Hospital patient challenges Rishi Sunak over nurses’ pay | Rishi Sunak

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    Rishi Sunak realized how the “tough decisions” he said would drive cost-cutting could satisfy the public when a hospital patient challenged him about nurses’ pay.

    During a tour of Croydon University Hospital in the South LondonSunak met NHS staff and posed for smiling selfies with them but bumped into 77-year-old Catherine Poole.

    She politely answered his questions about her treatment and family visits, but repeatedly returned the conversation to funding. NHS.

    Sitting in a chair by her bedside, Poole told Sunak to “look after” the health service and said it was “a shame” staff were not being paid more.

    Paying nurses has recently proved a difficult challenge for the government after 300,000 members of the Royal College of Nursing began voting to go on strike in a dispute over wages lagging behind inflation.

    When Sunak asked Poole if the staff had taken “really good” care of her, she looked him straight in the eye and replied, “Always. Too bad you don’t pay them anymore.’ He told her the government was trying, to which she raised her finger and said, “No, you’re not trying, you need to try harder.”

    Sunak promised to “pick it up” and noted the “very good team” of the staff.

    But Poole reiterated her point one last time, saying: “They are there, but it’s important because they do a very hard job.”

    She added that it was “not the first time I’ve been here and I’ve always been very pleased” and urged Sunak to “take care” of the NHS.

    Smiling, Sunak said goodbye and added: “Thank you for letting me know. Glad to see you, I hope you will return home.’

    It comes after a report by consultancy London Economics said up to 32,000 nurses could be made redundant this year because falling NHS pay means they are effectively working “a day for free”.

    The challenge was tackled in the House of Commons this week by former Labor shadow cabinet minister Richard Burgon, who said a nurse would have to work for more than 20,000 years to match the prime minister’s “enormous wealth”.

    The Prime Minister said he would “always support our hard-working nurses” and added: “As we approach the difficult decisions that face us, we will do so fairly and compassionately because those are our values.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/oct/28/hospital-patient-challenges-rishi-sunak-nurses-pay-catherine-poole

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