Death in service benefit extended to teams

We warmly welcome clarification today from Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, that the death in service benefit for frontline NHS key workers has now been extended to pharmacy teams, as well as pharmacists. It will now include registered pharmacy technicians, dispensing assistants and medicine counter assistants. 

RPS President Sandra Gidley said: “We have consistently fought for all of the pharmacy team to be included in this scheme. The original omission of pharmacists and their much-valued colleagues from the benefit was a body blow for all of us.

“We are very pleased to have now received personal reassurances from Matt Hancock that the whole pharmacy family will now be eligible to make a claim under the scheme. Frontline pharmacy teams have shown extraordinary dedication to their patients and the NHS during the pandemic. Pharmacies are one of the few places where patients can still get face-to-face advice and treatment, and as such are exposed to increased risks. It’s only right that such commitment is recognised should the very worst happen.”

President of the Association of Pharmacy Technicians Liz Fidler said: “The clarification from the Secretary of State that Pharmacy Technicians, Dispensers and Medicines Counter Assistants are included in the Governments Life Assurance Scheme is extremely welcome.

“Pharmacy is delivering services in challenging circumstances, working long hours but continually putting patient care first. Community pharmacy is a critical and valued healthcare service which requires complimentary expertise and skills. The acknowledgment that wider pharmacy staff, in addition to pharmacists, are valued healthcare professionals is reassuring and motivating at this time. Pharmacy Teams will continue to provide the best care for their patients and communities.”

Read the letter from Matt Hancock

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We need your support.


Your dedication and commitment during the pandemic has been exceptional.

As we brace for a surge of coronavirus infections, we know that pharmacy will be at the forefront of delivering healthcare.

Whether it’s flu vaccinations or dealing with local lockdowns we need decisions and assurances from the Government to make sure our profession can cope. We must make sure pharmacists get enough supplies of PPE, rapid access to testing in all care settings, and the recognition you deserve.

You told us that our leadership and resources during in the early months of the pandemic were of critical importance. We are now updating our highly valued COVID-19 resources and training webinars to make sure they reflect current - and changing - guidance.

If the enormous mental and physical strain of the past few months is repeated ahead of this winter, the health service will be on its knees. We will be there to make sure pharmacists get mental health and wellbeing support.

We will continue to work hard to give you the tools and guidance to do your job safely. And fight to make sure you get the recognition you deserve.
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