Every MP across the UK has now been contacted by nursing staff, patients, their families and friends, after the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) urged them to put pressure on the Chancellor to prioritise pay for nursing staff in the imminent Spending Review.
In just three weeks, the RCN says thousands of its members and supporters have contacted every sitting MP in the Commons, asking them to tell the Chancellor his one-year spending review must include funding to increase nursing pay.
This latest action, part of the campaign for fair pay for all nursing staff, has seen most parliamentarians contacted by numerous constituents. So far, 15,047 people have emailed their MP.
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who represents Uxbridge and South Ruislip, has been contacted by at least 46 constituents. Matt Hancock, MP for West Suffolk and Health Secretary, has been contacted by at least 31 constituents.
The MP who received the most emails from RCN members and supporters was John McNally, MP for Falkirk, who received at least 127. In Northern Ireland, Jim Shannon of Strangford, received more emails than any other MP in the country, at least 116. In England, the MP for Southampton Test, Alan Whitehead, is the MP who received the most emails – 52. In Wales, Carmarthen and South Pembrokeshire’s Simon Hart received the most emails, at least 45.
The RCN is calling for a fully funded investment for a 12.5 per cent pay increase for all nursing staff across all pay bands on Agenda for Change.
Throughout the pandemic, the public has seen nursing for the highly-skilled profession it is, and how deserving nursing is of fair pay. But the ‘Fair Pay For Nursing’ campaign is about more than our response to COVID-19.
RCN Chief Executive and General Secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said:
“I want to personally say thanks to all those who have taken the time to email their MP, asking them to publicly support fair pay for nursing.
“There isn’t an MP across the UK who can say they haven’t heard of our aim. The sheer numbers of people who have written, asking for politicians’ support, shows the high esteem in which the public holds nursing staff.
“Even though nursing staff have tackled a global pandemic with 50,000 nursing vacancies in the NHS across the UK, the Government continues to undervalue them. It can’t hope to fill staffing shortages with our current poor pay levels.
“We are not asking for a COVID-19 bonus – paying nursing fairly is a political choice. Cash-strapped health services can’t increase pay on their existing budgets. The Chancellor must make the right decision.”