My hon. Friend is absolutely right. The Tories have been running the NHS for seven years now. It is going through the biggest financial squeeze in its history and we have some of the worst waiting times on record.
The hon. Member for Croydon South should note that the NHS Pay Review Body’s March report said that
“public sector pay policy is coming under stress. There are significant supply shortages in a number of staff groups and geographical areas. There are widespread concerns about recruitment, retention and motivation that are shared by employers and staff side alike.”
Again, NHS Providers said that
“seven years of NHS pay restraint is now preventing them from recruiting and retaining the staff they need to provide safe, high-quality patient care. The NHS can’t carry on failing to reflect the contribution of our staff through fair and competitive pay for five more years.”
We agree. Addressing NHS pay and lifting the pay cap are crucial to addressing the retention and recruitment crisis now facing the NHS.