On Friday, the Prime Minister visited Croydon University Hospital in south London where he was unexpectedly confronted by a patient. Catherine Poole, 77, is in the hospital recovering from surgery and was one of the patients who met with Sunak during the visit.
Mr Sunak discussed the level of care that Catherine was receiving at the hospital, and she gave the staff high praise when the PM asked have, they “looked after you really nicely?”
Ms Poole replied: “Yeah, they always do. It’s a pity you don’t pay them more.”
The rather taken aback Prime Minister admitted “we are trying” which was not sufficient for Ms Poole.
The patient retorted: “No you’re not. You need to try harder.”
Rishi Sunak accepted her point of view and said that he “will take that away”.
As Unison is asking thousands of NHS staff from all areas of the institution to vote in favour of taking strike action and the Royal College of Nursing prepares for its first ever strike ballot, the Government has asked staff to reconsider given the impact it would have on patients.
NHS staff have received a pay rise in line with the independently recommended number by the official NHS Review Body.
NHS staff in England and Wales have received an average of 4.75 percent more, with further given to the lowest paid.
READ MORE: Woman found with 90 dogs and decomposing puppies in her home
She added: “If this continues, the health service will never conquer the backlog and treat the millions desperately awaiting care.”
When Mr Sunak was Chancellor of the Exchequer, he introduced the National Insurance increase to aim more funding at clearing the Covid backlog, though Liz Truss reversed this move.
When discussing nurses pay not being increased in line with inflation, Sunak said: “One of the priorities for my government is going to be tackling the Covid backlogs and supporting the NHS.
“We face a lot 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.”