CALLS for an NHS pay rise were heard in Carlisle city centre on Saturday.

Cumbria Health Campaigns Together held a rally as part of a national day of action on Saturday.

Carlisle City councillors Louise Atkinson and Helen Davison spoke at the rally, calling on the Government to give the NHS a higher pay rise than 1 per cent as a reward for their work during the pandemic.

Speaking of the 1 per cent the NHS were offered, Councillor Atkinson said: “Insulting is the word I would use.

“There were other calls on the day. We’re looking for an end to privatisation of the NHS.”

She pointed out that the vaccine programme was ran by the NHS but Test and Trace was “ineffective.”

She said that institutions such as the rail, the school and prison systems: “they should be public run for the public.”

Yesterday marked NHS Social Care and Frontline Workers’ Day.

Councillor Atkinson said: “It’s solidarity, it’s standing together, we’re only going to achieve change if we stand alongside each other.”

Writing in the Mail on Sunday and on the UK Government website, new secretary of state for health and social care Sajid Javid said: “We’re putting record levels of funding into the NHS. In March, we committed a further £7 billion of funding – including £1 billion to begin tackling the elective backlog and about £500 million for mental health services and investment in staff.

“And we’re bringing so many more talented colleagues into the workforce.”

“We have record numbers employed in the NHS, with more than 58,300 more staff in hospital and community health services since March last year, including over 5,600 more doctors and 10,800 nurses.”