The first secretary of state, Damian Green, has claimed that last week’s Budget announcement was ‘not only good for the NHS, but good specifically for the nursing profession’.
Standing in for Prime Minister Theresa May at Prime Minister’s questions on Wednesday, Mr Green was asked by Labour MP Emily Thornberry what percentage of new nurses employed in the last 12 months are now working full time.
He stated that the NHS has ‘more nurses, more midwives and more doctors working in the NHS now’.
Ms Thornberry responded with official Government figures, which show that more than 40% of newly-recruited nurses are leaving full-time employment within their first year. She also queried why district nurse numbers have halved over the last seven years.
She added: ‘The numbers are now lower than when this Government first came into office. So why does the first secretary think so many nurses are leaving?’
Mr Green said that nurses can be ‘reassured that this Government will continue to support them in terms of pay and numbers’.
He continued: ‘Last week’s Budget was not only good for the NHS, but it was good for the nursing profession. The Chancellor has assured that any money for a nurse pay rise will not come out of the existing NHS budget.’