Matt Hancock warned thousands of NHS workers will quit after pandemic over pay row

THOUSANDS of NHS workers will quit after the pandemic over restraints to their pay, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been warned.

It will leave bosses facing a recruitment nightmare after the Government offered workers a one per cent rise.

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Patricia Marquis, the Royal College of Nursing’s South East regional director, told Times Radio significant numbers of experienced nurses would walk away from jobs.

She said: “They will think, ‘For all I’ve done for the last 30 years and certainly for the last year I’m still not valued. It’s time to move on’.”

Anger also grew among Tory MPs who last night said rises should be targeted at those earning under £40,000.

Former health minister Dr Dan Poulter warned restraint could cost taxpayers more as expensive agency staff had to be drafted in to fill shifts.

The Tory MP, working in hospital during Covid, said: “The case in terms of recruitment and retention of nursing staff’s clear.

“When we had pay restraint that began under Gordon Brown we saw that had a knock-on effect on the ability of the NHS to recruit.


“We saw the agency staff bill escalate from about £1.5billion to almost £5billion.”

NHS Providers said it was wrong for the Government to renege on a promised rise of 2.1 per cent in 2021/22.

Unions warned of strikes in England and a £35million support fund is being set up.

Labour said thousands of NHS staff would be hundreds of pounds worse off next year under government plans.

A Band 6 nurse with five years’ service will earn £236 a year less in real terms, Commons Library research shows.

Occupational therapists, physios or health visitors with seven years’ experience will earn £312 less in real terms.

Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth called it “shameful”.

A government spokesperson said: “Over a million NHS staff benefit from multi-year pay deals which delivered a pay rise of over 12 per cent for newly qualified nurses.”


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