'Hijacked by politicians': NHS doctor backs call to end weekly Clap for Carers

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An NHS doctor has backed calls to end the Thursday evening Clap for Carers, saying the weekly ritual has become a 'stunt' hijacked by politicians.

London hospital doctor Meenal Viz, who has worked on the front line during the coronavirus pandemic, said she supports organiser Annemarie Plas’s suggestion to end the event after this week during concerns it has become too political.

My emotions have changed. It all started from a very human point of view – everybody had that gratitude for the NHS, everybody showed their love for this amazing healthcare system. But it went from that to being a stunt that the politicians chose to do. They used it and abused it, so they could show the public they were supporting it and then go straight into Number 10 Downing Street and make decisions which negatively impacted on the NHS and care workers. I’m not saying they should not support it – by all means applaud. But don’t let your actions betray that. The Government has failed to protect the NHS.

Meenal Viz, NHS doctor

Dr Viz, who is seven months pregnant with her first child, is backing a crowdfunding campaign to challenge the Government over personal protective equipment for NHS staff.> She claimed Government decisions have failed to protect healthcare workers.

It’s not just a shortage of PPE. From a mental health perspective we have been put in a warzone and only been given a butter knife. I think ending the clap is a very powerful statement by the public to say we’re not happy with this. It’s a very brave move by Annemarie Plas. In fact I think by not clapping it is showing more support for the NHS. It has been a morale boost. But I hope the gratitude was not just through the clap. I hope support continues in other forms.

Meenal Viz, NHS doctor