Topical Questions

Part of Health and Social Care – in the House of Commons on 12th January 2021.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

I want to add my congratulations to Christina McAnea. It is another sign of progress in this country to see the first female leader of Unison, and I look forward to talking to her very soon and to working with her, as she represents a significant number of people who work for the NHS and are valued members of the NHS and social care teams. The importance not only of valuing our NHS and social care workforce but of demonstrating that value is vital, and improving all the elements and conditions under which people work is important. Of course pay is one part of that, and the hon. Lady will know that the NHS was exempt from the pay freeze set out by the Chancellor, but it is also about ensuring that everybody’s contribution is valued and that everybody is encouraged to give their very best contribution. In a pandemic situation like this, when the pressures on the NHS and social care are very great, that is more important than ever, and it is important that we value all of our team all the time and that everybody plays a part in improving the health of the nation and improving and saving lives. I want to say a huge thank you to everybody who works in the NHS and in social care, and I want to work with them on improving working conditions and making sure that everybody feels that they can give their very best so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I am very grateful to the hon. Lady for raising this question.