NHS Staff Will Demand Increases: Sector Responds

Busy hospital wards and a shortage of personal protective equipment has prompted many medical practitioners to protect their final wishes by making a Will.

Many medical staff feel anxious when working because of a perceived lack of protective equipment and this has led to aencdotal suggestions that more believe they may die as a result of being in close contact to patients suffering from Covid-19.

Since the government imposed social distancing measures in the final weeks of March, a number of high profile medical leaders have lost their lives to the virus whilst trying to save others, including retired hospital medical director, Dr Alfa Saadu.

A law firm in Northern Ireland, a country suffering from PPE shortages more than most, has claimed that their firm had seen an increase in medical staff looking to make a Will.

Today’s Wills and Probate had the pleasure of discussing the issues with an NHS nurse, who wishes to remain anonymous, working in a large North West hospital. After a number of her colleagues in the Covid-19 ward developed symptoms, she decided to make a Will with her husband in the event the worst happened.

Unfortunately, weeks later, she started developing symptoms and was bed ridden for five days. Her two year old also started displaying mild symptoms.

The household has self-isolated for seven days and she is ready to return to her ward.

She commented:

“Making a Will was not directly related to PPE equipment. The department I work on has been well stocked and the local authority and NHS Trust have been extremely responsive to our needs. But more medical staff have become ill and it made me want to prepare so that family knew what would happen to our daughter.

“Now that I have had Covid-19, or at least had an illness that displayed symptoms linked to Covid19, I feel happy that we made the decision to make a Will. My symptoms were fairly mild but I was stuck in bed feeling awful for most of the week.”

The Wills and probate sector, also a key workforce, has responded to the medical professions concerns by offering heavily discounted or entirely free Will writing services for front line NHS staff. You deserve recognition for the ways you have helped during the UK’s darkest of days.

The Today’s Wills and Probate team would like to share your best practice with the entire community. If you have set up schemes to help your local community or NHS workers through this difficult time, let us know by contacting  [email protected]  

Ciaran Moynagh, solicitor of Phoenix Law, commented:

“I don’t want to alarm people, but the medics are very practical people and they’re getting their affairs in order.

“I think there’s a lot of people that want to know that while there are current stocks of PPE, will the stocks sustain or will the level of PPE actually improve?

“You have different tiers of people who may not work on a respiratory ward but are being redeployed there. Will they get a higher level of PPE than they currently have?

“These people may have specialisms but are now being asked to take up the slack.”

“They want to do their best but essentially they’re going into the unknown but that is concerning for them and their families.

“With the constant news headlines of ever increasing numbers of deaths, people do start thinking ‘what about me and my affairs?’

“Wills are something that give people a bit of reassurance and offer certainty in uncertain times.

“It’s always best to have your affairs in order when it doesn’t matter. The worst thing is doing a will when there’s a real risk.”

Has your private client firm and independent Will writing business noticed more medical professionals looking to make a Will in the current climate?

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