The stark warning comes following a “shambolic” 3% single-year pay award.
NHS workers across the UK are sacrificing their “lives, health and wellbeing” for dangerously low pay, a grassroots campaigning group have warned.
The stark warning comes following a “shambolic” 3% single-year pay rise for NHS workers in England.
NHS workers have been subjected to over a decade of real-terms pay cuts, with the average frontline nurses being around £5000 a year worse off now than ten years ago.
In an open letter, Nurses United UK have demanded a meeting with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid over what it calls dangerously low pay.
They plan to protest outside Mr Javid’s constituency office in September if he refuses the meeting.
Dangerously low pay.
The letter reads; “our cleaners and porters, doctors and nurses, have gone above and beyond what they signed up for by putting themselves at risk to keep the UK healthy and safe.
“Our NHS workers have cared for us when we needed them, before the pandemic and throughout it.
“Many have sacrificed their lives, health and wellbeing to do so. This is why we are writing to you, as the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to ask that you show us the care that we have always deserved.
Calling for a meeting, the group continue; “On Saturday 11th September at 15:00, we will be coming to your constituency office to meet you and discuss why a 3% pay deal is dangerous to our patient’s safety and puts us all at risk.”
“As the MP that represents our profession, we know that you’ll understand the importance nurse’s pay has on the safety of our patients. With over a 20% real-terms pay cut since 2010, our NHS now has 100,000 vacancies.”
We cannot continue to work in this way.
Leah Sparks, a heart failure nurse specialist and activist for the group, adds; “3% does nothing to protect the safety and the welfare of my patients. Our pay is directly linked to the recruitment crisis we are facing within our NHS.
“Experienced, skilled workers are leaving for better-paid work or just retiring and we cannot recruit staff into the vacant positions because the salary does not match the cost of inflation and many workers would not be able to afford to live.
It is not safe and we cannot continue to work in this way. Wards and services are understaffed and ultimately it is the patients who are suffering and the quality of care we provide will fall.
“Our patients are our priority and we must advocate for our patients by speaking out about the conditions we are currently experiencing and fight to achieve a fair pay rise that will bring our NHS and our patient’s care back to safety.