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Chesterfield MP Marks 66th Birthday of NHS with Labour Promise to Protect Services and Staff

A delegation of Unison representatives visited Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield and Shadow Minister for Small Business, to mark the 66th birthday of the NHS and raise concerns about changes to NHS staff wages.

Toby said “The NHS is the Labour Party’s greatest achievement and the staff who work in it are its greatest resource. For 66 years the doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, cleaners and porters have kept our hospitals running, cared for us from cradle to grave and made ours the best and most enviable healthcare system in the world”.

Toby with representatives from Unison, Kathy Farr, Frances Little and Lynn Booth

Toby with representatives from Unison, Kathy Farr, Frances Little and Lynn Booth

The representatives from Unison were visiting MPs across the East Midlands as part of Unison’s ‘Day of Action’ and highlighted a series of their concerns. Frances Little, an Administrator at Walton Hospital and Chesterfield resident, told Toby, “The government said they would accept the recommendations of the independent pay review, which recommended a 1% rise for all NHS workers. But for workers like me at the bottom of my pay grade, I won’t be receiving any pay rise. My family are already struggling with rising food and energy bills”.

A report undertaken by the TUC shows that the average public sector worker is £2,245 worse off in real terms since 2010 and with government ministers confirming they will set public sector wage rises below inflation until at least 2018, Unison are worried that staff may begin to leave the NHS. A recent Unison survey of NHS nurses found that 50% of them worked through breaks or beyond their hours but 65% said they still did not have enough time with patients. The increased pressure on nurses due to cuts to staff numbers has seen a massive increase in work-related stress, which is then being exacerbated outside of work by falling wages and the increased cost of living.

Lynn Booth, Head of Staff Partnership for Derbyshire Community Health Services and Unison said, “Every nurse and health worker I know works extremely hard. We regularly work through lunch and stay late because we genuinely care about our patients. But the government are increasing our workload whilst again cutting our pay. The NHS is going to lose some of its best staff if this continues”

Toby finished by saying, “In these difficult economic times it is only right we have appropriate pay restraint in the public sector. But the 1% recommended by the independent review showed restraint and the government shouldn’t have reneged on the agreement. The cost of living crisis together with falling wages has had a massive detrimental effect on NHS workers and their families. The one birthday present the Labour party can give the NHS is our promise to repeal the Health & Social Care Act, remove the competition element from services and protect the staff who work within these services”.

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Welcome

I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

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Tel: 01246 386286
Email: toby.perkins.mp@parliament.uk
Post: 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF

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