”When Tiana Pritchard qualified as a neonatal nurse three years ago, she was delighted to be offered her “dream job” at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. But renting a small flat in the capital with her partner left her struggling on so little at the end of each month after bills, food and transport, she had no choice but to hand in her notice.
“My partner was worse off than me and I ended up having to pay more for us to be able to survive. It started to affect our relationship, so we decided to leave London,” says the 23-year-old.
Pritchard now works in Southampton, where living costs are more reasonable, but staff shortages mean she never leaves the ward on time and often works 14-hour overtime shifts, keeping sick babies alive. Seeing Theresa May brush off suggestions that low pay is forcing 6,500 NHS nurses to turn to food banks on live television was “a joke,” she tells The Independent.”