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Sainsbury's stores to open early for NHS and social care workers

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A lot of supermarkets have been dedicating their opening hours to the elderly and vulnerable amid the spread of the coronavirus and stockpilers leaving shelves bare.

Now Sainsbury's has decided to allow NHS and social care workers to shop in their supermarkets for half an hour before they open each day.

Anyone with NHS ID will be able to shop from 07.30-08.00 every day from Monday to Saturday.

Sainsbury's, Bedingfeld Way, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Google (32145471)
Sainsbury's, Bedingfeld Way, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Google (32145471)

In addition, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, all their supermarkets will dedicate 08.00-09.00 to serving elderly and disabled customers and carers.

It comes after a message from Mike Coupe, chief executive of Sainsbury's which said many had written to him in the last 24 hours telling him they liked the idea of priority shopping for NHS workers and elderly and disabled customers, but that they should be at different times.

And it follows news of NHS workers struggling to shop among bare shelves after long shifts, including a video of nurse Dawn Bilbrough, from York who issued an emotional plea asking stockpilers to desist.

Mr Coupe said: "Many of you have also asked me about priority online delivery slots for elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers.

"We have been able to identify a number of customers as elderly and vulnerable based on the information they have given us previously.

"These details would include date of birth and if you have ever used our vulnerable customer helpline.

"For all of these customers, we will email you today (Sunday) with information on when slots will become available.

"If you do not receive an email and you consider yourself to be vulnerable, please visit our Groceries Online website on Monday for information on how to contact us.

"We are also working as quickly as possible on an option for people to register themselves as disabled and vulnerable on their online shopping accounts.

"Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to get in touch with me and share your feedback - it's because of you that we are making these changes and we will continue to listen, learn and adapt during this uncertain time."