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UK News The vaccine hero practice nurses who can't get fair play over pensions

02:35  24 february  2021
02:35  24 february  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Not all heroes wear capes. In the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the real heroes wear scrubs. Home-quarantined citizens are expressing love for the doctors and nurses on the front lines of the global COVID-19 outbreak, even as it spreads across much of the world. Doctors Nurses Paramedics Police officers Homecare workers Pharmacy and other medical workers Grocery store personnel Delivery people Transit workers Airline workers And anyone who works with the public and cannot stay home. Thank you, thank you, a million times THANK YOU.

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a group of people posing for the camera: MailOnline logo © Provided by This Is Money MailOnline logo

Proudly smiling on graduation day at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham in 1984, these four friends had their whole nursing careers ahead of them.

Now, after serving the public for four decades, they have reached retirement age and can think about drawing on their hard-earned NHS pensions.

But unlike her colleagues in the photograph, Debbie McGinty (far left) has had to keep working because she was excluded from the NHS pension scheme when she went into practice nursing.

a group of people posing for the camera: High hopes: Newly qualified nurses, from left, Debbie McGinty, Alison, Claire and Helen together after graduating in 1984 © Provided by This Is Money High hopes: Newly qualified nurses, from left, Debbie McGinty, Alison, Claire and Helen together after graduating in 1984

Practice nurses are at the forefront of the UK's world-beating vaccination drive to protect the nation from coronavirus. They have gone beyond the call of duty to help inject more than 18 million of us and return the country to health.

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What could possibly go wrong? Since the first positive results on vaccines have come out, a lot of people have asked me if I think everyone should take them? For some reason, a number of people out there trust my judgement on such things. As I remarked to a friend recently, the moment anyone says ‘ vaccine ’, the only acceptable response is to leap to your feet and salute, whilst singing Ode to Joy. Followed by fifteen minutes of enthusiastic clapping. Failure to do so, means you are taken out and shot for thought crimes.

The hospital responded that the nurse whose shot was questioned has received a second dose to eliminate any doubts that he was vaccinated . “After numerous reports emerged on social media claiming one of the five nurses receiving a vaccination on Tuesday did not receive a full dose of vaccine , we want to remove any doubt raised that he was not fully vaccinated UMC has confirmed with the US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) that re- vaccinating the nurse will not cause adverse effects. The nurse will need to return after three weeks to receive his second dose.”

Yet thousands of GP nurses are facing a poorer retirement than their NHS colleagues because they were excluded from the pension scheme for years.

Money Mail is calling for a fairer pension deal for these nurses, who missed out on as much as £100,000 in retirement because they were considered privately employed by GPs.

Many NHS nurses agreed to take up new positions in local health centres in the late 1980s and early 1990s - but because they were then working for GPs, they had to drop out of the NHS pension scheme.

And while GPs themselves were allowed to keep paying into the scheme, practice nurses were not allowed back in until 1997. By then, many had missed out on more than ten years' investment in their retirement fund.

Campaigners say the vital role of practice nurses in the pandemic has reignited the sense of injustice.

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Debbie, who now lives in Coventry, was excluded from contributing to the NHS scheme for seven years after starting work as a practice nurse in 1990.

As a result, not only does she have a smaller retirement fund than her friends, but she couldn't retire at 55 last year because she didn't pay into the pension scheme for more than five years.

Debbie, who had wanted to take her pension and help care for her elderly parents, says: 'I felt completely naive and devastated that, after dedicating my whole working life to caring for others in an NHS role, this was how I was treated.

'My dear friends who I had trained with - but who didn't go into practice nursing until later - are now enjoying the benefits of retirement, or taking their pension and continuing to work in the NHS. I can't help but feel discriminated against.'

Debbie's friend Alison, 55, (second left) was able to retire with her pension last year after a career as a palliative nurse.

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Describe with whom the nurse needs to communicate and when. The nurse is legally and ethically responsible for communicating with other nurses and HC providers. Nurse give report to other nurses during shift change to provide for continuity of care. Explain what is meant by the phrase: "If it wasn' t documented, it wasn' t done," and explain how this impacts on the legal and ethical practice of A patient refuses to have a pain medication by injection. A nurse says, "If you don' t let me give you the injection, I will get help to hold you down and give it." With what crime might the nurse be charged?

"He was a pro- vaccine advocate, that is why he got it himself," Neckelmann wrote. "I believe that people should be aware that side effects can happen, that it is not good for everyone and in this case destroyed a beautiful life, a perfect family, and has affected so many people in the community. A Pfizer spokesperson told The Epoch Times via email earlier this month that the company "closely monitor[s] all reports following vaccination ." Moderna hasn' t responded to requests for comment on its involvement in monitoring serious adverse events in people who get its vaccine .

She says: 'If you are caring for NHS patients, you should have been allowed to stay in the NHS scheme. It is grossly unfair that Debbie wasn't allowed to do that at the time.'

Meanwhile, Claire (second right) also worked as a practice nurse but started in 1995, so was still able to access her pension at 55.

She says: 'Debbie has given as much as I have to the NHS, so why should she be treated any differently?'

Helen, 55, took her pension last September but still works part-time in Coventry.

a person in a green shirt: Front line: Practice nurses are now at the forefront of the UK's world-beating vaccination drive to protect the nation from coronavirus © Provided by This Is Money Front line: Practice nurses are now at the forefront of the UK's world-beating vaccination drive to protect the nation from coronavirus

She switched to practice nursing in 1996 and says: 'It wasn't made clear to Debbie and many others at the time she joined general practice that it wouldn't be classed as the NHS in terms of pension contributions.'

We launched our Money Mail campaign for practice nurses more than 18 months ago and it received support from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

Dame Donna Kinnair, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, says: 'Nurses working in general practice are the bedrock of health and care.

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'Now the Covid-19 vaccination programme is being rolled out, they are leading the way again in setting up and running vaccination clinics.'

Joanne Hamilton, 55, missed out on eight years in the scheme after signing up to be one of the first practice nurses in Dudley, in the West Midlands.

The married grandmother, who is now helping to vaccinate vulnerable NHS patients in their homes, says: 'Practice nurses are key to the delivery of this vaccine but we were denied those years of paying into a pension that GPs could. It is just so unfair.'

S ome practice nurses have told Money Mail they were never informed that they would be excluded from the NHS pension scheme, while others said they didn't realise the implications.

Jane Hughes, 64, started work as a practice nurse in Dudley in 1991 after working as district nurse for 15 years.

She has been a nurse for nearly 48 years but, because she was barred from the NHS scheme for six years, she has had to keep working to make up her pension shortfall.

The married mum-of-one has vaccinated hundreds of patients this year. She says: 'I love what I do — but if I had stayed in a hospital or as a district nurse, I would have a bigger pension. '

A Department of Health spokesman says: 'We are thankful for the vital role NHS staff are playing in the coronavirus vaccination programme.

'In recognition of their crucial role assisting general practitioners, more than 50,000 GP practice staff were admitted into the NHS Pension Scheme in 1997.

'To make sure pension contribution rates for existing members of the NHS scheme are protected, it is not possible to allow these staff to backdate their pension.'

b.wilkinson@dailymail.co.uk

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