Macmillan cancer chief’s plea over NHS pay needs heeding – The Yorkshire Post says

IF Boris Johnson or Rishi Sunak still thinks that the proposed one per cent pay rise for NHS staff is justifiable, they should appraise themselves of today’s compelling column by Macmillan Cancer Support’s chief executive Lynda Thomas.

The Governmen tis coming under increasing pressure to rethink its proposed one per cent pay increase for NHS staff.

Coming from the head of a much-loved charity helping 150,000 people newly-diagnosed with cancer during the Covid pandemic, or the 179,000 families in Yorkshire in the need of constant care and compassion, her eloquent words will be some of the most significant to be published by The Yorkshire Post this year.

However they also go further than the one per cent salary increase that was disclosed just 24 hours after Mr Sunak’s Budget 10 days ago – a state of affairs that she describes carefully as a “political choice” and “not a done deal”. What Ms Thomas is setting out, so candidly, is how the Government is alienating staff by taking them for granted after a harrowing year on the Covid front line – and how a staff exodus from the medical profession will compromise the care needs of those patients with cancer and other serious conditions.

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It is why, she says, that “this is about more than money” as she calls for a long-term plan to address staffing shortages in the NHS and care sectors so that they can provide the seriously ill with tailor-made health treatment in conjunction with the charitable sector.

Lynda Thomas is chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Now, more than ever, health and social care policy needs to be better integrated – but it won’t happen if Ministers persist with the double standards that see them clap for carers one week and then appear to penalise them the next.

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Graeme Bandeira's cartoon on NHS pay.