Norfolk nurses to gather at candlit vigil to mark fairer pay calls


The Royal College of Nursing will host a candlelit vigil at Edith Cavell's memorial in Norwich. - Credit: Archant

Nursing staff will gather around the memorial of a celebrated Norfolk nurse in a candlelit vigil calling for fairer pay. 

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Norfolk branch members will meet at Edith Cavell's memorial in Tombland, Norwich, for a candlelit vigil and short moment of reflection on Thursday. 

It is part of the union's fair pay for nursing campaign, which aims to secure a 12.5pc pay rise for all nursing staff. 

Last week, the government announced a 3pc pay rise for NHS staff, after criticism from across the sector around proposals for a 1pc increase. 

Its chair Helen Oatham said the NHS continues to struggle to recruit nurses and the announcement left many members concerned about what it means for them, their patients and the profession as a whole. 

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She said: “We already struggle to recruit and retain the numbers of nursing staff we need to fill significant numbers of vacancies across Norfolk to provide safe and effective care.

"Over the last decade wages have not kept pace with inflation. This has meant that members are worse off and many are left struggling to pay their bills or are talking about leaving the profession.

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“Both before and during the COVID pandemic, nursing staff have worked tirelessly for their patients, making many personal sacrifices along the way and this award does not recognise the skills, experience and responsibility of our work."

The chair of the RCN Norfolk branch and eastern region trade union committee member said the branch will continue to highlight the work of its members in the NHS, community and independent sector to ensure it did not lose a vital section of the workforce. 

Mrs Oatham said: "If we want nursing staff to be there for all of us in the future, we need to recognise this and ensure they feel valued and are appropriately rewarded.

“We wanted to hold a short moment of reflection to highlight the campaign for a fair pay rise for all nursing staff. Edith Cavell is a much-loved figure among the nursing profession due to her dedication to and sacrifices made for her patients."

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