassy lawns behind the prime minister’s flat in the May sunshine, we must all wonder why kudos, comfort and recognition flow more freely to the privileged than to the productive members of the national workforce.

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