Minister of Care urges supermarkets to prioritise care workers

Matt Hancock Helen Whately

The Minister of State for Social Care has written to the chief executives of major supermarkets asking them to give social care workers the same access to stores as NHS staff.

Supermarkets have faced criticism over turning care and hospice staff away during their projected shopping hours.

Addressing this issue, Helen Whately confirmed on Twitter that she has written to CEOs because, she says, both social care and NHS workers are at the frontline of the coronavirus battle.

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“As well as our weekly #ClapforCarers, let’s help our carers however we can,” she added.

Home Care Insight reported last month that the big four supermarkets – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda – as well as Marks & Spencer, have all introduced special opening hours for NHS staff to ensure they get the items they need as the coronavirus crisis continues.

But, so far, only Sainsbury’s and Asda have extended this to include social care workers.

The CEO of Scottish Care, Donald Macaskill said it was a “matter of dismay” that many of the UK’s large supermarkets failing to prioritise carers.

“Acute NHS staff are the first to recognise that we are all working as one team in this effort – why cannot our retailers do the same?” he said.

“Tens of thousands of women and men are working long exhausting hours caring for some of our most vulnerable fellow citizens – they cannot do so on empty stomachs. I am calling on our supermarkets to urgently open their doors to the critical frontline social carers who are keeping our country going at this time.”

Tags : coronavirusDonald MacaskillHelen Whatelysupermarkets
Sarah Clarke

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