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Sara Gorton: Why a pat on the back is simply not good enough for NHS staff

Praise for NHS staff is all very well, but it means nothing if it is not matched with extra cash in the Budget and a clear signal that better pay is on the way, says Unison head of health Sara Gorton
A pat on the back

Praise for NHS staff is all very well, but it means nothing if it is not matched with extra cash in the Budget and a clear signal that better pay is on the way, says Unison head of health Sara Gorton

A pat on the back is a lovely gesture. It confers solidarity, communicates a job well done, and signals acknowledgement and thanks. But gestures only have currency when they are genuine.

If the government continues its wholesome praise of healthcare staff and their efforts while failing to deliver tangible signs of appreciation, it will damage itself – potentially irreparably – with the NHS, its staff and those who use it.

Pay is the main way the government helps the NHS keep and motivate its workforce. There are other issues where government intervention would be helpful, such as bursaries and the right

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