Almost 100 NHS workers and MPS to protest at parliament ahead of spring statement

Nurses, doctors and other frontline workers don Rishi Sunak masks to hand in 100,000 strong petition to Downing Street 

Almost 100 frontline NHS workers including doctors and nurses, MPs and union organisers are set to protest outside Parliament tomorrow [Tuesday 22 March 2022] calling for a proper pay rise ahead of the Chancellor’s Spring Statement.

Protesters will board a battle bus wearing Rishi Sunak masks before marching on Downing Street to hand in a petition of more than 100,000 signatures calling on the Chancellor to commit to more NHS funding [See notes to editors for details of timings].

PHOTOCALL: 14:15 at Old Palace Yard, SW1P 3JY – frontline workers wearing Rishi Sunak masks 

Many protestors will wear black armbands representing the NHS dying, the 200,000 covid dead, for the 6,000 dead waiting to get into A&E.

The protest – organised with NHS Workers Say No and SOS NHS is in anger at the Government’s pay offer of 3 per cent.

With inflation running at 7.8 per cent, this amounts to a massive real terms pay cut.

Holly Turner, GMB Organiser and Registered Nurse, said: 

“Hardworking NHS staff have faced over a decade of real terms cuts to their pay and are working in dangerously understaffed and high-risk environments daily.

“It’s beyond belief that on their rest days they feel forced to campaign and protest to demand proper funding for the health service – just to maintain safety for themselves, their patients and each other.

“This event, on the eve of the Spring Statement, is set to be a high energy day of action making loud and clear our campaign demands.

‘GMB supports our NHS members and NHS campaigners with this fight for immediate emergency funding and investment in the workforce.”

Tony O’Sullivan, Keep Our NHS Public, Co-Chair said: 

“The deliberate underfunding of the NHS each year has caused thousands of avoidable deaths.

“Exhausted and underpaid staff, facing a further 5 per cent cut in real wage value this year, are dangerously demoralised.”

Holly Johnston, NHS Nurse, said: 

“We started this campaign and petition because as frontline workers we have seen the devastating impact of an underfunded and understaffed service on patient safety throughout the pandemic and before it.

“The deliberate erosion of the NHS also means staff feel unvalued by this government, having received what is in real terms pay cuts, year after year.

“NHS staff and patients deserve more and we need to see investment in the NHS to safeguard its future.

“The only true solution would be for it to be a fully publicly owned.

“The health of the nation is suffering and underfunding has meant that health inequality has worsened.

‘NHS staff can see the damage being done to the NHS and that is why we have 1 in 3 staff wanting to quit.”