Hospitals across 10 trusts in England and Wales are using Amazon Wish Lists to appeal for donations of practical items for patients and staff to help them battle the COVID-19 crisis.
Amazon Wish List is an online shopping tool that allows an account holder to create a list of products for others to buy for them. Users can also specify how many of each item they need.
The Wish Lists contain everyday items and toiletries, with the South West Yorkshire Partnership Trust asking for tissues, hand cream and deodorants.
A message on South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust’s page says: “This Wish List 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.”
Anyone can view and access the Wish Lists and any purchased items are delivered direct to the account holder.
Some of the Wish List items highlight if the product is needed for a patient or a member of staff, with a reason why the product is required, such as a toy to occupy a child who is in hospital.
There are other NHS trusts who are using the Wish List facility to ask for care packages for NHS frontline workers who may have to stay in hospital accommodation, or self-isolate from their families.
The United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust has recently set up an Amazon Wish List to help their NHS keyworkers, saying: “We have put together a small list of items that will make our staff feel valued and boost morale.”
Brits seem to be getting behind the initiative to such an extent that East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust has paused its Wish List due to the high-level of responses from the public
“We have been truly humbled and overwhelmed by your generosity… if we need to reopen the list at a later date we will be in touch,” the Trust posted on its Facebook page.
But some employees from the ten NHS Trusts with Wish Lists have said that whilst they appreciate the gesture, they feel the donations should be directed towards those people who have lost their income due to the pandemic.
One healthcare worker said in a Tweet that has been shared more than 600 times “I’m a healthcare 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 et cetera. Please give to those who have lost their income.”