Nurse Jemma says her ‘house is falling apart’ because she doesn’t earn enough to pay for repairs (Picture: Reuters)

A nurse who has been working on the frontline of the Covid pandemic says her house is ‘falling apart’ around her because she hasn’t been paid a decent wage ‘for years.’

Jemma, 40, who works in the north east, has joined a new campaign called Nurses United which is calling for a 10% pay rise for all nurses.

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The group are aiming to turn public support for the NHS during the pandemic into action by the Government and want a substantial pay rise to help lift nurses out of poverty.

New polling shows their call is being backed by the public with three in four Brits expressing support for a permanent 10% pay rise for all nurses, according to YouGov polling shared exclusively with Metro.co.uk.

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‘Nurses have been struggling to make ends meet for years, and Covid has made that even harder,’ Jemma said.

‘My house is falling apart around me because I can’t afford vital repairs. I constantly have to choose between essentials such as keeping a roof over my head, paying utility bills and buying food, and luxuries such as putting the heating on or buying a new pair of shoes for work.

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‘A substantial pay increase would mean I could stop surviving and start living.’

A nurse treats COVID-19 patients in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) at Milton Keynes University Hospital, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Milton Keynes, Britain, January 20, 2021. Picture taken January 20, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville

A nurse treats Covid-19 patients in the ICU at Milton Keynes University Hospital (Picture: Reuters)

The Government has promised nurses a pay rise in 2021 when a three year pay deal comes to an end.

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But details of how much money nurses will get, and when they will receive it, have not yet been confirmed and unions have been urging the Government to stop delaying the plans.

YouGov’s poll showed the vast majority of all Brits support calls to give a 10% pay rise to nurses as the country emerges from the coronavirus crisis, with fewer than one in ten (8%) opposing such a move.

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A nurse attends to a patient on a COVID-19 ward at Milton Keynes University Hospital, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Milton Keynes, Britain, January 20, 2021. Picture taken January 20, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Nurses are £6,144 per year worse off after ten years of pay cuts (Picture: REUTERS)

This includes 66% of Conservative voters who said they would like to see the Government act. Almost four in five Brits (79%) also back an annual pay rise in nursing salaries above the rate of inflation.

Calls for a pay rise follow ten years of real terms pay cuts. Over the past decade the most experienced front line nurses are £6,144 per year worse off due to wages failing to keep up with the rate of inflation.

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More than 200 frontline health workers have now died from coronavirus – with many more affected by the illness and psychological effects of working during the pandemic.

Anthony Johnson, a nurse and lead organiser with Nurses United, said: ‘This huge public support for a serious pay rise for nurses is unsurprising.

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‘Brits know how hard nurses have worked this year – and they know that years of real terms pay cuts are both deeply unfair on nurses and damaging to our NHS as a whole.

‘Nurses deserve this pay rise and ministers know it. It’s now down to this Government to put their money where their mouth is and give nurses the wages the public know we are worth.’

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