Care packages will be distributed to frontline NHS workers at some of the busiest hospitals in the UK, thanks to an agreement between the BMA and the John Lewis Partnership.
The retailer will deliver 400 boxes of essential items to help NHS staff feel ‘refreshed and energised’ during long shifts. The Nightingale London and other London trusts will be first to receive the care packages.
The BMA advised the retail group to include a combination of 60,000 much-needed non-clinical essentials including toiletries, snack food, tea, coffee and socks. The care packages will also include information about the BMA’s 24/7 counselling service and BMA guidance on a range of related issues.
The refuel and refresh boxes are being delivered to hospitals and the contents will then be safely distributed to staff working in high-intensity clinical areas such as critical care and intensive care units.
Beginning on Thursday, April 9, over the next four weeks the boxes will be delivered to all acute hospital trusts across England initially, to distribute to the thousands of healthcare staff working long hours and under great strain.
BMA council chair Chaand Nagpaul said: "When so many healthcare staff are putting in hour after hour to look after so many very sick patients, a deed such as this, to show how much they are appreciated, can make all the difference – supplying healthcare staff with essentials they may otherwise have difficulty getting hold of because of the hours they are working is truly welcome and we are very grateful."
Dr Nagpaul added: "The BMA is delighted to be working with John Lewis and Waitrose to provide these care boxes to so many frontline staff over the coming weeks. Whilst we know that many staff are facing huge challenges, we hope these boxes will bring a few smiles and some comfort to as many staff as possible during these incredibly difficult times."
John Lewis Partnership chair Dame Sharon White said the firm "salutes the courage and humanity of every NHS worker fighting this awful virus."
She added: "We are exceptionally lucky to have an amazing health service open to all. As a small token, we’re donating food and essential items to the NHS; we’re making it easier for NHS workers to shop in Waitrose and we’re helping staff at the new Nightingale Hospital in London. We will do more over the coming weeks."