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£500 bonus for Scottish pharmacy teams as thanks for COVID-19 efforts

Full-time staff employed by pharmacy contractors in Scotland will receive a one-off payment of £500 this year, in recognition of their work during the pandemic.

The Scottish government has pledged to give all NHS and social care staff who have worked a full-time role since March 17 a payment of £500 “as soon as is practicable”, it announced yesterday (November 30).

The pro-rata £500 payment – funded through the Scottish government COVID-19 support package – will also be allocated proportionally to part-time staff and, among others, NHS staff who “have been active in the NHS since March 17 but who have since left NHS employment, including retirees”.

Primary care workers employed under independent contractors’ arrangements – such as community pharmacy team members – will be eligible for the payment, according to the Scottish government.

Some 300,000 staff will benefit from this bonus, an investment of around £180 million, the Scottish government said.

Announcing the bonus scheme yesterday, first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “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.

 “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.”

Details to be worked out

Commenting on yesterday’s announcement, Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) said that it is “delighted [that] pharmacy team members will be financially recognised by the Scottish government due to their contribution through this pandemic”.

CPS will work out “the details of this unique payment” with the Scottish government, with talks due to start in “the coming days and weeks”.

All Scottish pharmacies were able to deliver the flu vaccination service, where required, for the first time this year, following the introduction of the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Some pharmacies will also help the government deliver its COVID-19 vaccination programme, but they will not be the “default delivery channel” for the programme.

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