Published as part of a major study of attitudes to the NHS, the poll found that 74% of Londoners said the Government should rule out holding down pay for NHS staff. Instead Londoners said the health service should be funded by bigger cuts elsewhere in Government or even by charging for missed GP appointments.
Trust in the RCN
The poll also showed that the RCN was much more trusted to tell the truth about the NHS than Government politicians who have driven the pay freeze. The survey found that outside the sphere of personal contact, “organisations like the Royal College of Surgeons or the Royal College of Nursing” were most trusted to tell the truth about the NHS, while the least trusted were Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Prime Minister David Cameron.
Only 22% of respondents across the country said they believed Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s claim that the NHS now has “more doctors and nurses than ever before”. In contrast 74% agreed with RCN Chief Executive Dr Peter Carter’s statement that the NHS is “one of the greatest health services in the world”.
Overwhelming public opposition
Regional Director of RCN London, Bernell Bussue said: “NHS staff in London are being stretched to the limit to carry on providing good quality care and are constantly being asked to provide more for less. The Government’s decision to refuse a pay increase for most NHS staff in 2014 and 2015 is damaging morale and making it harder for London employers to recruit enough staff to keep patients safe.
“The poll published this week by Lord Ashcroft shows the overwhelming public opposition here in London to funding the NHS on the backs of hardworking staff. It’s time for the Government to value nursing properly, end the pay freeze and start paying nurses what they’re worth.”