Local nurse calls for fair Covid pay bonus

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A DISTRICT nurse covering Wiltshire is calling for the support of her local MP and the public to ensure that all NHS staff are given the ‘NHS backlog bonus,’ recognising their hard work during the Covid pandemic.

The government recently announced that over one million NHS workers on the Agenda for Change contract, the grading and pay system for the NHS, will receive a one-off bonus payment which amounts to £1,250 per person depending on experience.

However, NHS staff who are not on the Agenda for Change contract, which includes those working for NHS partnership trusts, have been informed that they are not eligible for this payment because the trusts are not financially supported by the government.

A national petition has been launched, calling for all NHS staff to receive the NHS backlog bonus.

Local district nurse, Alison Hussey, who works for the partnership trust, Wiltshire Health and Care (WHC) said, “We feel totally let down and it’s sad. We wear NHS uniforms, we have NHS email addresses, it says NHS on our payslips, we are very much a part of the NHS. It says in our terms and conditions that we are employed by the NHS. All throughout Covid we continued to go into people’s homes and provide face to face care. Our services continued running and now we are not being recognised for the hard work we did. When we signed our contracts, we would never have chosen to move away from the NHS.”

Alison, who has been in her role for 12 years, has written a letter to her local MP, asking for her support.

She explained that Wiltshire Health and Care has been advised that they will not be financially supported by central government to provide their staff with the lump sum pay awarded to all NHS staff because WHC does not appear in the Agenda for Change handbook. Alison said, “This was written prior to organisations like ours being in existence, and so we have fallen through a gap.”

She added, “I am concerned for my colleagues because not everyone is on a professional wage. This payment would make a massive difference to some people. I’ve heard colleagues say they want to do a weekly food shop and not be worrying about the cost. It’s just not fair.”

To sign the petition, visit,  https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/637835

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