Rishi Sunak has been called out over nurses’ pay during a visit to a south London hospital this afternoon.
In a visit to Croydon Hospital, the prime minister was confronted by 77-year-old Catherine Poole, a patient, who said it was a “pity you don’t pay them more” in reference to the surrounding nurses.
Sunak replied by saying: “We’re trying,” to which she said: “You need to try harder.”
It comes as Sunak drops plan to fine patients £10 for missing GP appointments, reversing yet another policy from his predecessor Liz Truss.
It appeared that the prime minister was not keen to discuss nurses’ pay directly during his visit but said his priorities were on “tackling the COVID backlogs and supporting the NHS“.
“We face lots of challenges as a country, but I am confident that we can fix the economy and deliver on the promise of the 2019 manifesto, including having a stronger NHS,” he said during his visit.
Research commissioned by the Royal College of Nursing has suggested that NHS staff are working an extra day a week for no more pay.
Just this week the biggest health union Unison has asked 350,000 NHS staff, including porters, nurses, paramedics and cleaners, to vote in favour of walking out in a dispute over pay.