Families of NHS and social care staff who die from coronavirus in the course of “essential frontline work” will receive a £60,000 payment, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced. It comes as a total of 21,092 patients had died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Sunday, up by 360 from 20,732 the day before. Mr Hancock added 82 NHS workers and 16 social care staff had died so far.
Speaking at Downing Street, Mr Hancock said: “I feel a deep personal sense of duty that we must care for their loved ones
“Today I’m able to announce that the Government is setting up a life assurance scheme for frontline colleagues.
“Families of staff who die from coronavirus in the course of their essential frontline work will receive a £60,000 payment.
“Of course, nothing replaces the loss of a loved one but we want to do everything we can to support families who are dealing with this grief.”
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Matt Hancock announced families of NHS staff who died will receive compensation
Families of NHS staff will received £60,000 if workers die during frontline service
The Daily Express backed a call by leading MPs for a ‘Coronavirus Compensation Scheme’ for NHS workers who die in their proud nation’s service.
Backing the campaign, leading UK cancer expert Professor Karol Sikora told us: “This would be a superb gesture.
“It is not just doctors and nurses who are tragically suffering in the frontline but everyone in the NHS. Their sacrifices should all be recognised.”
The NHS pension scheme currently grants cover to active members who die in service by providing financial support to their partners and other dependents, often with a lump sum based on their pensionable pay.
A total of 21,092 patients had died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as
BMA pensions committee chair Dr Vishal Sharma said: “Given the trepidation that many doctors and healthcare workers face as they take significant risks on the frontline each day to care for patients, it is only right that they should have these assurances.”
Dr Rinesh Parmar, Chair of the Doctors’ Association UK said: “We welcome the Daily Express campaign to support the families of dedicated healthcare workers who have tragically lost their lives whilst trying to look after us all.
“It is morally unacceptable that we ask healthcare workers to put their lives on the line and simultaneously deny their families death in service benefit if the worst were to happen and they were to succumb to coronavirus in the line of duty.”
Unite have previously raised “ongoing concerns about the death in service provisions for NHS workers on the front-line in the coronavirus crisis.”
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Mr Hancock added the number of patients attending A&E had fallen to 221,000 in the last week from 477,000 in the same week last year.
He said: “Some of this drop is due to lower road traffic and people following the social distancing rules. Some of it will be due to people accessing the NHS in ways that work better for them, like online or through pharmacies, and that’s a good thing.
“But in some cases we know that the drop is due to people not coming forward and using the NHS for critical things that matter.
“Our message is that the NHS is open. Help us to help you.”