John Lewis Partnership has installed a wellbeing area for frontline medical staff and volunteers at the newly constructed Nightingale NHS Hospital in London to offer support during the Covid-19 crisis.
The space will be the only area within the main part of the hospital that is specifically designed for all staff to have a “place of sanctuary”, explains the retailer, offering frontline healthcare staff a space to take time out and relax from their “extremely challenging environment”.
To ensure that the wellbeing zone is relaxing as possible, composer Alejandro Bonatto has created a playlist to help staff unwind in one of the three different wellbeing zones.
Sharon White, partner and chairman, John Lewis Partnership, said in a statement: “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.”
John Lewis partners with British Medical Association to distribute care packages
In addition, John Lewis also announced a partnership with the British Medical Association to distribute care packages featuring 60,000 essentials to key NHS workers at the busiest hospitals across the UK, excluding Northern Ireland.
The retailer will start making 400 deliveries of essential items to help NHS staff feel “refreshed and energised” during long shifts, with NHS Nightingale London and the main London NHS Trusts among the first to receive the care packages.
The supplies, include “much-needed non-clinical essentials”, explains John Lewis on the advice from the British Medical Association, such as deodorant, shaving foam, hand cream, antibac 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 24/7 counselling service and guidance from the British Medical Association on a range of issues.
Matthew Trainer, deputy chief executive, NHS Nightingale London added: “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.
“This is a fantastic example of people and companies coming together to help NHS staff as they respond to the greatest public health challenge in over a century – but every member of the public can play their part too, in particular by staying home to slow the spread of the virus and save lives.”
John Lewis supports NHS during coronavirus outbreak
Over the next few weeks, these care packages boxes will be delivered to acute hospital trusts in the UK to safely distribute to high-intensity clinical areas such as critical care and intensive care units. This will ensure healthcare staff working long hours and under terrible strain receive the products they need.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, British Medical Association chair of council, 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, - doing long shifts - is truly welcome and we are very grateful.
“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.”
The John Lewis Partnership is also accommodating on-call NHS key workers on its Leckford Estate in Hampshire. The Partnership Hotels team is hosting key medical staff who need to be near the hospital in lodges which are usually used as holiday homes for Partners.
Twelve lodges have been available to the Hampshire NHS Trust, which can accommodate 29 people - each with their own bedroom. The NHS staff are primarily key workers at The Royal County Hampshire Hospital in Winchester.
Waitrose and John Lewis have already introduced a number of other ways to support NHS workers during the coronavirus outbreak including giving away 50,000 boxes of Easter confectionery to NHS workers in the run-up to Easter, gifting essential food items, hot meals and items such as pillows and phone chargers to local hospitals, as well as giving NHS staff priority checkout service in the retailer's shops.
Image: courtesy of John Lewis Partnership