NHS and social care staff across Wales are in line for another special payment in recognition of their efforts during the Covid pandemic.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething announced the payment this lunchtime.

The Government is to give everybody in the NHS £735 – which after tax and national insurance will come to £500 for most recipients.

The Welsh Government last year made a £500 payment, but later found that it was not being made tax exempt.

The payment will go to an estimated 221,945 people in Wales including 103,600 social care staff, 90,000 NHS Wales staff, 2,345 deployed students and 26,000 primary care staff – including pharmacy, GP, dental and optometry staff.

Mr Gething said: “Over the last year, Wales’ NHS staff and social care staff have shown a remarkable amount of commitment and courage from the initial outbreak of the pandemic right through to the current second wave.

“They will have suffered the impacts of the pandemic on their physical and mental health wellbeing in both their personal and professional lives.

“This payment expresses our gratitude to our NHS and social care workforce for their extraordinary contribution in keeping Wales safe.”

The Welsh Government is working with local authorities and with trade unions to finalise details of the scheme.

The bonus is further to the £500 special payment for care home and domiciliary care workers announced in May 2020 to recognise their work through the first wave of the pandemic.

This bonus will be made to a wider group of social care workers including local authority social services staff.

The plan has been described as a a "timely boost for worn-out NHS staff and care workers" by union Unison Cymru Wales.

Paul Summers, Unison Cymru Wales lead officer for health, said: “This is a really timely boost for worn-out low-paid NHS and care staff.

“But this is only the start and we will continue to argue for all NHS Agenda for Change staff to receive a minimum £2,000 pay rise as part of the Unison #OneTeam2k campaign.”