Families of frontline health workers who die from COVID–19 to receive £60,000 payout

Matt Hancock announces the life assurance scheme for bereaving families at the coronavirus briefing.

Matt Hancock announces the life assurance scheme for bereaving families at the coronavirus briefing. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Bereaving families of frontline health and care workers who have sadly died from coronavirus are set to receive a £60,000 payment as part of a new life assurance programme announced yesterday.

The new scheme, announced by Matt Hancock at the daily press briefing yesterday evening, will cover coronavirus related deaths of frontline NHS staff and social care workers during the outbreak.

Those covered will include full, part–time or locum GPs, dentists, retired staff, cleaners, porters and second and final year university students taking up paid roles. Carers, personal assistants and frontline child and family social workers will also fall under the scheme.

Khalid Jamil, a healthcare assistant from St Albans, and Dr Alfa Saadu, who worked as a doctor at the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welwyn, both passed away after contracting coronavirus earlier this month.

At the briefing yesterday, Mr Hancock referenced 82 NHS workers and 16 social care workers who have died from coronavirus.

The scheme will be measured from March 25, the period in which NHS workforce provisions were enforced by the Coronavirus Act 2020, although claims for coronavirus–related deaths before this will also be considered.

Bereaved family members will receive a £60,000 lump sum, which according to the government is worth roughly twice the average pensionable pay for NHS staff.

Mr Hancock 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.

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“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.

“We will continue to strive night and day to provide them with the support and protection they need and deserve to keep them safe as they work tirelessly to save lives.”

Employers will be asked to initiate claims on behalf of the individual’s families and claims will be verified and processed by the NHS Business Services Authority.

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