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Long-COVID: why nurses deserve immediate financial help

Nursing staff with long-COVID face lengthy wait to hear if they can claim compensation
woman slumps with head in hands – fatigue is a symptom of long-COVID

Decision on whether to classify long-COVID as an occupational disease could take a year, Industrial Injuries Advisory Council revealed

Nursing staff with long-COVID should not have to wait months for compensation, an MP said.

Instead, All-Party Parliamentary Group on coronavirus chair Layla Moran wants a stop-gap compensation scheme to be set up to help key workers while authorities decide whether long-COVID can be classed as an occupational disease.

The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council , which must consider a raft of evidence on the issue, confirmed to the BBC the process could take a year .

Why occupational disease status matters

Occupational disease classification would

Decision on whether to classify long-COVID as an occupational disease could take a year, Industrial Injuries Advisory Council revealed

woman slumps with head in hands – fatigue is a symptom of long-COVID
Picture: iStock

Nursing staff with long-COVID should not have to wait months for compensation, an MP said.

Instead, All-Party Parliamentary Group on coronavirus chair Layla Moran wants a stop-gap compensation scheme to be set up to help key workers while authorities decide whether long-COVID can be classed as an occupational disease.

The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council, which must consider a raft of evidence on the issue, confirmed to the BBC the process could take a year.

Why occupational disease status matters

Occupational disease classification would trigger healthcare workers’ rights to claim benefits and compensation if they had a long-COVID diagnosis.

An estimated 122,000 NHS staff were reported by the Guardian newspaper in April to have the condition.

Ms Moran said: ‘An interim scheme is urgently needed. It is morally indefensible that key workers who were on the front line of the pandemic are being abandoned without proper support.

‘Nurses, doctors and other front-line staff looked after us during the darkest days of the pandemic, now it is the government’s turn to look after them,’ she said.

The risks coronavirus posed for nursing staff

Office for National Statistics data show that nurses were at higher risk of dying from COVID-19 than the general population. In England and Wales, there were 79.1 deaths per 100,000 male nurses and 24.5 deaths per 100,000 female nurses between March and December 2020. This compared to 31.4 deaths per 100,000 men and 16.8 deaths per 100,000 women in the general population.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: ‘COVID-19 is still a relatively new disease and to better understand the long-term effects we are providing over £50 million for research funding.’


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