The Health Service Journal (HSJ) reported this week that the families of NHS managers and other administrative staff would not be eligible to claim the governments new £60,000 pay out for healthcare workers who die from coronavirus.
In the article, the Department of Health and Social care confirmed that to be eligible, NHS and other staff would have to meet a ‘situational’ test i.e they must have been working in environments or locations where personal care is provided to patients or service users.
As the Healthcare People Management Association (HPMA), we represent health and care staff that work in the field of people management, HR and Organisation Development. We welcome the scheme introduced by the government to support families who lose loved ones working in the NHS through contracting coronavirus. Like much of the county we applaud the work of NHS staff at this time of national crisis and feel a profound loss and sympathy for those lost to the NHS family through their personal sacrifice in looking after others. These are our friends and colleagues.
However, we believe that the families of all those who work as part of the NHS and social care whose lives are ended through coronavirus should be eligible for the new payment, irrespective of the role they have, both clinical and non-clinical. Healthcare is about teamwork and trying to divide the front line from corporate/non-clinical contributions is a distraction from the incredible work of all those working in our key health and care service each and every day. Our members may not often find themselves in a clinical working environment, but they are very much a vital part of the care patients and service users receive. They undertake the training of staff, organise testing, look after the health and wellbeing of staff, roster them, ensure they are paid and that they are supported and looked after both when they are at work, isolating or off sick. They are part of the healthcare team working closely with staff that deliver hands-on care. They are an essential service ensuring patients and service users are cared for.
We urge you and your officials to reconsider the application of the new scheme to ensure the families of all those working as part of the NHS and Social Care teams are equally eligible for the payment.
I’m sure you will agree that our members are doing an amazing job in extraordinary circumstances, and we want them to feel valued and supported in the same way they are valuing and supporting others working in clinical roles at this time.