The thank you payment is expected to be paid to about 300,000 NHS healthcare workers and care staff.
Nicola Sturgeon has announced that the Scottish Government will give NHS and adult social care workers a £500 thank you payment for their work during the coronavirus pandemic. The one-off payment is intended to thank workers for their “extraordinary service in this toughest of years”.
In her speech to the SNP conference, Ms Sturgeon said: “There was, and remains, a particular recognition of the incredible, often heroic, efforts of those who work in hospitals and other health and care settings. That is why many of us put rainbows in our windows and stood on our doorsteps to applaud them. The applause was important. But it was never enough.”
She said appreciation the NHS and care staff must be “shown in a more tangible way” through the £500 thank you payment, which would be completed before the end of the current financial year. The bonus will be paid to all full-time NHS and adult social care staff, with a proportional share for part-time staff.
The First Minister added: “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.”
Ms Sturgeon also said that a new pay deal for NHS Agenda for Change staff was in the early stages of being negotiated, saying they would “do our level best to give NHS staff the pay increase they deserve”, but warned it would take time to become a reality. However, the First Minister added that the government wanted to deliver recognition to frontline health and care workers now, therefore they have announced this thank you payment.
The bonus is expected to be paid to about 300,000 doctors, nurses, porters, care home and hospice staff, and other frontline health workers, at a cost of £180m.
The First Minister also confirmed a £100million winter fund to help struggling families through the Covid-19 crisis, which will include a £100 payment for families whose children receive free school meals.