‘Furious’ care home staff call for Tesco boycott over shopping ban

Pendine Park; Pictured is Care Practitioner Ria Roberts. Picture Mandy Jones

Care home staff are calling for a boycott of Tesco after they refused to allow them to shop there during the special NHS time slots.

Senior care practitioner Ria Roberts, a 34-year-single mum who works for the Pendine Park care organisation in Wrexham, blasted the “lack of respect” shown to them by the giant supermarket chains.

Ria says she and team are on the front line of the coronavirus crisis and are putting themselves at risk just like NHS workers.

It’s understood Morrisons have imposed a similar ban but she praised Sainsbury’s who have confirmed that care home staff are allowed to shop during the NHS hour in their stores.

She said: “I’m appalled that we are being treated this way by Tesco in Wrexham.

“Just like the people working in the NHS we are being exposed to the risks by working on the frontline in the war against the coronavirus.

“It’s ridiculous. All  we want is a bit of time in the supermarket  without the crowds to grab our  bits and pieces before work.

“I am beyond anger. It’s so frustrating because we are all working hard and leaving our children and picking up extra shifts.

“We are doing  anything  and everything we can, exactly the same as the NHS and we are not given the same respect – nowhere near the same respect.

“We are dealing with people who have brain tumours subdural haematomas, vented patients. We are not dealing with someone who can’t make a cup of tea and a piece of toast. They are people with really, really complex needs.

“Everyone at Pendine is really trying hard. Infection control has been brilliant and in all fairness, everyone here is doing brilliantly. I couldn’t work with a better team. They are absolutely fantastic.

“All the staff have pulled together so well but they are so disheartened when they see we don’t get the respect the same has the NHS staff who we know are doing a brilliant job but so are we.

“I’m a single mother with a six-year-old daughter so it is really tough for me at the moment – it would be a massive help to be able to shop during that hour.

“We are not asking much. We are not asking for more money or this that and the other. All we are asking for is a bit leeway in the morning just to pick up some essentials for our families.

“You know some of our staff are working 13 and a half hours a day and then we are not allowed to pop in for a loaf of bread, it’s disgraceful.

“We are all on the front line, all of us. We’ve got the respect for the NHS and I’m sure they do for us but I just think Tesco needs to gain that respect as well.”

 

‘Credit’

Highfield manager Tracey Smith added: “I think it’s extremely sad and disappointing that my staff who are coming out to work and struggling to get the shopping they need on their days off when other people are able to go at any time, and I just feel for them.

“My team does an important job. We’re also on the frontline, looking after vulnerable people. The staff are also putting themselves at risk the same as the NHS staff, and we’re trying to help and support the NHS in what we’re doing.

“We’ve had confirmation from Tesco that care home staff are not eligible to join NHS workers and we’re still trying to establish the position in relation to Morrisons but we’ve been told they’ve adopted a similar policy to Tesco.

“I used to shop at Tesco but I won’t be in future and I will be urging other  people to boycott them as well any other supermarket behaving in such a reprehensible way.

“All credit to Sainsbury’s who haven’t behaved like that. They’ve seen the value of what social care practitioners do.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Pendine Park proprietor Mario Kreft MBE, who is also the chair of Care Forum Wales which represents around 500 independent care providers.

He said: “It’s a very sorry state of affairs. We have known for many years that the 1.6 million social care workers in the UK are largely seen by society as second rate to their colleagues in the NHS.

“Qt this time of unprecedented national crisis this view is being reinforced by supermarkets who are actually cashing in on the difficulties.

“The supermarkets and their shareholders are doing rather well but sadly they don’t’   value the huge contribution made to our communities and to our nation by this army of social care workers.

“When all this is over people will be able to reflect on who was treating who well and who was just making money out of this crisis.

“We all love and support the NHS and value its staff but we should never forget about the value to our community of the other social care workers, whether it’s  keeping people safe in their own homes or whether it’s looking after profoundly unwell people with dementia in care homes.

“At Pendine, they’re the coronavirus warriors.  They deserve every bit of support and if you can’t even allow them to shop while you’re making a fortune out of a crisis, it’s an indictment of the society we have. It’s something that surely has to change.”

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Plain citizen
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Plain citizen

What have Tesco had to say about this? The reporter should have approached them for comments. At least read out the charges to the accused.
The care home boss should contact Tesco head office, explain the situation and with perhaps his/her MP work out a way the staff can be identified and looked after. No retailer likes this PR.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

The manager did contact Tescos themselves and was told care practitioners do not count

Plain citizen
Guest
Plain citizen

In that case Tesco deserve the press they are getting and potential customers can make their own minds up about the billion pound company and if they want to support it by shopping there.

king kong
Guest

Just goes to show the bigger the boss the more idiotic they are!

Anoymous
Guest
Anoymous

They are privately employed carers working for a private company.
Why should they have access to NHS staff shopping rights ?

Carolyn Jones
Guest
Carolyn Jones

We have found the Polish shops have everything, and they’re clean and not crowded. The staff at all the major grocery chains seem completely stressed out and as Ms Roberts found not their management teams are not always clear about or responsive to people’s situations. This is a stressful time, yes, but giving their staff the wrong message about the value of care workers is inexcusable. Over to you, Tesco management.

Jonesy
Guest
Jonesy

Please, please , please use local shops in your town as much as you can. The media seems to have firgotten about the SME, every food story focuses on supermarkets. Now is the time to support our community business. Many shops in your community will have come together to deliver, there are no queues or fighting for quorn! #livelocalshoplocal. Still get your AMs to sort thus out, it’s appalling, lorry drivers’ families delivering food shld also have priority

Meic F Haines
Guest
Meic F Haines

Mae’n warthus bod mega-gorfforaeth fel Tesco’n dewis anwybyddu gweithwyr hanfodol sydd o bosibl mewn sefyllfa economaidd fwy bregus hyd yn oed na’r staff ar rengau isaf y GIG megis nyrsys ac ati.

Da iawn Sainsbury am ymddwyn yn fwy gwaraidd!

Kerry Davies
Guest
Kerry Davies

They are not “on the frontline in the coronavirus crisis” any more than I am. They are employees of a private company making profits from caring for elderly and dementia patients and I am a carer for someone with COPD whose immune system is shot to pieces. If everybody is given priority nobody actually gets priority so there will always be deserving cases left out. Personally I think vulnerable people should get a shopping slot but in parts of Wales we outnumber the others so maybe the “norms” should have a slot and we “vulnies” get the rest of the… Read more »

Dr John Ball
Guest
Dr John Ball

You sir should be ashamed.
Whether the nursing homes exist to make a profit or not, the staff are as hard working and committed as any nhs staff and deserve our respect – and thanks for a difficult job well done .
Pity that even a major health problem still does not stop those who get apoplectic over the P word.

kath roberts
Guest
kath roberts

well said john bull ,thank you

Kerry Davies
Guest
Kerry Davies

Agreed they work hard, but do you suggest that NHS consultants are made to wait while these care workers get served? Not everyone can be a priority and if you made care workers the same as ICU nurses then where do you place the guys who deal with clinical waste, ahead of a care home worker or behind? What about the mortuary workers who deal with infected cadavers, do they wait for the caretaker at Pendine to finish shopping? Crematorium operators are going to be the most crucial cog in the system within weeks, where do they go? I don’t… Read more »

kath roberts
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kath roberts

kerry davies you also should be ashamed of yourselve

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

You have a point, but so does Kerry. You all need a break.

Lee
Guest
Lee

I have a family member working in Tesco putting meat etc on shelves. Though more than 99% of nhs staff are great and decent people, some are downright rude to them. Those working in supermarkets are at high risk too, if not greater. It is very hard to listen to only one side. It can be a logistical nightmare to treat more groups as priority.

kath roberts
Guest
kath roberts

im care worker for pendine working 13 and a half hour shifts , Tesco you should be ashamed of yourselves

Anon
Guest
Anon

Just take 1 minute to Google this gentleman. This is the front line not care home work. If you got what you wished and one nurse went hungry because they couldn’t get in because of the extra spaces your genuinely valuable people had taken it would be a travesty. If you want a carers priority hour, fight for this. If you want a key workers hour, fight for this. Don’t try to take from NHS workers who are facing death in a way you simply do not.

Anon
Guest
Anon

Sorry folks, an autocorrect typo missed the name. It is Amged Al Hawrani, ENT Consultant.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

The hard fact is that residential care home staff are massively undervalued in our society right across the board. They receive nothing like the respect and admiration which is accorded to medics and nurses working within the Gwasanaeth Iechyd Genedlaethol. In consequence they’re poorly paid and rated as mere unskilled skivvies. Unfair and unjust in equal measure, especially at this time; the virus has already raged through care homes in other parts of Europe and in north America, where the USA looks to become the next infection hot-spot. But Tesco are simply reflecting the current general attitude of wider society… Read more »

John Evans
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John Evans

well said but Sainsurys have a problem with recognizing vulnerable people who don’t live in England.

Cherri
Guest
Cherri

I am amazed at the sheer arrogance of this. If you are caring for people and work in a care role you deserve the utmost respect. But you are not a coronavirus warrior in the same way that a nurse or doctor is. You will not be exposed to the virus in an overcrowded A & E without enough protective equipment. You should be ashamed to criticise a shop for trying to make something special for those who really are fighting the disease. If residents were that ill they’d be in hospital where the NHS will fight the disease for… Read more »

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Well they do have qualified nurses that work at this care home so are they amateur medics because they don’t work for the nhs because they
choose to look after elderly people!!!

Cherri
Guest
Cherri

The artie was written about care workers, not about qualified nurses. The home is listed as registered as a care home not a nursing home and in any case these are not the people who are dealing with the incoming covid patients in A & E, who are running the highly infectious dying in intensive care or the paramedics who are going into covid hot spots to take critical covid patients to hospital. The ladies in the picture and who were noted in the article are carers who are doing the same jobs they were doing several months ago, with… Read more »

Jonesy
Guest
Jonesy

Staffing is under pressure in the care sector , just take a look at your local carehome/ county council website, they are re ruiting glat out. this may be due to some having to isolate or having vulnerable family members. Thus others have to work longer hours on totally rubbish wages. Having worked in a residential home I know what the work is like, bloody hard.many of those who have contracted corona are in residental care.

Anon
Guest
Anon

I think your missing the point totally here!! The carers aren’t asking for royalties they are simply asking can they be allowed to shop in the same time slot as NHS workers after a long shift. Please don’t ever try to devalue a carers position in society when I hold the utmost respect for those who choose to take care of the vulnerable for pittence. Let’s hope when you reach an age where you solely rely on the care of these outstanding members of society you learn a little respect for the job they do. Remember those in the NHS… Read more »

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Do your homework properly then. There are 5 ‘care’ homes alone based at the Pendine park site including a dementia specialist unit, emi unit, nursing unit, brain injury unit and rehabilitation unit so no not just a care home as you put it.

Anon
Guest
Anon

Having a qualified nurse I site doesn’t make you a hospital. I agree with Cheri and understand the reference to amateur medics. It isn’t because the nurses aren’t medical professionals, of course they are.. But an article referring to subdural haematomas and vented patients gives a deliberated false impression as if they are doing hospital level work. How many of the public would know that a class of breathing machine that just uses a face mask can also be called a ventilator? How. Many would know that if if was a tracheostomy type these would have initially been fitted in… Read more »

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

It is quite easy to comment on a situation when you are ignorant of the facts, so I will try and enlighten you, staff in the care homes are being expected to look after patients being discharged from hospital who have not been tested to check they are clear of the virus ,they have been in the same environment as all those in the hospital who you refer to as fighting the disease , who by the way, I also think are brilliant and doing a fantastic job,. At the care home staff are having to isolate any admissions for… Read more »

Anon
Guest
Anon

Ah the ignorant calling someone else it to validate their position. No one is discharged form hospital in an infectious state. It is part of the infection control regulations at NHS hospitals that movement of a patient to 2ndry care is safe. . The management and regulatory requirements of a care home and a nursing home are different and just because you have nurses on site does not mean your are categorised as such under the licensing and provision regulations for care under NHS England.. Your assertions are just factually incorrect and self serving. As part of the NHS management… Read more »

Anon
Guest
Anon

Sorry for the typos in the bit I posted immediately above this, but just so upset by this person making false accusations about the NHS putting care home staff at risk. Really undermines the NHS A thought for the emotional impact of their words on doctors, nurses and NHS managers (especially those specialising in infection control) would have been nice

Mrs.jones
Guest
Mrs.jones

Hope you are not going to the supermarket in your uniforms

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

How ridiculous on the care home staff’s part…NHS staff are high risk, why would you knowingly choose to socialise with them and then go to your care home…that would be negligent.. Well done Tesco for using your brain.. ??‍♀️

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Carers do not make a profit working in private care they are on minimum wage !!! And why are care practitioners not important who work in care homes ?? They are leaving there families in this pandemic to go and care and support someone’s family has they have a duty of care to they are human care workers don’t you think they are scared just leaving to go to work wether travelling on a bus or taxi etc that they might get it yes the nhs are doing are brilliant job and I have the upmost respect for them but… Read more »

Shaun
Guest
Shaun

Should that also extend to van drivers bus drivers construction workers and many other people who are still working through this pandemic?? … just saying.

Anoymous
Guest
Anoymous

Why should private care workers get to use NHS dedicated shopping hours ?
They are private not public employees. They face the same challenges of all workers who have to interact face to face to do their jobs dealing with vulnerable customers.
Queue up like everyone else.
You are privately employed…if you don’t have time to queue then take time off .