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Small businesses ‘can’t keep giving NHS staff discounts’

Small business owners beg NHS employees to stop asking for discounts because they can no longer afford to provide them.

Some food distributors claim that they received up to 100 requests for deduction on accounts at the close, the report said BBC.

And a marketing consultant claims she has been approached by several cheeky front-line workers asking for health care packages, including an ambulance service worker who asked a team of 53 people for free alcohol because “the pubs are closed.”

During the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, many retailers offered discounts and priority shopping times to key employees to ensure they had access to essential items and to thank them for their hard work on the front line.

Caroline Constable of Cheshire, who heads the digital marketing consultancy Clink Creative, has revealed that she has had 'countless requests' from first-line workers asking for 'care packages' and gifts

Caroline Constable of Cheshire, who heads the digital marketing consultancy Clink Creative, has revealed that she has had ‘countless requests’ from first-line workers asking for ‘care packages’ and gifts

However, it seems that a greedy minority is benefiting from the situation and the good will of companies.

Caroline Constable of Cheshire, who heads digital marketing consultancy Clink Creative, revealed that she had received “countless requests” from frontline workers asking for “care packages” and gifts.

They tweeted: “A PT ambulance service worker asked for alcohol products for his 53 (!!!) team when the pubs were closed! He even offered to promote the brand on social media. ‘

Caroline shared screenshots from two emails from first-line employees asking for gift packages, pointing out other companies that have “helped” them.

Caroline shared screenshots of two emails from first-line employees asking for gift packages, pointing out other companies 'helping' them (photo)

Caroline shared screenshots of two emails from first-line employees asking for gift packages, pointing out other companies 'helping' them (photo)

Caroline shared screenshots of two emails from first-line employees asking for gift packages, pointing out other companies ‘helping’ them (photo)

One of them read, “With the pubs closed and access to the shops difficult, getting a decent drink after our shifts is hard work. We have a team of 53 employees and everything you can do for us is greatly appreciated.

“Obviously, as we have done with all the other brands that have helped us … we will post our appreciation on various social media sites as our thanks to you.”

In another email from a “neighborhood nurse,” one of the brands she works with was asked to send products to her team to boost morale.

In a follow-up tweet, Caroline added: ‘People just wanted to do their bit for the #NHSHeroes, no doubt some virtue signaling and / or some marketing strategy by some. However, it is not necessary to urinate! We are all in the same boat. “

Another email from a 'district nurse' asked one of the brands she works with to send products to her team to boost morale

Another email from a 'district nurse' asked one of the brands she works with to send products to her team to boost morale

Another email from a ‘district nurse’ asked one of the brands she works with to send products to her team to boost morale

Caroline told FEMAIL that she was shocked when she received the messages, and admitted, “It’s one thing that says voluntarily, ‘Here you have this’, but someone actually gets in touch and uses emotional blackmail to almost say,’ Send please give me some freebies, “It’s just so wrong, isn’t it?”

Speaking about the request for alcoholic drinks, she said, “That was a shock.

“You think it’s okay, one: alcohol for an ambulance driver and two: 53 people? That’s the mickey grab.

“We’re all incredibly grateful to the NHS for the work they do, but you don’t grow a halo just because you work for the NHS.

“Obviously, many people who work for the NHS are a calling, but it’s just a job for some people and some people will take advantage of the situation.”

A number of NHS employees have used Twitter in response to Caroline’s tweets to express their embarrassment and urge their colleagues not to ask for discounts from independent retailers.

A number of NHS employees have used Twitter in response to Caroline's tweets to express their embarrassment and urge their colleagues not to ask for discounts from independent retailers

A number of NHS employees have used Twitter in response to Caroline's tweets to express their embarrassment and urge their colleagues not to ask for discounts from independent retailers

A number of NHS employees have used Twitter in response to Caroline’s tweets to express their embarrassment and urge their colleagues not to ask for discounts from independent retailers

A tweeted: ‘As an NHS employee in one of the lower bands, I find this embarrassing. The only place I claim my discount is the Co-op because I bank with them too. I would NEVER ask for a discount from a small company that was struggling during Covid. Shame on those who do. ‘

Another commented: ‘I work for the NHS and I wholeheartedly agree. It’s one thing for large chains like Morrisons to offer it, but small businesses who felt it was needed didn’t have to. It is embarrassing for any NHS employee to actively ask for a discount or “free stuff”. ‘

And a Twitter user raged: ‘Don’t get me started on people asking for NHS discount in stores, I just heard a woman asking for NHS discount on top of a good deal! Stop using your employer and a pandemic to get cheaper! ‘

It is no longer feasible for some independent companies that have seen trade decline significantly to offer discounts on their goods and services.

A fish and chip shop owner in Edinburgh who wanted to remain anonymous told the BBC they received a call from a nurse in a hospital requesting a free meal for her five colleagues – which would have been around £ 40 cost.

“I asked her why and she said it would help with all the stress they were going through at the time,” they told the publication.

Mohammed Parvez, owner of the Indian restaurant Rannaghor in Edinburgh, told the BBC he gets about four requests a week from NHS staff for discounts, but it's 'very difficult' given the situation

Mohammed Parvez, owner of the Indian restaurant Rannaghor in Edinburgh, told the BBC he gets about four requests a week from NHS staff for discounts, but it's 'very difficult' given the situation

Mohammed Parvez, owner of the Indian restaurant Rannaghor in Edinburgh, told the BBC he gets about four requests a week from NHS staff for discounts, but it’s ‘very difficult’ given the situation

The owner added that the following week, a nurse started arguing when they refused to offer a discount on the grounds that the customer earned a full wage.

NHS staff keep asking and it is not right. It would make our lives much easier if they stopped asking for discounts, please, “she added.

Mohammed Parvez, owner of the Indian restaurant Rannaghor in Edinburgh, told the BBC that he gets about four requests a week from NHS staff for discounts, but given the situation, it is ‘very difficult’.

“I just gave it to them because they asked me, but the company is not doing very well, so it is very difficult to give discounts,” he said, adding that he is now asking people to support them so they can help them survive.

“The situation is getting worse and I am only a small businessman, so it is very difficult,” Parvez admitted.

Restaurant manager Mohammed Alam, of Edinburgh’s Morningside Spice, said it has been the worst thing in the past 17 years.

While the eatery handed out discounts for NHS staff during the lockout when asked about it, he said it’s gotten very difficult now.

“Things aren’t going in the right direction because of the lockdown situation, so we can’t keep giving the discounts like we did,” he said.

“I need between two and eight people over the weekend, so things are going to end.”

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