Health campaigners demo at QEQM Hospital demanding pay rise for nurses and healthcare workers

Campaigners outside QEQM Hospital Photo Carl Hudson

Photos and video by Carl Hudson

Campaigners from Save Our NHS in Kent have staged a demonstration outside QEQM Hospital today (August 1).

The group is campaigning for nurses and health and social care workers to receive a pay rise.

Nurses are in the final year of a three-year pay deal and due a rise next April, but unions want the Government to show its appreciation for NHS staff by bringing it forward to this year.

Nearly 900,000 workers across the country will get a rise this year, with teachers and doctors seeing the largest at 3.1% and 2.8% respectively recognising their efforts on the frontline during the battle against COVID-19.

Police and prison officers will both have a 2.5% rise in pay. The Armed Forces will receive a 2% uplift.

But one million NHS workers were told they “continue to benefit from the three-year Agenda for Change pay deal,” and will receive an average 4.4% rise this year.

However, nursing bodies say the vast majority of frontline nurses received just 1.65% in April this year – the last rise of the multi-year pay deal which saw the average take-home salary of a Band 5 nurse rise by just 7%.

A survey by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) found a rise in nursing staff who have considered quitting the role, with poor pay being one of the main reasons.

Sonik say: “More than 540 Health & Social Care Workers have died from the Covid virus this year.

“The UK has the highest recorded healthcare worker death rate in the world. There is no pay rise from the government for them. Clapping won’t pay their bills. These are the people who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

The protest included shoes laid out on the grass verge to symbolise those frontline workers who have died during the pandemic.

District councillor, Sonik member and retired nurse Candy Gregory said: “The demonstration was a demand via Nurses United to reward and recognise front line Health and Social Care workers.”

Find Sonik on facebook here


  1. A rise of “Just” 7%. Think yourself lucky. A lot of people have lost their jobs. Stop being greedy.

    • And a lot of nhs staff lost their lives and put their families at increased risk compared to those able to squirrel away safely in their homes

  2. 540 or more health workers have died due to Covid 19. One young nurse was pregnant; she died, but her baby survived. Many of the deaths were nurses, porters, healthcare assistants and care home workers – they are on some of the lowest pay there is in the UK. We know this is wrong. We have seen how crucial their jobs are.
    Pay rise now.

    • “Meanwhile, the ONS found that the rate of death involving Covid-19 among health workers – such as nurses, midwives, doctors, nursing assistants, paramedics, ambulance staff and hospital porters – was not “statistically different” to the general working population.

      The death rate for males in these roles was 10.2 deaths per 100,000 men and 4.8 deaths per 100,000 women.

      Of all the individual healthcare professions, a reliable rate could only be calculated for female nurses, which was 6.7 deaths involving Covid-19 per 100,000 females, equivalent to 31 deaths.

      Again, this rate was not found to be “statistically different” to the rate of death involving Covid-19 among females of the same age in the general population”

      PFOA (Toxic contaminant Manston sourced Thanet Water supply up until I called in Drinking Water Inspectorate last year)is a COVID concern as it lowers immunity and reduces vaccine response. Shame your solicitors concealed Thanet environmental toxins from stroke unit judicial review and two maternity tragedy inquests.

      I have reported to expert inquiry maternity tragedies who consequently scheduled research into PFOA hazards (Foetal morbidity and pre eclampsia ) and whether to blood serum test which qeqm has never done.

      Your periodic virtue signalling attention seeking performances at QEQM must be irksome to staff and patients.

  3. This argument about not being “greedy” when others are losing their jobs is a very old one. They used to say it in the 1980s when Thatcher destroyed the country’s manufacturing base. We were supposed to be grateful for any job that was left.
    It worked, of course. Wages just went down and down. No one dared ask for more as that was seen as “greedy” and we should have been grateful for what we got.
    Move forward thirty years and we find our wages are barely enough to buy a house, let alone furnish and maintain it, without going into massive debt.

    So, when the pandemic hit, millions just had no savings to tide them over. Take away one months wages and most people in Britain will be penniless. Ever wondered why foodbank use is rocketing?
    This is no way to run an economy.
    So, no, we shouldn’t be satisfied with what we have got. We should never settle for less because someone else is worse off than us. That will leave the few at the top sitting pretty while those of us who struggle try to find reasons why other strugglers don’t “deserve” something better.

  4. When (possibly “if”) the next election comes along, don’t forget which party it was that cheered and jeered when a pay rise for health workers was voted down in the HoC.
    In case there’s doubt, it was the tories.

  5. Omg how could anyone even think nurses and healthcare workers are greedy. Those people are there for us all when we most need it and should get a pay rise!

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