Open access article
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has made this article free to access in order to help healthcare professionals stay informed about an issue of national importance.
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NHS pharmacy services staff in Scotland will be included among health and social care workers who will receive a bonus £500 payment in recognition of their services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The payment was announced by Nicola Sturgeon, first minister of Scotland, on 30 November 2020. It will reward staff who have been employed since 17 March 2020, including those who have had to shield, or who have since retired.
“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,” Sturgeon said.
“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.”
The payments will be made “as soon as is practicable”, the Scottish government said
Matt Barclay, director of operations at Community Pharmacy Scotland, said the payment “provides tangible recognition of the community pharmacy contribution throughout this pandemic, so we are delighted we have been included in this”.
In a statement, Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) said it was “delighted with the news 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 recognises this in real terms.”
CPS added that the details of the payment will need 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”.