After two hospital workers were nearly mugged for their passes earlier this week, the NHS is calling for staff to be extra vigilant.
It shouldn’t take the generation’s biggest health pandemic for NHS staff to finally get the recognition they deserve. But tonight (Thursday 26 March), people across the UK will be showing health workers on the front line exactly how much we appreciate and respect them with #clapforourcarers. People will take to their gardens, front doors and balconies at 8 pm to clap in unison in honour of the thousands of workers who are going to get us through the coronavirus pandemic.
The NHS is also being supported in other ways: over 400,000 people who have signed up to the NHS Volunteer Army; supermarkets across the nation have set aside a priority hour for NHS staff; and companies like Pret, Gregg’s and Costa Coffee are giving away free hot food and drinks for them.
But, infuriatingly, there is a small group of people who don’t think our NHS heroes deserve these small but meaningful pick-me-ups.
According to a report in The Guardian, NHS staff are being targeted by muggers trying to steal their identity badges so they can use them to obtain the free food and drinks being offered to them.
Last week robbers tried to grab badges belonging to two members of staff at Lewisham hospital in south London, but thankfully did not succeed. This quickly prompted Lewisham and Greenwich NHS trust to ask staff to keep their passes hidden when leaving the hospital.
NHS England is now finalising new advice that it will send to all 240 trusts in England, asking them to tell staff to be vigilant and to keep their ID badge hidden.
NHS chief nursing officer Ruth May, has said: “Our NHS staff are pulling out all the stops in the face of an unprecedented global health threat, so these reports are really concerning. We have seen some extraordinary acts of generosity from businesses and the public and this will not be overshadowed by the actions of an idiotic few, but I would urge everyone to show NHS staff the gratitude they deserve and help them to do what they do best.”
The horrible behaviour of these individuals is of course something we will not stand for. So let’s make sure we clap even harder when thanking the NHS tonight.