Governments must provide death in service benefits

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is demanding urgent clarification from the Prime Minister and governments across Great Britain about the inclusion of pharmacy teams in their new death in service benefit.

New arrangements have been announced in England and Wales, with Scotland due to announce the detail of its scheme on Friday. We are deeply concerned about the applicability of these schemes to pharmacists and strongly believe that all health and care workers should be included. We’ve sought urgent clarification from the Welsh, Scottish and Westminster governments and have now been assured that in Wales community pharmacy teams will be included. However, we have yet to receive similar assurances from England and Scotland.

Sandra Gidley, RPS President, said: “It is truly shocking that governments would choose to exclude pharmacy teams from their death in service benefits at a time when they are going above and beyond to provide NHS services both in primary and secondary care. 

“This news came with no prior engagement with the pharmacy profession and has been a bitter blow to the thousands of pharmacists putting themselves at risk every day when they care for patients.

“The news that pharmacists would only benefit from the scheme in exceptional circumstances has been seen as a kick in the teeth and has upset and angered the whole profession.

“Now is the time for governments to step up and show their appreciation for the commitment these teams are demonstrating, and the NHS services they are providing.  All pharmacists and their teams must be included immediately in the death in service benefits being provided to frontline staff.”

Read the letter here.