Health and Social Care staff reflect on impact of Covid-19 pandemic

Survey reveals pride in service and achievements, despite challenges

Health and Social Care staff feel a strong sense of pride in their work, a new survey has found.

The survey found that despite concerns about challenges in both their work and personal lives, staff expressed satisfaction with their lives and the majority of health and care staff continue to say they would recommend their place of work to others.

The Everyone Matters Pulse Survey, which was carried out in September  saw responses from across all of Scotland’s 22 Health Boards and 30 Health and Social Care Partnerships, with more than 83,000 staff members taking part.

The survey heard about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on staff and their loved ones, with one in four stating they were supporting a vulnerable relative while, prior to the schools going back, one in four had school aged children at home. One in six had a family member who had been furloughed.

The survey also heard accounts of a range of measures for wellbeing support put in place around the country and staff’s appreciation of this. Initiatives included comfort zones and wellbeing packs, e-cycles so staff could travel to work without using public transport and online huddles and blogs.

Cabinet Secretary for Health, Jeane Freeman said:

“We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to our health and social care workers, which is why we announced a £500 ‘thank you’ payment for NHS and care staff.

“The challenges that have been faced in our emergency response have been substantial and Health and Social Care staff have continued to remain our biggest most valuable asset in delivering excellent care and quality services.  As such, now more than ever, it has been vital that we hear from staff about their experiences of work during this period. 

“I have been deeply affected by the stories of some of those who have experienced change and hardship in their role and personal life. Like many of us this year, NHS and care staff have had personal worries and difficulties, but they have  continued to go above and beyond in the face of these challenges to ensure that fellow colleagues and the people that they care for feel supported, safe and recognised, throughout the pandemic period. 

“The commitment and pride felt across the service is truly remarkable.  I expect senior leaders and managers across health and social care to reflect seriously on this report, and show appreciation and value for the efforts made by staff and their achievements.”


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Bonus Payment for Social Care Workers

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a one-off payment for Scotland’s lifesavers and care-givers on the frontline throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

A pro rated payment of £500 will be made as soon as is practicable to all NHS and social care workers employed since 17 March 2020 – including staff who have had to shield, or who have since retired.

This investment of around £180 million will see over 300,000 staff gain some benefit from this bonus, including nurses, porters, doctors, primary care staff, homecare workers, care home staff, hospice staff and residential child care staff.

The First Minister said:

“Back in the spring, at the height of the first wave of COVID, many of us publicly  – and often loudly – showed our appreciation for the work our NHS and social care staff were doing.

“The applause was important, but it was never enough. Our appreciation must be shown in a more tangible way.

“We’re in the early stages of negotiating a new pay deal for NHS Agenda for Change staff for 2021/22. The UK Government’s public sector pay policy will not make that task easy, but we will do our level best to give NHS staff the pay increase they deserve. However, these negotiations will take time to conclude.

“Those who have worked in our hospitals and care homes – at the sharpest end of the COVID trauma – deserve recognition now.

“So I can announce today that, on behalf of us all, the Scottish Government will give every full time NHS and social care worker £500 as a one-off thank you payment for their extraordinary service in this toughest of years. Those who work part time will get a proportionate share.

“The money will be paid in this financial year and it will be separate from any negotiations about pay for the longer term. There are no strings attached.

“Of course, a payment like this can never come close to expressing our full admiration for those who have cared for us so heroically. But to our health and care workers, it is a demonstration of what we collectively owe you – and a heartfelt thank you for the sacrifices you have made.”


The pro rata £500 bonus scheme, which will be funded from the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 support package, applies to employees employed since March 17, for:

All NHS Employees, including: 

  • staff who have been active in the NHS since 17 March 2020 but who have since left NHS employment, including retirees
  • staff who accepted and worked on temporary contracts since 17 March to aid pandemic response but who have since left NHS employment, including students who worked under temporary contracts but who have since returned to University
  • staff covered by the Two Tier Agreement
  • General Practitioners and their practice teams, including 2C practices

Staff providing NHS services under independent contractor arrangements including:

  • GP surgery staff
  • NHS Dental surgery staff
  • NHS pharmacy services staff
  • NHS optometry staff

Staff working in Adult Social Care including:

  • Care home staff
  • Homecare staff
  • Palliative care/hospice staff
  • Adult Personal Assistants
  • Social care staff in residential child care settings
  • Social Workers (including those working with children and families and in criminal justice)