DAUK on LBC: death in service and the ‘life assurance’ scheme for healthcare workers

Dr Rinesh Parmar, DAUK chair, on LBC last night responding to Matt Hancock’s announcement of the life assurance scheme for healthcare workers:

“Our thoughts and condolences go out to every family who is grieving and particularly the families of NHS and social care workers who have sadly died in the line of duty. The Doctors’ Association UK have been campaigning to try and get recognition for people who have died who work for health and social care for over a month now and we wrote to the health secretary back in March asking for appropriate death in service benefits to be extended to all healthcare workers and those in social care.”

“So I think it’s right that the health secretary has recognised the dedicated contribution that these individuals have made and the ultimate sacrifice that they have made in caring for us all.” “We do absolutely need to see the fine print here. We need to know that it applies to all doctors and nurses, that includes those who have returned to the frontline after retirement, those who work on a locum basis and those who pay be on a bank contract or a zero hour contract who have gone back to working on the frontline as well. We need to know it’s applicable to all these group, and that’s just a level of detail that we haven’t had so far yet.”

“These are dedicated individuals who were often at the peak of their career, they leave behind spouses, children and dependents who ultimately have suffered in the most horrific way in losing their loved ones and they really need to be supported now.” “It’s just not right that the dependents of healthcare workers are left in a position where they can’t make ends meet going forward because of a loss of a loved one. We will definitely be pushing the government to really look at this again, look at seeing what they can do in terms of a long term support package for families who have sadly paid the ultimate price in losing a loved one who has been looking after us all.”

“We know that there are still shortages of PPE, there are still issues with testing and what NHS staff up and down the country are calling on the government for is openness and transparency about exactly what they are doing and how they are going to rectify the situation so we don’t see more of our colleagues succumbing to this horrible disease.”

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