A campaign backed by the Daily Express calling for compensation for families of NHS workers who have died from Covid-19 has been successful.
The Health Secretary Matt Hancock last night (April 27) announced that a £60,000 pay-out will be given to families of NHS and social care workers who lose their lives fighting the coronavirus crisis.
In the daily briefing, Hancock praised the work of those who have ‘dedicated their lives to caring for others’ and paid tribute to the 82 NHS workers and 16 social care staff who have fallen victim to the virus so far.
The paper’s front page carried pictures of some of the NHS workers who have lost their lives ‘in memory of their sacrifice’, as the nation today gave a minute’s silence at 11am to pay tribute to those key workers.
Lib Dem MP Layla Moran, who led the campaign in parliament, told the Express: “This is a huge win for the campaign to introduce a Coronavirus Compensation Scheme. I’m thankful for the support received from over 60 cross-party MPs, over 8,000 members of the public and the Daily Express, which backed the campaign and put it on the front page.”
Last week, the SoE reported the Express had the support of over 50 MPs in calling for the Coronavirus Compensation Scheme.
It is said the new life assurance scheme will assist grieving families with paying for funeral costs and offer financial security for dependants during the crisis.
The Health Secretary said, “I feel a deep personal sense of duty that we must care for their loved ones.”
“I’m 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.
Jon Skewes of the Royal College of Midwives, explained that the £60,000 compensation payment will be given “on top of existing pension entitlements” and crucially includes “those who have returned to the service and students who have come into service early”. These were gaps in the original NHS pension scheme pointed out by the paper last week.
However, MP Layla Moran added that the government’s scheme ought to go further to include “the families of all key workers – carers, teachers and bus drivers to name a few – who die on the frontline.”
Dave Prentis, the General Secretary of the public sector union Unison, added, “Providing financial security for the families of all those who’ve paid the ultimate price for their professionalism and dedication is the very least we can do.”
Read the Daily Express piece in full here.