Health secretary Matt Hancock was challenged on live television by a critical care nurse who asked how he could look health workers “in the face” and claim he was helping the NHS through the coronavirus crisis.
Mr Hancock was confronted with the question from an intensive care unit (ICU) nurse Dave Carr on Good Morning Britain – prompting an awkward silence from the cabinet minister.
Mr Carr, who works in a London hospital, asked: “How can he seriously look any health worker in the face and tell us he is stewarding the NHS and managing this pandemic properly?”
The nurse added: “We are doing this understaffed. We are doing this underpaid. The insult we got earlier on this year with no pay rise with what we done in Covid really, really hurt us.”
Asked to respond, Mr Hancock sighed and said: “The staff across the NHS have done an absolutely brilliant job. There are huge pressures now in some parts of the country, including in London.”
He added: “I’m very pleased that actually, earlier in the year, that we were able to give a significant pay rise to nurses across the board.”
However, the majority of frontline NHS nurses received a pay rise of just 1.65 per cent last April. Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid pointed out that Mr Carr did not think the pay rise had been “significant”, before asking Mr Hancock about staff shortages.
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