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Saturday 8th August 2020

Dear NHS Superstars: Viewers demand pay rises for staff instead of celebrity tributes

Brits say NHS staff deserve better

Dear NHS Superstars left viewers frustrated last night, with many demanding a pay rise for Britain's health workers instead of 'empty' gestures and tributes from celebrities.

The programme, which aired on BBC One on Thursday (July 23), saw a number of famous faces share their experiences of using the NHS. The celebrities came together to offer their gratitude to the doctors, nurses and other key workers who helped them.

Those who appeared on the programme included Strictly favourite Shirley Ballas, presenter Amanda Holden and comedians Lenny Henry, Jo Brand and Jack Whitehall.

Dear NHS Superstars featured moving tributes to the health service (Credit: BBC)

Dear NHS Superstars viewers react

While many found the stories moving, others called for the government to increase NHS workers' wages.

Give our nurses and midwives a pay rise.

One said on Twitter: "Give our nurses and midwives a pay rise #NHSPay."

Comedian Lenny Henry was among those who featured on the programme (Credit: BBC)

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Another tweeted: "#DearNHSSuperstars, it's like Clap for Carers - a nice distraction that has run its course. When is part two, featuring a lack of adequate PPE, parking charges reimposed and no pay rise for nurses and care workers after the first wave of Covid?"

A third put: "I'm sorry, but #DearNHSSuperstars is making me so mad! Yeah, here are some celebs saying how much we appreciate you. But no pay rise."

"Watching #DearNHSSuperstars in lieu of a pay rise #NHS," said a fourth.

Someone else wrote: "#DearNHSSuperstars. Sorry we can't afford to give you a pay rise. But don't worry, we lined up a queue of rich celebrities to say thanks for risking and often giving your lives in fight against coronavirus."

"#DearNHSSuperstars is nothing but another empty gesture #PayriseForNurses," a sixth said on Twitter.

Some of those watching demanded pay rises or NHS staff (Credit: BBC)

'Shout out' to the NHS

Plenty enjoyed the programme though.

As one said: "#DearNHSSuperstars on tonight has been very emotional! Big shout out to all my NHS friends who have been amazing over the past four months! Soo proud!"

"Oh my! #DearNHSSuperstars has got me in floods!" said another.

"I have ALWAYS known the value of our unique #NHS and its amazing staff! I hope the support and appreciation being shown currently continues forever!"

Nurses and junior doctors ignored

It follows reports that the government is giving close to 900,000 public sector workers above-inflation pay rises of up to 3.1 per cent.

Announcing the news, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he recognised the "vital contribution" that public sector workers made during the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Treasury revealed the cash for the wage increases would be taken from existing departmental budgets.

It does not include nurses and junior doctors.

Nurses negotiated a separate pay rise deal in 2018 spanning three years and junior doctors agreed a four-year deal in 2019.

Other NHS workers the deal seemingly shunned include hospital porters and cleaners.

What did you think of the BBC's Dear NHS Superstars? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know.