Evening Standard Comment: How about a birthday gift for nurses, Rishi?

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Today marks two important occasions — Nurses’ Day and the Chancellor’s birthday. The former is an opportunity to pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands of nurses who have given so much to treat patients — at significant personal risk — throughout the pandemic.

For Rishi Sunak, as he opens his gifts, the day should serve as a reminder that nurses in England have been offered only a one per cent pay rise. The Royal College of Nursing estimates the shortfall in London of nurses to be between 8,000 to 10,000, including the critical care nurses vital for an intensive care unit to function.

It is not only Dua Lipa — speaking at last night’s Brit awards — who is calling for nurses’ service to be recognised. Yet the Government has shown no sign of changing course, nor of matching the £500 “thank you” bonus for nurses in England received by their colleagues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Our nurses have worked tirelessly in the service of our nation, and are now helping to deliver the vaccine roll-out that did so much to help the Conservatives win elections across England last week. The Government should reconsider.

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Evening Standard Comment: Nurses’ pay another U-turn waiting to happen

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