Tories Should Be 'Held To Account' For What They've Done To The NHS, Labour MP Claims

"This is desperate. And this is the sixth richest economy in the world," David Lammy said.
David Lammy speaking on BBC Question Time about the NHS
David Lammy speaking on BBC Question Time about the NHS
BBC Question Time

Conservatives should be “held to account” for how they’ve handled the NHS after years in government, David Lammy told BBC Question Time.

Shadow foreign secretary Lammy laid into the Tories, who have been in Downing Street for 12 years, as concerns over how the health service will cope this winter continue to rise.

Lammy began: “It’s desperate right across the NHS.”

He said: “We’ve had a decade of cuts in the NHS and now as a consequence of the black hole they gave us, they’re talking about further austerity in public services.

“The NHS is on its knees. Nurses are leaving because they want a less stressful life, they are having to take their kids to food banks.

“This is desperate. And this is the sixth richest economy in the world.”

The shadow cabinet minister added that he hopes that when the next general election comes around, the Conservatives will be “held to account” for what it’s “done to the national health service.”

His words came just before new research commissioned by the Royal College of Nursing which found that since 2010, nurses work the equivalent of one day a week for free.

The researchers, from London Economics, found that based on a five-day week the salary of an experienced nurse had fallen by 20% in real terms.

Those in England, Wales and Northern Ireland would need a nominal pay rise of 45% by 2024-2025, just to get back to the salaries they had in 2010-2011 in real terms, according to the researchers.

Dr Gavan Conlon, who oversaw the research, said that around 32,000 nurses leave the NHS every year, primarily because their job is not allowing them to keep up with the cost of living.

The Royal College of Nursing is in the process of balloting its members for industrial action unless the government acts to full the nursing vacancies across the country and promise to deliver on higher pay.

A department of health and social care spokesperson said: “We hugely value the contribution of our hardworking nurses, which is why we are giving over one million NHS workers a pay rise of at least £1,400 this year.

“NHS staff also received a 3% pay rise last year, increasing nurses’ pay by £1,000 on average, despite a public sector pay freeze.”


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