All staff at a Sheffield NHS trust are getting a bonus in their pay packets to reward their 'selfless response' to Covid

All staff at Sheffield’s biggest NHS trust will get a bonus on top of their usual wages to recognise their ‘commitment and selfless response’ during the pandemic so far.

Saturday, 6th March 2021, 3:46 pm
Updated Saturday, 6th March 2021, 3:48 pm

Kirsten Major, chief executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which runs the Royal Hallamshire, Northern General and Weston Park hospitals as well as the Jessop maternity wing and Charles Clifford dental facility, has written to the organisation’s employees to announce details of a one-off £100 payment that will be given to every worker in their March pay packet.

“None of us could have predicted that those first two patients we received from the Diamond Princess cruise ship on February 22, 2020, would lead to us having cared for almost 5,000 patients with Covid-19 a year later,” said Ms Major.

“This last year has been one that none of us will ever forget and that has applied in terms of our home lives as well as here at STH.”

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A nurse administers the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to a patient at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield in December 2020. (Photo by Andy Stenning - Pool/Getty Images)

She continued: “Believe me, the additional hours which have been voluntarily worked, the annual leave given up, the breaks shortened, the logging on to laptops at evenings and weekends and the days off sacrificed has not gone unnoticed over these past months. I, and the rest of the board, are so grateful for your commitment and selfless response to the circumstances we faced.”

Ms Major added: “We can never truly repay what you have willingly delivered and sacrificed this year, but as a small gesture of thanks for the hours and work you have given, which has been so much above and beyond normal circumstances, we will make a one-off payment of £100 to you to spend in a way we hope brings you some joy after an unprecedented year. We hope you will accept this in the spirit it is intended."

The payment will be the same for all trust staff who were in post prior to January 1, 2021, and who continue to work for the organisation, ‘regardless of their role or hours worked’.

"This is to reflect the fact that everyone has contributed in one way or another as part of a huge team effort,” Ms Major said.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals is one of the city’s biggest employers with around 17,000 staff.

The move to award a bonus coincides with mounting controversy over the Government’s proposed one per cent pay rise for NHS staff in England. Four trade unions – The British Medical Association, the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Nursing and Unison – have written a joint letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak saying the offer ‘fails the test of honesty and fails to provide staff who have been on the very frontline of the pandemic the fair pay deal they need’.

“Our members are the doctors, nurses, midwives, porters, healthcare assistants and more, already exhausted and distressed, who are also expected to go on caring for the millions of patients on waiting lists, coping with a huge backlog of treatment as well as caring for those with Covid-19,” the letter says.

On Friday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the one per cent deal reflected ‘what’s affordable as a nation’.

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