Yesterday I spoke in a debate in Parliament following a successful petition calling for the end of the pay freeze for NHS staff.
When a parliamentary e-petition gains more than 100,000 signatures a committee considers it for debate and allocates time. Congratulations to one of my constituents Danielle Tiplady, who is a nurse herself, on setting up the petition.
The NHS is under pressure but the government's plans to continue to cap pay rises for staff will hit those who keep our health service going the most. This includes nurses who look after us when we are most in need.
Morale in the NHS is low, with many nurses now considering their future in the NHS – so at a time like this continuing to restrain pay for staff is self defeating for recruitment and retention of nurses. This comes on top of the scrapping of NHS bursaries for student nurses and other health professionals which means becoming a nurse is more expensive.
The Royal College of Nursing estimates there has been a real terms fall in pay of 14% since 2010 when the pay cap was introduced.
Nurses work hard and dedicate their time to public service in our health system. They work long hours and deal with very difficult situations. It's time to rethink this cap because nursing really does count.
You can read more on this on the Ilford Recorder website.