In a statement yesterday Vaughan Gething has confirmed that community pharmacy in Wales will be included in the death in service benefit.
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.
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.
In a statement yesterday Vaughan Gething commented:
“Sadly, we continue to see deaths on a daily basis. Everyone is a tragic loss for families, friends and communities affected. Understanding and acknowledging the numbers of people who are dying is important to all of us, including Ministers. Yesterday, we published a report following the identification on 23 April of a significant number of deaths that had not been reported to Public Health Wales. The actions identified within the report that I published yesterday have already been put in place, and, of course, they were covered in earlier questions to the First Minister.
“Yesterday, many of us stood in silence for a minute to remember workers who have lost their lives to coronavirus or work-related accidents or ill health. On Monday, I announced that families of NHS Wales and social care workers who die in service as a result of COVID-19 will be entitled to financial support with the payment of £60,000. That is in addition to any other existing pension arrangements.
“I know that our front-line workers are going above and beyond to care for vulnerable patients every day, and this scheme gives equal recognition to staff across health, social care and community pharmacy. It provides a safety net for eligible staff who have delivered front-line services and who may not, perhaps, have been eligible to join the pension scheme or decided not to because of affordability, but also to those already in a pension scheme. I hope this will be of some help during a difficult time, although, of course, I recognise that a lump sum payment does not recognise the loss of life.”