A LOCAL NHS worker has hit out at the Government after it was announced that almost 900,000 public sector workers were set to get a pay rise for their efforts in the fight against the coronavirus – but no salary increase was announced for nurses and health care assistants.

The midwife at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle, said that it was a “kick in the teeth” to other emergency service workers, including nurses, midwives and social care staff, who had also put their lives at risk on the front line.

At the height of the pandemic, the mother of three, from Prudhoe, was working upwards of 30 hours per week.

She also made the difficult decision to send her children to live with family across the border in a bid to eliminate the risks posed by the virus.

She said: “I didn’t see my kids for nearly three months, it was really weird coming home to an empty house. It was lonely. This will affect me for the rest of my life and my kids’ lives for the next 25 years. It’s the ‘new normal’.

“It was lovely to get support to begin with, but it’s not sustainable.

“Claps don’t pay the bills and we aren’t getting the same deal because the economy can’t afford it.”

Despite many industries grinding to a halt because of the virus, the delivery of babies did not. And the midwife, who qualified nearly six years ago, said that morale amongst staff had been affected, with some of her colleagues planning to protest.

“All emergency service workers have worked, not in the thick of it like ITU, where conditions are much worse, but it’s not fair it isn’t across the board.

“The sector should be the same. We feel hard done by.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the pay rise last Tuesday, which will see teachers, doctors and police officers take home extra pay.

The rise will also benefit prison officers, dentists and National Crime Agency staff.

And now there are calls for healthcare workers to join the ranks, after more than 300 NHS workers died from the virus.