The government has been accused of intentionally steering the NHS to the brink of collapse.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain, Marina Purkiss said the current battle over nurses’ pay is the “route to privatisation”.
In November, it was revealed that a lack of doctors and nurses in the NHS is forcing bosses to pay high rates for agency staff.
Figures from the BBC show spending on agency staff rose 20 per cent last year to hit £3 billion in England.
It said that, for many shifts, bosses have been so short-staffed they have been willing to breach Government pay caps for agency workers, most of whom are doctors and nurses.
Separate data supplied by Labour shows some NHS trusts have paid as much as £2,500 to nurses to fill shifts. There are currently almost 47,000 nursing vacancies in the NHS.
Purkiss has suggested that the government could be underpaying nurses and pursuing agency routes precisely because they want to privatise the NHS.
Watch her comments in full below: