A NURSE has raised fresh fears that a lack of sick pay for bank staff will put patients at risk.

The Glasgow Times told earlier this month of fears bank nurses could opt out of hospital shifts due to the coronavirus risk because they are only entitled to statutory sick pay.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde then issued assurances that agency workers would be paid for shifts booked but missed due to self-isolation.

But now bank nurses have come forward to say this is little more than an empty promise.

One nurse, who asked not to be named, said: "I usually work three or four shifts a week but essentially I am on a zero hours contract.

"The way bank shifts work is that we only book one or two in advance - some people pick up their shifts on the day, which I often do.

"I'm now having to self-isolate for 14 days but I will only get statutory sick pay because I only had two shifts booked in.

"I know nurses who have symptoms but who are just risking it because they can't afford to be off.

"Others think there's no point in picking up shifts because you are risking being exposed to the virus and being off sick."

The nurse had come off shift from working in a busy Glasgow hospital where she said three of four nurses she was working with were bank staff.

Agency workers help prop up the NHS and are especially vital when the health service is under increasing strain.

Another nurse said: "I know there are bank staff who will try to carry on because they feel they don't have a choice.

"If they just paid us for what we do over an average year then that would be fair but we feel like our safety and health is second best.

"We just want to feel valued and as though we will be looked after by the health board."

Matt McLaughlin, of Unison Scotland, said previously that bank staff may decide they are not available for work because they are treated "less favourably than permanent staff" in terms of employee rights such as sick pay allowance.

A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: "During these challenging and difficult times we are extremely grateful to our staff for their commitment and professionalism.

"This includes our bank staff who play a vital role in our workforce and any bank staff required to self-isolate should be paid for the shifts already booked during their period of self-isolation.

"Otherwise bank staff will be paid Statutory Sick Pay.

"If any of our bank staff have any questions or require further guidance we would urge them to please call the Staff Bank Team who would be more than happy to discuss their concerns."