Radiographers, nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, hospital porters and cleaners from hospital trusts across England will be heading to Westminster this afternoon (Tuesday) to lobby MPs about pay and the underfunding of the NHS.
The TUC’s All Together for the NHS campaign is concerned that although the economy is growing again, health spending is only likely to increase at around the rate of inflation between now and the end of the decade. This will mean the health service and its staff won’t benefit from the upturn in the UK’s economic fortunes. Instead there are likely to be longer waiting times, a greater rationing of services and a continuing squeeze on the pay of NHS workers.
The health workers will urge MPs to honour the recommendations of the independent NHS pay review body, which suggested that all health service staff in England receive a one per cent cost of living pay rise this year. Health unions are unhappy that ministers have chosen to ignore this advice and are only giving the one per cent increase to NHS workers at the top of their pay scales.
Commenting on behalf of the All Together for the NHS campaign TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Growth may be returning to the economy, but the government continues to deny the NHS the funding increases it so desperately needs to run a health service fit for the 21st century.
“Despite the improving economic situation, ministers still insist on yet more pay restraint across the health service – no wonder NHS employees are so upset.
“It is health workers who are paying the price for the chronic underfunding of the NHS. Morale is plummeting and will make it harder for the NHS to recruit and retain skilled staff. This is bound to affect the quality of care – at a time when patients are already face increased waiting times and a reduction in staffing.”
More information about the campaign can be found at: http://www.tuc.org.uk/industrial-issues/public-sector/all-together-nhs