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Pay the £500 bonus to all Scottish healthcare workers

I am not often minded to stand up and shout about a cause, but in this case I am happy to make an exception; or perhaps that should read; unhappy that I feel that I need to.

There is no rationale behind the decision by the Scottish Parliament to award a £500 bonus to all NHS and associated staff and those working in the domiciliary care sector (which I completely support); but not to award it to agency nurses and carers; whose selfless efforts and hard work assisted the nation's cause in supporting communities in the ongoing fight against Covid.

In many cases these agency staff were at just as much risk, and in some cases perhaps more risk (because they knew they were working in facilities where Covid was present and service users were sadly losing their lives). They have been the ones in the relief trench who were called upon to replace those on the front line, that were not fit to work due to infection or self isolation and they did so without hesitation, despite knowing the risks; but recognising the greater cause to which they were being called.

Many healthcare agencies are now in the invidious position of employing hundreds of agency staff, some of whom will receive this award, whilst others will not. As you can imagine the implicit message to the unlucky remainder "thanks for your efforts, you came in second ... close, but no cigar" will neither be well received or deserved.

This decision has not been thought through properly and it sends the wrong message to all those wonderful, dedicated and caring agency staff in the many healthcare agencies across Scotland; that they are somehow less worthy of public and financial recognition ... which is absolutely not the case.

To the members of the Scottish Parliament: please re-consider this unjust decision and extend the £500 bonus payment to all the healthcare workers who deserve it.

"It Is Never Wrong To Do The Right Thing", no matter how difficult that may be.

Sign the petition here to help us get Agency Healthcare workers the recognition they deserve.

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