Over 50 countries provide formal legal recognition for key workers.
Nurses are continuing their calls to ensure long Covid is recognised as an “occupational disease”.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has been campaigning since June 2022 for the condition to be acknowledged by the Government.
This comes a year after the government’s own scientific advisory board on industrial injuries published evidence showing there’s a significantly increased risk of COVID-19, subsequent illness and death for health and social care workers.
The board recommended that five specific conditions, resulting from complications of COVID-19, should be prescribed as an occupational disease for those who work in health and social care.
In the letter, sent jointly by the RCN and British Medical Association (BMA), we point to evidence about the availability and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) from an RCN member survey conducted during the pandemic.
More than 50 countries worldwide already provide formal legal recognition for key workers who contracted COVID-19 as a result of workplace exposure and offer corresponding compensation and support schemes.
Forever changed by long Covid.
The RCN is calling upon the government to provide support to healthcare staff and their families who’ve suffered significant financial losses as a result of contracting COVID-19 at work and then developed long COVID.
A survey by the union showed that more than a third of respondents felt under pressure to care for patients with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 without adequate protection.
Any special leave provisions for healthcare workers with COVID-19 ended earlier this year.
RCN Chief Nurse Professor Nicola Ranger said: “Nursing staff tell us their lives have been forever changed by long COVID. Its physical impact coupled with long-term financial insecurity is causing them continued worry.
“They have been doubly let down by this government – which first failed to provide adequate protection against a deadly virus and subsequently left thousands unsupported whilst facing the often-debilitating consequences of long COVID.”