Thanet: Dedicated shopping hours and offers for NHS/care and emergency staff


From Monday (March 23) Sainsbury’s will change opening hours to 8am-8pm with the first hour every Monday, Wednesday and Friday dedicated to serving elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers, as well as NHS and social care workers.

This has now (March 21) been updated to NHS and social care workers to shop for half an hour before the supermarkets open each day. Anyone with NHS ID will be able to shop from 07.30-08.00 every day from Monday to Saturday.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the supermarkets will dedicate 8.00-9.00 to serving elderly customers, disabled customers and carers.

The store will also add more click and collect locations and increase help for elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers to access food online with priority to online home delivery and click & collect slots.

Customers will be able to buy a maximum of three of any grocery product and a maximum of two on the most popular products including toilet paper, soap and UHT milk.

CEO Mike Coupe said: “Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, all our supermarkets will dedicate 8am – 9am to serving elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers, as well as NHS and Social Care workers. They will just need to show us their pass or ID when they visit. Some of you fed back that you couldn’t find what you wanted during that hour, so we will try our best to have essential items on shelf for these customers. We will be working to keep our shelves well stocked and would encourage customers to arrive throughout the hour to prevent queues forming and to help everyone keep a safe distance.

“Hundreds of you have written to me to thank our amazing colleagues who are working around the clock to serve our customers. A number of you have also shared your concerns for the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues. I want you to know that we are doing all we can to support everyone who works in our business.

“We have committed to paying all colleagues who are unwell or need to self-isolate for the full period of fourteen days. We have also committed to paying vulnerable and elderly colleagues in full if the government decides they should isolate for 12 weeks. We hope this will go some way to helping our teams through this uncertain time and we are looking at other ways to thank our colleagues for their extraordinary efforts.

“To keep our colleagues safe, I need to ask again for your help. Please do your best to stand one metre away from colleagues in our stores where you can. And we would prefer you to pay with card rather than cash at our tills. Please also treat our colleagues and other customers with kindness and respect.

“These are unprecedented circumstances and our colleagues are being asked to come to work every day while so many others are being asked to stay at home. We all need them to keep coming to work to feed the nation – a small thank you goes a really long way.”

Call for care staff

Find vacancies link here

Special openings and offers for NHS and care staff  

M & S

The first hour of trading on Mondays and Thursdays for over 70s and vulnerable customers. The first hour of trading on Tuesdays and Fridays for NHS and care staff.

Opening hours Mon-Fri 8am to 8pm, Saturday 8am to 7pm, Sunday 10am to 4pm.

The Modern Boulangerie, Ramsgate

A free loaf of bread for all emergency/health workers. Show a card to get your loaf.

Farm Shop, Rose Farm, Haine Road and Elmwood Farm Broadstairs

Taking orders for NHS staff for potatoes and seasonal veg to collect out of hours or after shifts. NHS  ID required. Text order to 07753840294.

Sweet Yesterdays Broadstairs

Ten per cent off all confectionery for blue light workers, ID required. Also delivery services for those who can’t get out.


Priority shopping hour every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9am-10am for more vulnerable and elderly customers.

More to come


  1. Surely it’s not safe for NHS staff to be shopping same time as elderly or vulnerable????? That’s concerning

  2. I would like to say thank you to all staff that are working so hard in every part of the caring area NHS shop workers who have been run off there feet with people panic buying. I am amazed that so many are behaving so selfishly and buying anything,car parks have been full for weeks at the supermarkets and how much of these items end up in the bin because they go off. Stop and think its not the end of the world!!!!!. I am going to sainsburys monday for bread and milk,perhaps few ready meals as I am disabled also my husband has dementia and stroke victim ,used to go out to cafe for meals but they are shut so have to think out the box to eat healthly. Please everybody stop and think of others as many are doing

  3. I do think it’s great that they have special hours for nhs staff unfortunately I’m school teaching staff and as we are open for the key workers children no store has offered us this special pre shop. Every day this week by the time I finish work and get to a store normally around 5:30 there is nothing left. So currently as a family we are running out of basic food because greedy selfish people have panic bought and stocked up daily whilst I’m working!! Please can stored spare us school workers a thought and give us the special hour to shop. Thank you

  4. That’s great but what about us 8 till 5 workers ??

    We are running out of food and loo rolls etc , I am going to the shops more than normal to try and get food. Instead of going once a week and only get 40% of my weekly shop I now go every other day as I have no choice thanks to the hoarders.

  5. I like what some of the local shops are doing they know their regular customers and certain things that they buy and are keeping them back for loyal customers most who cannot get to the supermarket I must say this is the time i say rejoice for the local shop.

  6. Apparently there is a billion pounds of food in-house holds should we expect some price reduction as these supermarket giants must be making huge profits due to the ridiculous panic buying. So here’s a thought.. offer all nhs, education staff and our elderly all staple products at half price. What are the chances? Surely far too radical.

  7. It is a shame these stores cannot offer home delivery slots for people like myself who have been self isolated now for a week and looks likely a further twelve weeks, due to a serious lung condition my employer sent me home on gardening leave, I have tried on numerous occasions to do online shopping with all these stores and deliveries are not available. please let us who are isolated have a dedicated slot at least one day a week all I need is essentials, I cannot risk to be out and about.

  8. This is a move in the right direction but many hospital shifts start at 7.30am or even earlier so how will these opening times benefit them?

  9. The shelves are still empty during the special hours anyway. People are coming out complaining nothing on the shelves. We are supposed to be staying home isolating because we are old and have weak immune systems and other health issues but without any food we are being forced out searching around and risking catching the virus. The supermarket bosses are enjoying all the extra custom by people coming in for essential things they haven’t put out on the shelves and end up buying other things instead. It is making it worse for the customer, but ok for them. We are told each day that there is plenty for everyone so why are the same shelves empty for weeks on end? There is going to be pandemonium soon if something doesn’t change.

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