Jackie Baillie MSP and Catherine Sweeney, the first care worker to die of coronavirus.

By Bill Heaney

Why is there always a catch? Why does the public not trust the government and consider many politicians to be duplicitous?

Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond, has called on the Scottish Government to extend financial support that has been announced for the families of NHS workers’ who have lost their lives, to families of workers in the social care sector too.

It’s always a good idea to read the fine print or drill down into the details whenever a government announcement is made.

The UK Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, yesterday announced that families of those NHS health workers and care staff who lost their lives due to Covid-19 will receive financial support in the form of a life insurance plan worth £60,000 to ease the financial burden of their loss.

The Scottish Government has agreed to adopt a similar programme for families in Scotland, However, the Scottish Government plans do not mention providing financial aid for social care workers’ families.

Jackie Baillie MSP has urged the Scottish Government to ensure that families of those who have lost their lives in the social care sector are not forgotten about.

Jackie Baillie MSP said:  “It is devastating that so many who have dedicated their professional lives to caring and protecting others have lost their lives to this awful virus. My sympathy goes out to each and every family member who has lost a loved one to Covid-19.

“It is right that help is being given to ease the financial strain for NHS workers’ families but it is vital that this help is extended to those who lost their lives in the social care sector.

“Due to an initial lack of PPE given to. care home workers and home carers, many came into direct contact with Covid-19 when caring for others.

“As a result, social care staff have lost their lives – including here in Dumbarton.”

Catherine Sweeney from Silverton was the first social care worker in Scotland to die after contracting coronavirus.

Jackie Baillie added: “Whilst no amount of money can recompense for the loss of a loved one, this will help ease the immediate financial burden.

“The Scottish Government must not forget about the service that social care staff have provided to communities across Scotland. These staff died while protecting the most vulnerable in our society.

“The least the Scottish Government must do is to ensure that their families are looked after now that they have gone.”

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