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majority of voters tell tories to give nhs nurses a proper pay rise after wage squeeze
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Majority of voters tell Tories to give NHS nurses a proper pay rise after wage squeeze

A majority of Brits back above inflation pay rises for nurses, a poll shows today. More than six in 10 (63%) voters support proper wage boosts for nursing staff, who have seen their pay squeezed under the Tories. The YouGov survey for the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) found 51% of Tory voters back the move, rising to 71% among Liberal Democrats and 78% for Labour. Some 72% also said they thought “there are too few nurses to provide safe care for patients”. There are around 34,000 unfilled nursing posts in the NHS in England. It comes as hospital chiefs have been told to slash spending on staff to plug a £4.5 billion hole in the NHS budget. NHS England ordered trusts to review staffing and curb use of agency workers, who are brought in to fill vacancies, according to The Sunday Times. RCN General Secretary Pat Cullen said: “Nursing is a highly skilled and safety critical profession, but it has been repeatedly taken for granted by politicians. Sustained attacks on pay have caused a devastating cost of living crisis amongst NHS workers and rampant workforce shortages leave staff unable to meet the needs of their patients. “Another late, low pay award leaves our profession feeling disrespected, undervalued and uncertain.” She added: “Don’t take nursing staff for fools, it’s a new year and they are waiting to see what ministers will do.” Nurses were left fuming after they received a 5% pay rise for 2023/24, around half of what was offered to doctors. The RCN has called for a substantial above inflation pay rise, as well as a lump sum to help with recruitment in its submission to the NHS Pay Review Body for 2024/25. A recent study by London Economics found the average experienced nurse’s pay has fallen 25% in real terms since the Tories came to power in 2010. The Government is still at loggerheads with junior doctors over pay, who are threatening possible strike action this year. The British Medical Association (BMA) won a mandate for strike action for another six months. Last week, the British Social Attitudes survey found public satisfaction with the NHS has plunged to a record low of 24%, down five points on last year. It marks a significant decline from the record high of 70% in 2010. In the same survey, staff shortages were cited as the second biggest reason (54%) for dissatisfaction. An NHS England spokesman said: “NHS organisations are developing their plans for the new financial year and will be looking to deliver the best value for taxpayers and patients within the resources available.” :: YouGov polled 2,125 UK Adults between February 29 and March 1.

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