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Ukrainians recite ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ lyrics in powerful film to mark first anniversary of war | World News

The lyrics of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” have been recited by Ukrainian people in a powerful film to mark the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion.

The one-minute video released by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) shows the devastation unleashed by Vladimir Putin’s war, with millions unable to return to their homeland after being forced to flee.

It begins with a black screen and the caption: “Ukraine. February. 2023.” A cast of actors still living in Ukraine then recite lines from the anthemic Gerry and the Pacemakers song, over music by German-born British composer and pianist Max Richter.

A young boy, seen sitting on a swing in front of a hollow tower block, delivers the iconic line: “And don’t be afraid of the dark, at the end of a storm.”

The footage, shot this month, also shows a boy in a bomb shelter, a doctor in a hospital, a couple and a dog owner outside their homes, and a woman and child sitting on a bus.

Entitled “Never Alone”, it was made by a predominantly Ukrainian crew and directed using a remote camera.

Although the people featured in the film are actors, they represent real stories of people who have been helped by DEC charities.

The video ends with a black screen saying: “The UK raised over £400 million so the people of Ukraine didn’t walk alone” and images of aid workers who travelled to the country to offer help.

The DEC’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal has raised £414m since launching on 3 March 2022, including £25m donated by the government through the UK Aid Match scheme.

A woman and girl seen in the film
A woman and girl seen in the film

In the first six months of the response alone, aid delivered using DEC funds included (but was not limited to):

  • 1.9 million people provided with access to clean water
  • 392,000 people who received food assistance, including hot meals and food parcels
  • 338,000 people who received cash payments to meet their basic needs
  • 127,000 people who accessed basic services at transit centres for the displaced
  • 71,000 people who accessed primary healthcare services
  • 114,000 people who received legal help and support
  • 10,000 people who were provided with temporary accommodation

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A couple sitting outside what remains of their home
A couple sitting outside what remains of their home
A dog owner standing outside his proprty
A dog owner standing outside his property

Film director Rick Dodds said: “This film is a time capsule of Ukraine in February 2023 – exactly one year since the conflict began.

“We cast Ukrainian people still living there – so that we could capture their resilience, their strength, and their Ukrainian stoicism for all to see.

“The poetic words of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ then took on a different power when delivered by this cast in such dramatic and real locations.

“For example, a woman stood outside her house that has been blown apart saying ‘though your dreams be tossed and blown’. Or a young boy in a bomb shelter saying ‘with hope in your heart’.”

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DEC director of fundraising and marketing, Simon Beresford, hailed the “incredible generosity” of the British public.

“We’re really proud of the fact that we could work with a Ukrainian cast and crew to make this film,” he said.

“Choosing to shoot it in Ukraine added layers of complication to the project, but we think has made it much more authentic and impactful.

“Everyone who worked on the film in Ukraine has been affected in some way by the conflict and their creative input has been invaluable to the project.”

Making a GP appointment should not be like ‘booking an Uber driver you’ll never see again,’ scathing new report says | UK News

The “crisis” within England’s GP service has been condemned in a damning new report , saying getting an appointment should not be like “phoning a call centre or booking an Uber driver who you will never see again”.

The Health and Social Care Committee accused the government and NHS England of being “reluctant” to acknowledge issues in the system and warned the “crisis” in general practice was “putting patients at risk”.

Problems are not being resolved with “sufficient urgency”, it said.

And the group of MPs added in the report that the government’s pledge for all patients to see a GP within two weeks would “not address the fundamental capacity problem causing poor GP access”.

The conclusions, which were partly written while new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt was chairman of the committee, lay bare a number of significant problems facing the sector, including “unacceptably poor” patient access and GPs being “demoralised”.

The committee has previously spoken about the “uberisation” of the family doctor service. One member Rachael Maskell said: “Seeing your GP should not be as random as booking an Uber with a driver you’re unlikely to see again.”

The MPs raised concerns about “continuity of care” and said the majority of GPs no longer had individual patients “lists”, and the ability to see the same GP has “worsened” as a result.

They also highlighted “unsustainable” workloads for GPs.

Rachael Maskell MP, speaks during a discussion on the Integrated Rail Plan for the North and the Midlands, in London, Britain November 18, 2021. UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO ALTERATIONS
Rachael Maskell MP. Pic: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

“General practice is the beating heart of the NHS and when it fails the NHS fails,” the report says.

“We know up to 90% of healthcare is delivered by primary care. Yet currently the profession is demoralised, GPs are leaving almost as fast as they can be recruited, and patients are increasingly dissatisfied with the level of access they receive.

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‘Unacceptably poor access’

“The first step to solving a problem is to acknowledge it, and we believe that general practice is in crisis … despite the best efforts of GPs, the elastic has snapped after many years of pressure.

“Patients are facing unacceptably poor access to, and experiences of, general practice and patient safety is at risk from unsustainable pressures.”

“Given their reluctance to acknowledge the crisis in general practice, we are not convinced that the Government or NHS England are prepared to address the problems in the service with sufficient urgency.”

The group says GPs are handling more appointments than ever with fewer staff.

The committee makes a number of recommendations, including scrapping an existing target and reward-based system as it had become a “tool of micromanagement and risks turning patients into numbers”.

It also suggested limiting doctor “list” sizes, looking at ways to support part-time GPs to work more hours, doing more to help hire new doctors, and resolving pension tax issues.

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Workload escalation

Committee member Ms Maskell added: “Our inquiry has heard time and again the benefits of continuity of care to a patient, with evidence linking it to reduced mortality and emergency admissions.

“Yet, that important relationship between a GP and their patients is in decline.

“We find it unacceptable that this, one of the defining standards of general practice, has been allowed to erode, and our report today sets out a series of measures to reverse that decline.”

Professor Martin Marshall, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said those in general practice wanted to deliver “safe, timely and high-quality personalised care for patients”, but workload escalations meant the numbers of qualified full-time equivalent GPs had fallen since 2015.

“We need to see urgent action taken, not just to further increase recruitment into NHS general practice, but to keep hard-working, experienced GPs in the profession longer, delivering patient care on the front line and not bogged down in unnecessary bureaucracy.”

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said: “Patients are finding it impossible to get a GP appointment in the manner they want one.”

Analysis: NHS in crisis: Heart attack and stroke patients waiting half an hour longer for ambulances than pre-pandemic

What’s being done?

A spokesperson for NHS England said the primary care workforce had been expanded by 19,000 since 2019 with more new roles such as assistants and digital help introduced from this month.

“Thanks to this additional investment, GPs and their teams have provided 10% more patient appointments this year compared to pre-pandemic, and we continue to implement plans to further improve patient access, experience and care.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said all patients should be assigned a named GP, and practices must “endeavour to comply with all reasonable requests of patients to see a particular GP for an appointment”.

A statement added: “There are nearly 1,500 more full-time equivalent doctors working in general practice now than in 2019, and we are spending at least £1.5 billion to create 50 million more appointments by 2024 – alongside making changes to reduce the workload of GPs and free up appointments.”