As a nurse for under a year nothing could have prepared me for the challenges in our profession that are as a direct result of political choices by the government. Since 2010 the pay restraint has caused loss of 14% in real terms. The government capped our pay again this year at 1% despite a huge rise in inflation.
The workforce is in crisis, we have 24,000 shortage of nurses, a 23% drop in applications to nursing this year since the bursary was cut, a huge reduction in the number of migrant nurses applying to the NHS and 40% of our workforce heading to retirement in coming years. Underfunding in the NHS means we work under intense and exhausting conditions, combine this with mass staff shortages, our pay and conditions, nursing is at breaking point. Our patients are suffering due to cuts, their care being rationed or left to wait for hours on trollies. Our good will has been taken advantage of.
\We have been pushed into a corner by a government intent on destroying the service that has touched all of our lives. Our only option now is to strike for our patients, profession and our NHS. This is why I will vote and be encouraging members to vote for industrial action. Like with the junior doctors, we will need the public behind us every step of the way.