NHS trusts use Amazon Wish Lists for donations for staff and patients

NHS trusts use Amazon Wish Lists to appeal for everyday items including thermometers and razors for staff and patients

  • NHS Trusts have set up Amazon Wish Lists to ask for helpful donations 
  • More than ten trusts have set up a gift registry page for everyday items
  • Some healthcare workers said to give donations to people on low incomes
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

More than ten NHS trusts have set up Amazon Wish Lists to accept donations from members of the public during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The hospitals have used the global online retailer’s Wish List facility to provide a list of items that people can buy for them to help them in the fight of the virus. 

The requests include items which can help patients during their time on the ward or things that staff need to make caring for the patients easier.

Several NHS trusts have set up Amazon Wish List donation pages appealing for members of the public to buy them everyday items to help during the pandemic. Picture: Stock

Some everyday items include cereal bars, thermometers, tissues and razors and some more obscure requests range from the boardgame Operation, Jumanji The Next Level DVD, scrapbooking stickers and a digital radio. 

The gift registry service allows the NHS Trusts to highlight what they would like people to buy and how many they need.

They can also write comments about each item to explain how they will be used.

For example, the page for Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust includes film for a Polaroid camera on its list. Beside it, the explanation reads: ‘To enable staff in PPE to wear photos of themselves for patients to know who is treating them. Needs 10 has 0.’

Barnsley Hospital has asked for members of the public to buy several items from its Wish List for its staff, including polaroid picture film. Pictured: Kendray Hospital, part of the Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust have listed a range of hot drinks to keep the staff going through the pandemic

The lists are open to the public and anyone who wishes to donate can do so.

On its page, the South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust said: ‘This Wishlist has been created to help support staff and service users during the coronavirus outbreak. 

‘Help us to provide activities to our isolated patients and to those unable to receive visitors at this time.’

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trusts’s page said: ‘Every gift that is ordered will go to the ward or areas which has requested the item – from our children’s ward to other areas.’

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital set up an Amazon Wish List to raise money for all the wards at the hospital

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust said it set up the page to ‘make staff feel valued and boost morale’ while caring for coronavirus patients.  

A spokesperson for NHS England said the decision to set up Amazon Wish Lists is not a national policy and it is up to the individual trusts to decide how they receive donations. 

NHS Swansea Bay Trust spokeswoman Susan Bailey responded to the BBC on behalf of NHS Wales: ‘As [visitors] were now unable to visit for the foreseeable future, we could see a real patient dignity situation arising where patients would not have access to clean clothing and a growing lack of toiletries.

‘We then launched an appeal for toiletries, underwear and nightwear and it had such a positive response that we have now temporarily paused our appeal.  

 

The United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust and South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust are appealing for some treats for the staff as well as everyday essentials such as deodorant and screen wipes

‘We normally keep a small stock of items like this for patients who may be admitted as emergencies or who may not have family members able to visit, but nothing like the scale needed at present. Hence the appeal.’ 

Some healthcare workers have raised concerns about the donations and suggested the money may be better spent elsewhere. 

Paramedic Andrew Newson wrote on Twitter: ‘I’m a health care professional and I work for an NHS Ambulance Service. Whilst I appreciate the kindness and generosity I don’t need free pizza, free coffee or money off vouchers etc. 

‘Why? I still have an income – please give to those who have lost their income #InItTogether.’

In response, another parademic said: ‘Financially I’m sure I’ll be fine. What makes me uneasy are people who are out of work bringing donations to our station, it’s lovely but we don’t need it. Much redirected to foodbanks here.’

Another replied: ‘I’m not going to be losing income due to this virus and as much as I greatly appreciate the gesture, please please please offer a free cup of coffee or pizza to the families who are struggling to feed their children, the homeless on the streets.’

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