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NHS bonus payments to pharmacists

Questions have been asked in the Westminster Parliament about the government’s position on making a bonus payment to pharmacists in England in recognition of their contribution during the pandemic, as has been the case in the other parts of the UK.

Mon 20th September 2021 The PDA

Questions have been asked in Westminster this week by Taiwo Owetami MP, who is a registered pharmacist, about whether the government has plans to provide pharmacists practicing in England with a bonus payment on a similar basis to those provided by the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish governments.

In her response, the then pharmacy Minister*, Jo Churchill MP replied that the government “has provided a comprehensive package of support for community pharmacies during the Covid-19 pandemic, in addition to the general support provided to all businesses. This has included the ability to claim for extra costs.”

The disappointing response from Jo Churchill, not only keeps England out of step with the other nations but also reflects a mindset which does not distinguish between “pharmacies” and “pharmacists”. The PDA is constantly tackling this worldview, as too often decision-makers do not recognise the critical contribution pharmacists make to the health system beyond community pharmacy. This includes arrangements that rely on employers to cascade information, training, or funds that typically exclude the many thousands of locum pharmacists.

It is critical that the views and perspectives of the profession, and not just the pharmacy owners, are heard and understood, particularly by government ministers. The PDA will continue to highlight the difference between pharmacists and their employers.

Scotland update

In recent discussions between the PDA and government officials in Scotland, it has been confirmed that all payments in relation to the £500 ‘bonus’ to health and social care staff should now have been received by those that met the criteria and submitted a claim.

However, the PDA is assisting several pharmacists who still have outstanding claims or queries in relation to the payment. The PDA ask that any members who have not yet received their payment, to contact the PDA Service Centre by emailing

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*As part of the recent Cabinet reshuffle conducted by the Prime Minister, Maggie Throup MP has been appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Minister for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care).






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