by Steve Beasant on 14 April, 2017
Former health minister Norman Lamb has responded angrily to news that the NHS could soon suffer a strike from nurses.
“I understand entirely the frustration of nurses, many of whom face significant real terms cuts to their salaries, particularly with inflation rising so sharply.
“The government is relying on the massive goodwill of NHS staff to paper over the cracks of a service close to braking point in many places.
“But I would urge nurses as a first step to join our cross-party campaign to put pressure on the government to set up an NHS and Care Convention to engage with the public and with staff with the aim of agreeing a long-term funding settlement. Ultimately it will be patients, not ministers, who suffer from a strike and I know that nurses would want to avoid this.
“Ministers must respond in kind and give a fair wage settlement to nurses. We have one of the worst funded health systems in western Europe and the cracks are now showing.
“The government is testing the patience of the health profession to destruction. Many health workers are leaving because they no longer feel welcome thanks to the government’s hard Brexit. The government’s economic mismanagement is also leading to a Brexit squeeze of a collapsing pound and rising prices, all set against a public sector wage freeze. The result will be staff shortages in the NHS turning from a problem into a fully blown crisis. You can’t have a hard Brexit and a strong NHS.”Leave a comment