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You’re attacking the NHS, Medway nurse tells Health Minister Jeremy Hunt

A nurse from Medway has recorded a scathing video message for Health Minister Jeremy Hunt, accusing him of a “wholesale attack on the NHS”.

Jacqui Berry, an intensive care nurse at Medway Maritime Hospital, joined thousands of other NHS staff in a backlash against the minister who wants the health service to deliver seven-day services.

In the video posted on her YouTube channel, she said: “Jeremy Hunt, Minister for Health, accused us NHS staff of being a bunch of nine-to-fivers which is ironic coming from someone heading off for a seven-week break.

“It might surprise the minister to learn, people don’t become critically ill exclusively within office hours.

“The truth is, we already have seven-day working in the NHS. This government just doesn’t want to have to pay us for it.”

Earlier this month Mr Hunt said doctors should “get real” about working weekends and that senior staff were not doing enough weekend shifts.

Jacqui Berry, a nurse at Medway Maritime Hospital, recorded a video to health minister Jeremy Hunt
Jacqui Berry, a nurse at Medway Maritime Hospital, recorded a video to health minister Jeremy Hunt

Since then, NHS workers have hit back posting selfies and videos of them at work on Saturdays, Sundays and on late shifts, along with the hashtag #ImInWorkJeremy.

Miss Berry stood as the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) parliamentary candidate for Gillingham and Rainham in the general election.

In the video she called Mr Hunt’s intentions a “wholesale attack on the NHS as part of the drive for further privatisation” and said that the government was gearing up to scrap unsocial hours payment and cap wages at 1%.

Jeremy Hunt
Jeremy Hunt

She said the day before she had worked one-and-a-half hours overtime, totalling a 14-hour shift.

The 27-year-old added: “You can’t demand the expansion of seven-day services without providing the money to pay staff unless you expect them to just do it in goodwill.”

The Medway Messenger attempted to contact Ms Berry without success.

A petition on the UK Government and Parliament website calling for Mr Hunt to be sacked has been signed by more than 207,000 people.

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