So what is he going to do about it?
The Conservative health secretary, Jeremy Hunt was asked on a live TV interview by Andrew Marr on his show, why are some nurses using food banks.
Theresa May said last week that there are “many complex reasons” why nurses use food banks.
The Royal College of Nursing has claimed nurses are more and more turning to food banks and are seeking debt advice.
Hunt said to Marr: “The minimum a nurse can be paid in this country is £22,000 – £27,000 in inner London. The average pay was £31,000.”
“Is that enough considering the brilliant work that they do? I think many people would say they want to pay them more. I think they do an incredible job.”
“If you want more money to go into the NHS and this Government recognises, we will need to put more money into the NHS and the social care system because of the pressures we face, then the question is how you get there.”
Hunt further said that the Conservative party are increasing funding and recruiting more doctors and nurses for the NHS and said that A&E targets are “not acceptable.”
Hunt said, referring to A&E target failures: “The standard says that you should be seen within four hours, not just seen but also treated and either discharged home or admitted to hospital.”
He further admitted to Marr that: “We haven’t hit it for over two years, it’s not acceptable. We have a plan to get back to that standard.”
However, Labour said that the failure of A&E waiting times in England are “symptomatic of the crisis that the Tories have left our NHS in.”
Is an ageing population to blame?
Hunt continued to say: “You have got to look at what actually happens in A&E departments, which is despite the huge pressure of an ageing population, half-a-million more over 75-year-olds since 2010, we are actually seeing, within that crucial four-hour standard more than 2,000 people every single day.”
“Demand has gone up faster than that, which is why we are investing in more doctors, more nurses, putting in more funding than ever before.”
Jonathan Ashworth Labour MP and shadow health secretary said: “We’ve now had an admission of failure straight from the horse’s mouth: the Tory-made A&E crisis is simply ‘not acceptable.”
“Jeremy Hunt this morning was forced to admit to the British public that the four-hour A&E target has not been hit in over two years.”
“This shameful statistic is symptomatic of the crisis that the Tories have left our NHS in. Britain cannot afford another five years of Tory failure.”
“Only Labour will give the NHS the resources it needs to deliver the service patients deserve.”