A number of constituents have contacted me about the extraordinary work of frontline staff during the coronavirus emergency and urgently giving NHS and care staff a pay rise.
Health and social care workers have been at the heart of the fight against coronavirus, working day and night to protect the NHS and save lives. They do so much to make our health service one to be proud of and they deserve our respect, admiration and full support, but more than that they absolutely deserve to be properly rewarded.
From the very beginning of the outbreak health and care staff have made great sacrifices. Yet many of those on the frontline have been undervalued and underpaid for far too long. It is not enough to clap our carers for weeks, then fail to back it up with meaningful action. We must show our NHS staff the same commitment they have shown our country in its hour of need.
In July, the Government announced a pay rise for NHS doctors and dentists. Shockingly, however, the announcement excludes nurses, midwives, hospital porters and other NHS staff. Many other key workers – including those working on the frontline in social care – have been left out. At the same time consultants working on test and trace are being paid over £6,000 a day to run this failing service. In a single week the government is paying these senior consultants more than they pay an experienced nurse in a year. All NHS staff need a pay increase now, not the jam tomorrow promise by this government for something when the current pay deal ends in 2021. This government should show real commitment to our NHS, not just hollow clapping, and sit down now with Unison to negotiate decent pay increases for all. That would truly recognise the work all NHS staff do, show staff they are valued and help with much needed recruitment.
I strongly support calls for the Government to make an immediate commitment to pay talks for NHS workers and agree a deal as soon as possible, in recognition of the bravery and sacrifice shown by our healthcare heroes during this crisis.