I HAVE read in the newspaper and on local and national TV programmes over the past few months just how brilliant our doctors, nurses, ambulance crew and all NHS workers are.

They are working long shifts, putting other people's health and indeed lives before their own.

Some are still working long after their shift has finished, because they are short-staffed, leaving work exhausted knowing they are going back to do the same thing again, the next day and the next day.

So why is this all in the news now?

It has taken this awful virus to open our eyes to what our wonderful NHS workers do for us.

But they have been doing this for years. It's what nurses do, it's what ambulance crews do, it's what all NHS workers do.

And the staff at FGH are no different.

Sadly I think in six months' time or longer, when this awful virus has gone or is under control, all the messages of support will be gone from all windows.

There will be no more clapping for carers, no offers of free breaks or cut price holidays, no free cinema or theatre seats or free meals for NHS staff.

They will still be the same amazing bunch of people but will slip unnoticed back into doing their jobs until (hopefully not) another crisis grips us and then they will be giving their lives again.

I hope the government finally realises that decent pay, decent shifts, decent pension schemes aren't rewards.

They are hard-earned and more than deserved.

Not all heroes wear capes is very apt.

Helen Ducie

Kent Street