‘Nobody could be more desperate for nurses to be rewarded than me’ – Kate Garraway
The ITV presenter made the statement as she and her co-host Richard Madeley discussed the latest NHS pay row on Good Morning Britain.
It comes after the government announced a three per cent NHS pay rise, which was described as a “bitter blow” to health workers by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).
The government initially offered just a one per cent pay rise for NHS staff after a year of intense pressure due to the pandemic, prompting fierce backlash from health workers, MPs and the public.
Speaking to the RCN interim general secretary Pat Cullen, Garraway expressed her gratitude to the health service for treating her husband, Derek Draper, when he spent more than a year in hospital with coronavirus.
She said: “That makes all the difference and knowing when to call in the big consultant and work on it. I can’t say enough: they do deserve more.
“But it is also a difficult decision for the government to work out how to balance and go forward and deal with the tax rises we may all have to face, you know?”
Madeley praised his co-host for “keeping your journalist’s hat on” despite being personally invested in the issue.
“You are able to take a step back from it and ask straight, journalistic questions,” he said. “I take my hat off to you.”
Garraway replied: “Nobody could be more desperate for nurses to be rewarded than me.
“Nurses, I think, saved Derek’s life and are still very involved in keeping him alive because it was the nurses’ care as well as the brilliant doctors, but that care during those critical days and months made all the difference.
“But the problem is that originally it was two per cent, then it was moved to 1 per cent, then it moved to an independent review that’s decided three per cent, and we’re in £2tn worth of debt, there are people in the private sector who are working incredibly hard, maybe in less emotive roles, but incredibly hard, who are losing their jobs,” she added.
Garraway has spoken candidly about her husband’s battle with coronavirus over the last 16 months. Earlier this month, she told GMB viewers he was “very up and down” in his recovery, adding that “there’s absolutely no doubt that there’s huge challenges ahead”.
Draper was hospitalised in March 2020 after becoming chronically ill with coronavirus and was put in a medically-induced coma. He continues to require round-the-clock care.