UNION bosses have hit out at the Government for offering a three per cent pay rise for NHS staff.

Nurses and other NHS workers in England have been offered a 3% pay rise by government "in recognition of unique impact of the pandemic" on staff.

It comes after heavily criticised proposals made by the Department for Health and Social Care in March said only a rise of 1% was affordable.

But some health unions opposed the new figure saying it does not reflect the sacrifices made by staff.

They point out the NHS workforce has been under unprecedented pressure.

Daphne Lewis, Unison union Eastern regional organiser who covers Harlow's Princess Alexandra Hospital, said: “While this three per cent offer is an improvement on the mean-spirited 1% proposed previously, it’s nowhere near what NHS staff deserve after the last year and a half.

“It’s less than their Scottish colleagues have received. A nurse, porter, cleaner or paramedic in Harlow deserves the same as their equivalent in Glasgow.

“Above all, staff want to feel like the government values them and their work. This proposal, months late and too low, won’t make NHS workers feel appreciated.

“There’s a serious risk this latest insult will simply lead more Harlow NHS workers to decide enough’s enough and leave the NHS rather than face yet another deadly wave of the pandemic.”

Labour's shadow health minister Justin Madders described the new pay rise as a "U-turn" and called on the government to "make our NHS and key workers feel supported and valued after all they have done for us".

The 3% pay rise is for most NHS staff including nurses, paramedics, consultants, dentists and salaried GPs and is backdated to April 2021.

According to government calculations for the average nurse, this will mean an additional £1,000 a year, while many porters and cleaners will receive around £540.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: "NHS staff are rightly receiving a pay rise this year despite the wider public sector pay pause, in recognition of their extraordinary efforts.

"We will back the NHS as we focus our efforts on getting through this pandemic and tackling the backlog of other health problems that has built up."