Dozens of "undervalued" low paid workers who help keep the NHS ticking protested today over "absolutely disgraceful" changes to their pay.

Cleaners, security, caterers and porters gathered outside Princess Royal University Hospital in front of a big inflatable rat.

Many of the staff are paid by private company ISS, who are introducing fortnightly pay leaving some workers cashless for weeks.

The GMB Union say scared staff have asked for a foodbank to be set up just to get by.

"Without these workers doing their jobs the nurses wouldn’t be able to do theirs," Helen O’Connor, GMB regional organiser, said.

Video of Helen explaining the protest

Ambulances and other drivers beeped their horns in solidarity with the protestors who fear becoming swallowed in debt.

Terry Xerri, 52, has been a cleaner at PRUH for ten years and is the sole carer for his disabled wife.

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"This makes me wonder why I even bother coming in sometimes," he told News Shopper.

"The pay is degrading. I had my wife in tears wondering how we are going to manage. I have tried to reassure her.

"I don’t see how I should have to borrow my own money back."

ISS admits the changes could lead to delays but has offered interest-free loans to staff who need them.

However, some staff feel that they are already in enough debt because being paid below the London Living Wage.

Terry, who is from Swanscombe, added: "We are fed up of them taking the mick. I have had to make cutbacks in the last month leading up to this pay break as they call it.

"I will probably end up going into my overdraft. I’m not giving the company the satisfaction of borrowing my own money off them."

Nick Millard, 45, from Shortlands, has worked in the hospital for nine years and described the pay change as his "lowest point".

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"We are skint," he said. "We are borrowing our own wages and it’s not on. We are part of the NHS and want to do a good job, but we get treated like scum.

"I have had to borrow off my mum who is a pensioner to get me through these few weeks with no money."

He also admitted that the motivation to work now was very low.

Lijana Kaziauskiene is a housekeeper at PRUH and has been employed since 2006.

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She blasted the 'Project Greenfield' pay change at this morning’s protest.

"People have children and have to pay bills," she said. "We are treated like animals. We live for these wages. I am single and am working for myself.

"I don’t want to overdraft. I will have to borrow money from someone else. They want us to do a good job, but we are already doing a three-person job.

"People do amazing jobs and work very hard, but they treat them like dogs."

Sam Zaremba, 32, from Bromley, has delivered the bed sheets throughout the night for four and a half years.

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He was at the protest with his young daughter.

"We can’t afford to live without a week’s pay," he told News Shopper. "I break my back for this job. I have constant back problems working here.

"My rent is £1200 a month for a little two-bedroom flat and I don’t know how I am going to cover it now.

"Obviously, it’s a low paid job anyway."

Union members at hospitals across south London are preparing to protest over the changes this week.

A spokesman for ISS said: "Currently we operate fifteen different pay cycles which is complex to manage. To prepare us for the transition to the new payroll system, from May 9 we are moving to just one fortnightly pay cycle and one monthly pay cycle.

"We strongly believe this will benefit our employees as it will give more clarity on what an employee will be paid, and when, as there will be more time to check and process pay.

"Changing any payroll system and process has its challenges.

"This change will affect every ISS employee nationally and we are implementing a focused and comprehensive communications plan to ensure that all our people are aware of the change, understand how it will impact them personally, and that they seek the support ISS is offering to help them through the change."