Nurses in England will not receive a bonus for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic as did their counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the government has confirmed.
The Department of Health and Social care (DHSC) has responding to a petition signed by thousands of people calling for a £ 500 “thank you” bonus for all health and social care in England by saying it had no “current plan” to provide such payment .
This makes England the only country in the UK that does not offer its nurses a Covid-19 bonus.
The Royal College of Nursing said the latest move from the government showed that “they never value our hard-working nursing staff”.
This comes amid continued scrutiny of the government’s proposal that NHS staff in England should receive a 1% wage increase for 2021-22.
The NHS Pay Review Body is now reviewing evidence from all key stakeholders before making a recommendation in May. The government is expected to provide the summer compensation offer.
In its response to the petition, which was signed by more than 14,000 people, DHSC said: “While the pay review bodies are taking evidence and preparing the report, we do not want to set a pre-emptive payment policy.
“However, we do not currently plan to give NHS staff a £ 500 bonus nor do we plan to do so for community care.”
It said the fact a wage increase was being offered despite a much larger public sector pay by 2021-22 was a recognition of “outstanding service to NHS staff through the pandemic”.
Responding to the news, RCN secretary general Pat Cullen said:[ly] wants to see health and care staff fairly paid, rewarded and respected.
The government has also shown that, despite the rhetoric, they never value our hardworking care staff.
“Our care staff deserve a significant salary increase, and they don’t have to wait.”
He urged ministers to “end the delay and also consider their 1% plan”.