In the evening of 12 May, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt realised that it was International Nurses’ Day – and he’d almost missed it. He quickly sent a tweet:

Just three days earlier, Conservative MPs had voted to scrap bursaries for postgraduate nursing courses.

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Last year, the government announced that undergraduate nursing students would no longer receive bursaries. Since then, applications for nursing courses have dropped by a third.

And the Brexit vote led to a 96% drop in the number of EU nurses applying to work in the UK.

Hunt’s announcement in October 2017 that he would lift the cap on nurses’ pay has also been shown to be a con, with real terms pay after the ‘pay rise’ set to be well below what it was a decade ago.

All these factors together mean that the NHS is facing a massive shortage of nurses, with over 35,000 posts unfilled. And reports from nurses on the frontline show that this shortage is putting patients at risk.

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It was predictable, therefore, that Hunt’s disingenuous tweet wouldn’t go down too well:

https://twitter.com/drbenwhite/status/995619503806574592

https://twitter.com/SarahWiles3/status/995342151637708800

https://twitter.com/RmnMark/status/995391600531517442

https://twitter.com/no_comment88/status/995356634288451587

Almost 650 Twitter users commented on Hunt’s post. And the comments were overwhelmingly negative.

The fact is that whatever Jeremy Hunt says about appreciating nurses, his actions speak louder than words. He must know by now that nobody is fooled as he destroys the NHS whilst pretending to support it.

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