Hospitals across Leicester have opened on-site food banks, in order to help staff struggling with the rising cost of living crisis.
The University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) NHS trust has set up food banks at its chapels and canteens, in order to help staff struggling to make ends meet during the current cost of living crisis.
At the banks, which will operate throughout the winter, staff will be able to access food and toiletries, as well as supermarket vouchers.
“As NHS leaders, I think we have a moral responsibility to support our colleagues through this challenging period,” said Clare Teeney, chief people officer at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, of the move.
“At UHL, we are offering support around the costs of food, transport, energy for people who need it and considering how else we can support colleagues on the lowest pay.”
Alongside the foodbanks, UHL NHS trust has also put a range of other support measures in place to support staff who may be struggling, including a reduction on the cost of food in canteens, free facilities to wash and dry clothes on site, and free staff travel on hospital buses.
Children of staff, will also be able to eat for £1 in hospital restaurants.
A spokesperson for UNISON East Midlands called the measures a “shocking sign of the times,” and criticised the current level pay of NHS staff.
Across Leicester hospitals, 29 per cent of NHS workers earn between £20,000 and £23,000 per year.
“This is a shocking sign of the times which illustrates the present problems within the NHS in respect of the level of pay,” they said.
“UNISON and other trade unions are currently consulting their members over the recent pay offer, with a view to ask them to reject it because it is currently insufficient and shows that this is the level that we are unfortunately at.”