Families Of NHS And Social Care Workers Who Die Of Covid-19 To Get £60k Payout

Health secretary Matt Hancock announces life assurance scheme as he revealed 82 NHS and 16 social care staff had lost their lives to the coronavirus.

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Families of frontline NHS and social care staff who have died from coronavirus will get a £60,000 payout, health secretary Matt Hancock has said.

The cabinet minister announced the new government life assurance scheme at the Downing Street briefing on Monday, as he revealed 82 NHS and 16 social care staff had lost their lives to Covid-19.

He said all the families of those who had died in the course of “essential frontline work” would get the cash sum.

It comes amid calls for a public inquiry into ministers’ failures to provide enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline staff.

“I feel a deep personal sense of duty that we must care for their loved ones,” he said.

“Today, I am able to announce that the government is setting up a life assurance scheme for NHS and social care 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.”

The government was also looking at other frontline professions who did not have access to a life assurance scheme, Hancock added.

He said: “As a government, we are looking closely at other professions that work on the front line against coronavirus, who also do not have access to such schemes, to see where this may be required.”

Hancock also confirmed that NHS services which had been paused due to the coronavirus outbreak will be restored from Tuesday.

He said there were 3,190 spare critical care beds – adding that “42% of oxygen-supported beds in the NHS now lie empty”.

“As the number of hospitalisations from coronavirus begins to fall, I can announce that, starting tomorrow, we will begin the restoration of other NHS services – starting with the most urgent, like cancer care and mental health support.

“The exact pace of the restoration will be determined by local circumstances on the ground, according to local need and according to the amount of coronavirus cases that that hospital is having to deal with.”

“In most parts of the country, the number of people in hospital with coronavirus is beginning to fall.”

The move was welcomed by the health worker union Unison.

General secretary Dave Prentis said: “Until now, the relatives of any low-paid health worker who died and had opted out of the NHS pension scheme would have received nothing. Nor would the families of care workers on precarious contracts. Thankfully now that wrong has been put right.

“Until their untimely deaths, all were looking after patients, saving lives, caring for the elderly and the vulnerable in our hospitals and care homes. Putting themselves in harm’s way, while most of us were safe at home.”

Hancock conducted the briefing after Boris Johnson returned to work on Monday.

The prime minister used his first public appearance since recovering from Covid-19 to warn that lifting the coronavirus lockdown too soon would risk “a new wave of death and disease”.


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