On production of an NHS card, NHS staff will also receive priority checkout treatment in all Waitrose branches, either through dedicated NHS checkouts, staff opening up new tills for them as needed, or moving to the front of the queue.
In addition, John Lewis & Partners is responding to requests from NHS workers for anything that would make their breaks more comfortable. The retailer will be donating items such as pillows, phone chargers, eye masks and hand cream, as well as 50,000 Easter treats, to hospitals.
Berangere Michel, executive director for customer service at John Lewis Partnership (JLP), which owns and operates Waitrose & Partners and John Lewis & Partners, said: “Through these steps we want to recognise the tireless work of NHS staff, supporting us all through these unprecedented circumstances. We hope these measures make their life a little easier. Our Partners [staff] are keen to do something to help, and we are offering this with sincere thanks from us all.”
The new measures follow steps outlined by JLP on Thursday (March 19) to support customers, including the launch of a £1 million Community Support Fund to help local communities, along with a protected shopping hour for the elderly and vulnerable
Many Waitrose shops have already been using their community funds to assemble care packages of essential items for vulnerable or elderly people in the local community.
JLP has also launched a support fund to aid staff that are facing additional costs as a result of the pandemic such as childcare fees. Staff are being offered free meals at work too.
In addition, JLP is working with Age UK, FareShare and the Trussell Trust, donating £75,000 initially to each charity, for immediate activity in response to the coronavirus outbreak.