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One-off payments worth up to £3,000 to be given to health workers

One-off payments of up to £3,000 will be given to tens of thousands of health workers, the government has announced.

More than 27,00 workers – including community nurses, sexual health workers, physiotherapists, and other frontline workers at non-NHS organisations – will receive two one-off payments of at least £1,665 each.

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the payments were being made to “recognise the vital role of healthcare workers at social enterprises, charities, private providers and local authorities”.

The development was welcomed by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), which said it was a “huge leap forward”.

However, the union said it wanted “assurance” that the payments were of the same value as those handed to more than one million NHS workers last year, alongside a 5% pay rise.

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The DHSC said one of the payments had been created to specifically recognise the efforts that had been made to reduce waiting lists.

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The waiting list for elective care on the NHS fell from 7.6 million in December to 7.58 million in January.

Health and Social Care Secretary Victoria Atkins said: “I hugely value the hard work of all our healthcare staff, and those working in non-NHS organisations offer vital support to patients.

“I want to ensure that eligible staff receive these payments, which is why we chose to deliver this funding and why we have taken the decision to relax the financial eligibility criteria employers must meet.

“It will ensure that hardworking staff and the organisations they work for can fully benefit from the NHS pay deal.”

RCN director for England Patricia Marquis said workers who were not directly employed by the NHS “deliver NHS care and deserve the same treatment”.

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“We will ask for assurance that the financial amounts are worth the same.

“Nursing staff providing publicly funded care, on whatever contracts, must be paid this award. Waiting for 12 months added insult to injury and the department must learn never to repeat this.”

Sky News Source