PDA welcomes funding announcements in Wales

The Welsh Government has announced that it will fund a bonus payment for NHS and social care staff to recognise their extraordinary contribution during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wed 17th March 2021 The PDA

Vaughan Gething, the Health Minister has announced the one-off payment for NHS and social care staff, which is equivalent to £735 per person, to cover the basic rate of tax and national insurance contributions incurred. After deductions, most people will receive £500.

It is estimated the payment will benefit 221,945 people in Wales including 103,600 social care staff, 90,000 NHS Wales staff, 2,345 deployed students and 26,000 primary care staff (including pharmacy, GP, dental and optometry staff).

Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething said: “Over the last year, Wales’ NHS staff and social care staff have shown a remarkable amount of commitment and courage from the initial outbreak of the pandemic right through to the current second wave. They will have suffered the impacts of the pandemic on their physical and mental health wellbeing in both their personal and professional lives.”

The news follows an announcement yesterday that a further £3.5m will be provided to community pharmacy contractors, meeting CPW’s formal proposal in full.

The Minister outlined that the funding was building on previous commitments made by Welsh Government, including £5.6m to meet additional costs incurred by community pharmacy contractors during the Covid-19 pandemic; £0.6m to pharmacies’ service costs in delivering Government sourced seasonal influenza vaccines administered by pharmacies, along with a guarantee in relation to pharmacies engaged in the Primary Care Covid-19 Immunisation Scheme, that service fees would be paid from additional funding.  To support cash flow, further repayments against the £55m advance payment have also been deferred until the 2021-22 financial year

Helen Lewis, PDA’s Regional Official for Wales and West of England, said: “These recent developments clearly signal continued support from Welsh Government for pharmacists and community pharmacies, and recognition of the role that they have played during the Covid-19 pandemic. We acknowledge that the Governments in Scotland and Northern Ireland have also made funds available for one-off bonus payments to healthcare workers including pharmacists, in recognition of their work during the pandemic. The Westminster Government is now the only national government that has not announced a similar recognition scheme in respect of health professionals’ contribution during the pandemic.

The news of further investment this week in Wales is also in stark contrast to the ongoing discussions between the PSNC and NHS England around the financial sustainability of pharmacy and in particular costs incurred by contractors in their response to Covid-19. A decision about the status of the £370m advance payment, which contractors are calling to be written off, is yet to be made.”

The PDA will be clarifying the bonus payment arrangements for community pharmacy employed and locum pharmacists and will update members as soon as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

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