'Do they all deserve a pay rise?': Ex-NHS nurse torn over strikes

1 December 2022, 06:42 | Updated: 1 December 2022, 07:51

Conflicted caller who used to work for the NHS

Melissa Fleur Afshar

By Melissa Fleur Afshar

This caller worked for the NHS for 14 years as a nurse and her experience with the NHS, after leaving due to her 'low' salary, has left her with conflicting feelings.

As nurses up and down the country prepare to strike - with the first wave of industrial action planned for the 15 December - this caller opened up to LBC about how the walkout could affect her husband’s battle with a life-threatening illness, and boldly questioned whether all NHS staff are even deserving of higher wages.

Speaking to James O’Brien, the caller asked if “all [nursing staff] deserve a pay rise”, even those who may not treat their patients well.

“Do the staff that treat people [poorly] deserve a pay rise? There are very good staff and there are also some that aren’t so good,” the former NHS nurse added.

The caller shared with James O’Brien her conflicted feelings on the upcoming strikes, acknowledging that while NHS nurses receive “awful pay” she fears that the strikes could tamper with the medical care that her partner is currently receiving.

“I do support their strike, and they do need to be paid more, but now I am on the receiving end,” the caller said.

“My partner has been extremely ill over the last few weeks, he’s been in hospital and he had brain surgery on Monday. He may now have cancer and we are on the waiting list for the results to come back.”

Delving deeper into the cause of her indecision, the caller said that she is “absolutely terrified that this could affect [her] partner’s life in a very bad way”.

The caller then listed a range of treatments, from radiotherapy to chemotherapy, that could be delayed or halted due to the planned strikes.

READ MORE: NHS set to descend into chaos as nurses announce two days of walkouts in December

“I am also terrified that this strike could seriously affect the urgent treatment he might need, the care he might get, and how much he’ll have to wait,” she added.

On top of that, the caller shared a distressing story with James O’Brien, that prompted her to question whether all NHS nurses actually deserve a pay rise.

“Yesterday, my partner asked a nurse for a towel and he was told to dry himself with toilet paper, 4 hours after coming out from brain surgery!”

The caller then continued:

“He’s been in and out of hospital for the last month. Some of the care he’s received has been absolutely amazing and there are some amazing people [in the job], when I did that job it was incredibly hard.”