GPs in Wales will receive a one-off bonus payment of £735 to recognise their ‘extraordinary contribution during the Covid-19 pandemic’.
The Welsh Government said the bonus will go to 222,000 people in Wales, including 90,000 NHS Wales staff, over 100,000 social care workers and 26,000 primary care staff such as GPs.
The Welsh Government said the £735 bonus payment will be subject to basic rate of tax and national insurance contributions, and that after deductions most people will receive £500, adding that it is working to finalise the details of the scheme.
In an announcement earlier this month (17 March), health minister Vaughan Gething said NHS and social care staff ‘have shown a remarkable amount of commitment and courage’ throughout the pandemic, and will have suffered an impact on their ‘physical and mental health wellbeing’ as a result.
He added: ‘This payment expresses our gratitude to our NHS and social care workforce for their extraordinary contribution in keeping Wales safe.’
BMA Wales has welcomed the bonus and the ‘acknowledgement of the huge effort of doctors in Wales throughout Covid-19 pandemic’, but has restated calls for an uplift to overall pay.
BMA Cymru Wales chair Dr David Bailey said: ‘Whilst this payment is gratefully received, this is separate and in addition to the DDRB process, which reviews doctors annual pay award, and we reiterate our calls for a significant pay uplift for doctors which would address the real term pay erosion over the past decade’.
During a Covid briefing today, Mr Gething reiterated that the bonus is being awarded ‘in addition to’ and ‘not instead of a real pay rise’, adding this is being considered by the pay review bodies. He added that the Welsh Government would, however, not set an ‘arbitrary cap’ on the pay increase.