John Lewis has teamed up with the British Medical Association (BMA) to deliver care packages to NHS staff at the UK’s busiest hospitals.
The retail giant is also creating a wellbeing area for medics and volunteers at the new NHS Nightingale hospital in east London.
Composer Alejandro Bonatto has created a playlist to help staff unwind in one of the three different wellbeing zones within the area.
The care packages will first be sent to the Nightingale London and major London NHS trusts followed by distribution to other acute hospitals across the UK.
Based on advice from the BMA, the packages include 60,000 items in total, including deodorant, shaving foam, hand cream, antibacterial hand gel and lip balm, as well as snack food, tea, coffee and socks.
The boxes also contain a wellbeing leaflet with information about a new 24/7 counselling service and guidance from the BMA.
The “refuel and refresh boxes” are intended for staff working in high pressure clinical areas such as intensive care.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the BMA, 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.
“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.”
Sharon White, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “The John Lewis Partnership salutes the courage and humanity of every NHS worker fighting this awful virus.
“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.”
The John Lewis Partnership is also accommodating on-call NHS key workers on its Leckford Estate in Hampshire.
Some 12 lodges usually reserved for John Lewis staff have been available to NHS staff who mainly work at the Royal County Hampshire Hospital in Winchester.
Other measures include the delivery of thousands of Easter eggs to staff.
Matthew Trainer, deputy chief executive of the NHS Nightingale London, said: “We are so grateful to the John Lewis Partnership for their continued commitment to taking care of NHS staff.
“The care packages designed in collaboration with the BMA will be a welcome gesture of support for busy staff on the go, and the wellbeing space will allow our staff much-needed time out during their shifts.”