'The thought of Boris clapping disgusts me' - senior nurse slams 1pc rise
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A senior hospital nurse has slammed the government's proposal of a 1pc pay rise for NHS workers - but admitted she "didn't expect anything else".
The nurse, who works at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), said the offer "stinks" and comes after several months of working "without breaks" amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Royal College of Nursing( RCN) has said the rise would result in some health professionals taking home just £3.50 more each week.
But health secretary Matt Hancock stressed on Friday evening that the proposal was based on "what we think is affordable".
With anger growing over the government's "pitiful" offer, one experienced NNUH nurse said: "It stinks but I didn’t expect anything else from those in power, to be honest.
"A 1pc 'pay rise' now is a pay cut - inflation will see to that.
"I’ve worked months without any breaks, gone home late after shifts, worked extra hours and struggled to ever switch off. On days off I’d feel guilty for not being there to help.
"The thought of seeing Matt Hancock or Boris Johnson clapping or in a hospital with a group of management disgusts me.
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"It’s not just about the pay rise. I just feel that, during Covid, money hasn't been an issue for the government. It was chucked at the hospital so we could supply a service to battle Covid.
"But now, when the hospital will still be full and playing catch-up, the money will be cut and staff morale will be at an all time low.
"People are mentally done and this just tops it off."
In response to the government's plans, the RCN has set up a £35m fund to prepare for possible strike action, which is subject to a ballot.
And, speaking to Times Radio on Saturday, the union's south-east regional director, Patricia Marquis, said "significant numbers" of nurses were planning to leave as a result of the latest announcement.
On Friday, Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman emphasised there was "no magic money tree", but argued there should be a bigger pay rise for the lowest-paid frontline workers, rather than a 1pc blanket rise.
South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon said the government needed to find a "bigger and better way to say thank you".