Care provider urges supermarkets to let social care workers in during priority shopping hours

Care provider urges supermarkets to let social care workers in during priority shopping hours

Published by Maria Greenwood at 11:49am 24th April 2020. (Updated at 12:21pm 24th April 2020)

A social care worker's been left feeling 'humiliated' after being questioned while trying to use Weymouth Sainsbury's dedicated NHS staff slot.

Joanna Lane works in Agincare's live-in care division but she's described having to 'convince' the security guard of her role.

Joanna said:

"At the door I was questioned who I worked for.

"It took a while to convince the security guard that I worked for an organisation providing social care to vulnerable people, even when I showed him my ID badge. 

"Eventually I was allowed in, but it was a really humiliating experience, and it left me feeling pretty worthless."

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Wessex FM has put Sainsbury's in touch with Agincare and Joanna to apologise.

A Sainsbury's spokesperson issued this statement to us:

"We are reserving half an hour from 7:30 am - 8 am from Monday to Saturday in all of our supermarkets for NHS and social care workers.

"We are asking these customers to bring a pass or some form of ID with them to ensure we are prioritising the right people.

"We have apologised to Joanna for her experience and our Sainsbury’s Weymouth colleagues hope to welcome her back into store soon.”

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It's emerged this week that there were more than a thousand deaths related to coronavirus in England and Wales's care homes in just a week earlier this month.

Agincare CEO Raina Summerson called for all supermarket chains to recognise the super-human efforts of social care teams: 

"All supermarkets should be treating NHS and social care teams equally. Without social care the NHS would be put under even more pressure than it is now. 

"Courageous care teams are at the frontline in battling this disease, going above and beyond to care for vulnerable people. They need to be able to shop for clients and themselves quickly and easily. Their dedication deserves to be recognised."