Health Minister Maria Caulfield says she will return to nursing full-time if she isn’t re-elected as an MP at the next election.
But speaking to GB News this morning, Ms Caulfield said she didn’t agree with the nurses’ call for a 19 per cent pay rise.
She told Camilla Tominey today: “I'm still working as a nurse and if I'm not elected again, I'll be returning to full time nursing. So, no one is more passionate about nursing than me.
Health Minister Maria Caulfield PA
“But we also are in charge of the taxpayers’ purse strings and if we were to give a 19% pay rise that's over 10 billion pounds. I think the unions recognise that and they're wanting to discuss pay with the Health Secretary tomorrow.
“I'm not going to make a comment on what is going to be on the table in those discussions tomorrow, that's for the Secretary of State and convenience to discuss.’
Defending the Government’s record on the NHS she continued: “We're putting money straight into frontline services right now. Some patients aren't waiting as long as they are at the moment to get their surgical procedures.
Health Minister Maria Caulfield joined Camilla Tominey on GB News GB News
“We've got new rapid diagnostic centres so patients can go to a community centre in their local area to get things like MRI CTS X rays, where traditionally they would have had to wait for the hospital to send them an appointment.
“We've got 10,000 more nurses, we've got over 4000 more doctors, the money is going to frontline services, and it will start to make a difference this winter.
“We're seeing huge numbers of flu and respiratory viruses' patients with COVID and that makes it very, very difficult to see that difference.
“That's why the prime minister met with health leaders yesterday to see what more we can do so that patients could feel the benefit of that investment.”