First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a one-off payment for Scotland’s lifesavers and care-givers on the frontline throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
A pro-rated payment of £500 will be made as soon as is practicable to all NHS and social care workers employed since 17th March 2020 – including staff who have had to shield, or who have since retired.
It has been confirmed that pharmacy team members will be included in this ‘thank you’ payment.
This investment of around £180 million will see over 300,000 staff gain some benefit from this bonus, including nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy team members, porters, doctors, primary care staff, homecare workers, care home staff, hospice staff and residential child care staff.
The First Minister said:
“Back in the spring, at the height of the first wave of COVID, many of us publicly – and often loudly – showed our appreciation for the work our NHS and social care staff were doing.
“The applause was important, but it was never enough. Our appreciation must be shown in a more tangible way.
“We’re in the early stages of negotiating a new pay deal for NHS Agenda for Change staff for 2021/22. The UK Government’s public sector pay policy will not make that task easy, but we will do our level best to give NHS staff the pay increase they deserve. However, these negotiations will take time to conclude.
“Those who have worked in our hospitals and care homes – at the sharpest end of the COVID trauma – deserve recognition now.
“So I can announce today that, on behalf of us all, the Scottish Government will give every full-time NHS and social care worker £500 as a one-off thank you payment for their extraordinary service in this toughest of years. Those who work part-time will get a proportionate share.
“The money will be paid in this financial year and it will be separate from any negotiations about pay for the longer term. There are no strings attached.
“Of course, a payment like this can never come close to expressing our full admiration for those who have cared for us so heroically. But to our health and care workers, it is a demonstration of what we collectively owe you – and a heartfelt thank you for the sacrifices you have made.”
Director of Operations at Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) welcomed the inclusion of pharmacy in this gesture and said:
“CPS is delighted with the news yesterday that pharmacy team members will be financially recognised by Scottish Government due to their contribution through this pandemic.
“It has been said many times that community pharmacy team members have been going above and beyond through this period and have played an integral part of the NHS response to Covid 19. This recognizes this in real terms.
“The details of this unique payment to individuals from Scottish Government will have to be worked through as pharmacies are independently contracted to deliver NHS services and the NHS is not the direct employer of individuals who work in community pharmacy teams. CPS will work to deliver as practical a solution as is possible in a timely manner and work will start on this, with our members and Scottish Government, in the coming days and weeks.”
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