1. ITV Report

Nurses campaign in Cambridge to scrap the 1% pay cap

Nurses gather in Cambridge to campaign for more pay as staff shortages rise Credit: ITV News Anglia

You can watch a video report by Emily Knight below:

Nurses have been out on the streets of Cambridge today to raise awareness of their campaign for better pay in the NHS.

Members of the Royal College of Nursing want to see the 1% pay cap imposed by the Government scrapped.

They say low pay means more nurses are turning to food-banks and hardship grants for help, while others are simply leaving, causing staff shortages.

Nurse vacancies across East of England

"It's really hard to recruit nurses, what's appealing about nursing if you can't even afford to feed your family, live in Cambridge, let along outside Cambridge. People are tired exhausted and over worked. I've been nursing for 29 years and I've never known it so bad."

– Sharon Ankin, Practice Nurse for 29 years

"You're frustrated a lot of the time because you know things aren't being done on time because there's not enough people to do the job."

– Cathy Woods, Nurse for 38 years

Nurses and healthcare assistants have been gathering signatures outside the Guildhall in Cambridge as part of the Royal College of Nursing's 'Summer of protest' taking place on NHS pay day - the 27th of each month.

Restraints on pay have been in place since 2010 and now nurses say they've had enough and many are leaving because of it.

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Nursing positions vacant nationally

"There are more nurses leaving, these are not retirements, these are nurses leaving who are experienced, skilled, who we really need in our hospitals and in our communities to care for us."

– Janet Davies, Chief Executive, Royal College of Nursing

The Royal College of Nursing is now considering balloting its members on the possibility of strike action.

"As the Secretary of State has made clear, the support and welfare of NHS staff is a top priority as they do a fantastic job - the government is committed to ensuring they can continue to deliver world-class patient care.”

– Spokesperson, Department of Health