Executive Urged To Make One-Off 'Gratitude' Payment To Healthcare Workers

The Northern Ireland Executive has been urged to follow the lead of the Scottish government and provide a one off payment to their health and care sector staff of £500.

Making the call, SDLP Health Spokesperson Colin McGrath said: "We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our health and care workers. When we were able to stay safe at home during the pandemic, they stepped up and put themselves into harm's way to look after all of us.

"Many left their families and loved ones to work long hours, under huge pressure. In our hospitals, many of these health workers came. Some had to leave home and take up offers of hotel accommodation to stop the spread of the virus.
News Image
"Our health and care staff witnessed harrowing scenes as they cared for patients in their last hours, demonstrating compassion at every turn.

"Many health workers have told me that while they appreciate the support from the public and gestures such as Clap for Carers, what they really need is fair pay and conditions. The SDLP will continue to press for a fair pay deal for health workers.

"While this £500 payment will not tackle serious pay concerns, it will provide some short term support for our health workers. This payment should be made tax free, with cost implications met by the British Government.

"This pandemic has highlighted the value we place on our health sector but unfortunately the funding from Government doesn't match this value and that must change.

"I have written to the Joint First Ministers, the Finance and Health Ministers and urged them to consider implementing such a scheme urgently."

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

26 November 2020
Students Urged To Protect Their Homes And Property From Burst Pipes
NI Water has urged students to protect their homes and property against burst pipes as winter begins to set in. The company is advising students about the devastating effects a burst pipe can have on the property they are renting. A burst pipe can destroy any electronic equipment left behind, class notes or coursework.
24 November 2020
Home Heating Oil Users Urged To Check Tank Safety
Households using home heating oil are being urged to check that their tank is in a good state of repair before getting heating oil delivered. Highlighting the potential issues, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) said that plastic oil tanks can provide safe and sound storage for home heating oil.
24 November 2020
NI Businesses Urged To 'Maximise The Value Of Their Waste'
Businesses in Northern Ireland are being encouraged to recycle more and to 'maximise the value of their waste' by Environment Minister Edwin Poots. Mr Poots made the during a visit to McKinstry Skip Hire Limited in Crumlin.
04 December 2020
NI Businesses Urged To Check Their 'Preparedness For The End Of Transition'
Businesses across Northern Ireland are being urged to check their preparedness for the end of the Brexit transition period.
03 September 2008
Changes Loom On Health Care
News of a radical shake-up proposed for health and social care in Belfast is not the only changes afoot as the way that health promotion is delivered across Northern Ireland is also being changed.