Our demands

During this national crisis, all governments in the UK have a choice: to do everything in their power to guarantee adequate protection and support for every NHS worker, or to do nothing and let even more health workers die. 

That’s why we are asking MPs across the four nations to commit to giving every NHS worker the support and protection they need to keep patients safe as they tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

The five below demands are crucial to giving every NHS worker the protection and support they need to keep themselves and their patients safe during this pandemic.

We’ve scored the four governments — here’s how they stack up:

    Access to Healthcare worker testing
      PPE for all healthcare workers in line with WHO guidance
        Death-in-service benefit for all NHS staff
          Sick pay for locum healthcare workers
            Hospital accommodation for those living with vulnerable people
            Northern Ireland


            1. On 27 April 2020, the Health Secretary announced a £60,000 compensation package for NHS workers who have died from COVID-19 after undertaking essential frontline work. While this is a step in the right direction, we are still waiting to see the detail of the policy and whether this extends to locum and temporary staff and other healthcare workers not on the frontline.
            2. In contrast, Scotland has guaranteed that all NHS staff including locums will be eligible for full death-in-service benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes a full lump sum as well as survivor’s pension benefits available under the terms of the NHS pension scheme.


            Why these five issues?

            These five demands were identified by 1,000 EveryDoctor members as the most pressing issues facing healthcare workers right now. 

            1. Readily available healthcare worker testing will ensure no NHS worker is unduly removed from the workplace at this crucial time. 
            1. Having a mask, eye protection, gown and gloves at the start of every shift in line with WHO standards is crucial to preventing healthcare worker deaths from COVID-19. 
            1. Equal death-in-service benefits means doctors’ families can depend on the state for help if their loved one was to die from coronavirus. 
            1. Sick pay makes sure locum doctors aren’t left in financial difficulty if they contract coronavirus while caring for others.
            1. A national accommodation scheme means NHS workers can safely self-isolate to protect their loved ones and vulnerable people from COVID-19. At present, healthcare workers living with vulnerable others risk contaminating their homes and infecting their loved ones.

            Why are you scoring each nation separately?

            In the UK, healthcare is devolved between England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales which each run an equivalent National Health Service. 

            This means there are four legally separate health services in the UK run by four different governments.

            While there is a centrally coordinated four nation approach to the strategic management of the pandemic — including central procurement of Personal Protective Equipment, testing and ventilators, the First Ministers of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales still have control of all devolved healthcare policy. 

            This is why on the issue of benefits, the Scottish Government has already committed publicly to funding any Death in Service benefits and sick pay for all locum staff while NHS Pensions — which is steered by Westminster and has a remit over England — has not. 

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