Frontline Staff Support Package: better PPE, extra pay, practical support
By Liberal Democrats
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats
The Lib Dems have launched a plan for a comprehensive package of support for the 2.2 million NHS and social care workers on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis
The package includes: ensuring workers have the personal protective equipment they need, now; practical help to make day-to-day life a little easier; extra pay to reflect the extra dangers they face; additional support for those who die in service; and a new medal to recognise their service during this perilous time.
You can learn more about each part of the plan and how it works here and back it here: www.libdems.org.uk/nhs-care-package-launch
Protective kit for all frontline workers, now
The Government failed to properly prepare for a pandemic by stockpiling PPE over the last few years, and failed to show any urgency to increase the supply when the coronavirus crisis hit. It is outrageous that our frontline health and care workers are being let down by a lack of proper equipment.
Ministers must do everything they can to speed up procurement and distribution of PPE, to both frontline NHS staff and social care workers. What needs to change is for the Government to show more urgency about this.
Practical help with food deliveries, accommodation & transport
The Government should be working with supermarkets to enable frontline workers and their families to get food delivered when they need it, with more hotels to offer free rooms to frontline workers who are self-isolating or who are shielding vulnerable people in their own households, and with local authorities, bus companies and other transport operators to offer free travel for frontline workers to get to and from work.
Frontline Service Reward
The brave Armed Forces personnel who put their lives on the line in the most dangerous places, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, are paid an Operational Allowance: an extra £29.02 for every day they are deployed in conflict areas.
We think the same principle should apply to the brave NHS and social care workers putting their lives on the line during the coronavirus crisis. They should get an extra daily allowance to reflect the additional dangers they face.
Bereavement and funeral support
The Government must go much further than the existing death-in-service scheme for NHS staff.
First, it must include social care workers, who are not covered by the NHS scheme. Second, bereavement support should be increased to bring it more in line with that given to the families of Armed Forces personnel who die in service. And third, the Government should cover the cost of frontline workers' funerals.
Those who die protecting people from coronavirus deserve to know their families will be properly supported.
Coronavirus Service Medal
This new medal would be given to every single frontline worker in the NHS and social care in recognition of their service keeping our country safe during the coronavirus crisis.
Just as children now are awed and inspired by their grandparents' medals from World War II, so children in the future should be reminded of the courage and sacrifice of today's heroes.