The families of health and care workers on the frontline will benefit from a new life assurance scheme during the coronavirus pandemic as ‘financial worries should be the last thing on the minds of their families’
Families of eligible workers who die from coronavirus in the course of their frontline essential work will receive a £60,000 payment.
The scheme, launched by the Department of Health and Social Care, will cover frontline NHS staff and social care workers in England. Funding will also be provided to devolved administrations to support similar schemes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Bereaved family members will receive a £60,000 lump sum worth roughly twice the average pensionable pay for NHS staff, with the cost met by the government.
The scheme recognises the increased risk faced by staff during the crisis and will cover coronavirus related deaths of workers in frontline health and adult and children’s social care roles during the outbreak.
It will cover staff who provide hands-on personal care for people who have contracted coronavirus or work in health or care settings where the virus is present.
This will cover full, part-time or locum NHS and public health workers, including GPs, dentists, retired staff and second and final year students taking up paid frontline roles.
The families of health and care workers on the frontline in England will also benefit from a new life assurance scheme during the pandemic, developed after discussions with health and social care unions.
Within social care, the scheme will cover employees of publicly funded care homes, home care, directly employed carers including personal assistants and frontline child and family social workers.
The scheme is aimed at those who die from coronavirus during the course of their essential and lifesaving work. This includes those providing direct care as well as cleaners and porters who continue to carry out vital duties in these care environments.
Matt Hancock, health and social care secretary, said: ‘Nothing can make up for the tragic loss of a loved one during this pandemic. We owe a huge debt to those who die in service to our nation and are doing everything we can to protect them.
‘Financial worries should be the last thing on the minds of their families so in recognition of these unprecedented circumstances we are expanding financial protection to NHS and social care workers delivering publicly funded care on the frontline.’
A minute’s silence was also held at 11am this morning headed by the NHS England’s national and regional teams to pay their respects to the friends and colleagues they have lost over the last two months due to the virus.
So far 82 NHS staff are known to have died after testing positive for coronavirus.
Chief Nursing Officer Ruth May said: ‘Every death is a tragedy but we feel the loss of fellow health and care workers particularly keenly.’
The NHS is also raising awareness of the wellbeing support that is available to NHS and social care staff – the #OurNHSPeople Wellbeing Support.
- a free wellbeing support helpline, and text message service, providing emotional support from trained volunteers and onward signposting to specialist advice, bereavement care and coaching;
- a new NHS Bereavement & Trauma Line providing support including a team of specialist counsellors and support workers, and;
- peer to peer, team and personal resilience support.