Radiographers could receive a £500 bonus from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland, and students up to £2,000, in recognition of their work in the pandemic.
Everyone on the Business Service Organisation payroll – including doctors and Agenda for Change staff - is potentially eligible, and staff in primary care and the independent sector will also be included.
The automatic payment will apply to radiography students on clinical placement between 1 October 2020 and 31 March 2021.
All staff and students will need to meet qualifying criteria. The Department of Health has released FAQs on the special payments.
The gesture has been welcomed particularly for the recognition of students who took on ‘supernumerary clinical placements that have contributed to the delivery of health and social care during the unique and unprecedented challenges presented by the pandemic’.
SoR National Officer for Northern Ireland Leandre Archer said: ‘This is a positive announcement from the health minister to aid our radiography students.
‘Students have had to deal with the effects of Covid-19 on their academic studies with the vast amount of teaching having gone virtual and on clinical placements where they have been faced with having to wear PPE and deal with Covid-19 on the frontline.
‘I would hope that this recognition payment goes some way to helping them continue and complete their courses and becoming the workforce that will be so important in the future to ensure sustainability of radiography services.’
Nichola Jamison, SCoR Interim Student Support, said: 'A welcome gesture in Northern Ireland, and a positive step towards recognising the efforts of our student workforce in challenging times.
‘Students across all four nations have contributed above and beyond expectations during the pandemic, and it would be encouraging to see similar initiatives across the rest of the UK in due course. A very happy outcome for Northern Ireland students!'