Posted by: Sara Valente23 FEB 2011
So I’m in Subway (as all good stories start) and I notice a pocket of leaflets on the wall advertising The NHS Sub which I thought could be the first in a gourmet line of sandwiches. The Nectarine and Hollandaise Sauce Sub perhaps but then I rejected my theory when I realised that nectarine and hollandaise sauce, no matter how glamorous apart, would taste no good together. It was that time when I was introduced to the NHS staff discount, sorry if you have known about this for years but it was news to me!
It seems to have started in 2008 and I had no idea that NHS staff got such discounts ranging from restaurants and high street shops to cars and holidays! Initially, I couldn’t see why NHS staff in particular had access to all these amazing bargains, even though they are in the public health sector, and teachers, policemen and others did not receive the same amount of treatment. Surely offering these discounts costs a lot of money in the first place?
On further inspection, it seems that the NHS staff discounts began quite small then suddenly grew as large companies discovered advertising opportunities and began sponsoring the deal. Even Microsoft offered vastly reduced software but then informed the buyers that their purchase was only temporary and told them to uninstall it immediately and buy it full price! Some people commented on forums that the NHS staff discount was unfair but really it has become an advertising campaign to encourage those to spend more money in retail. To be honest, the NHS discount is no more a privilege than the student discount or even an over 60’s discount! Bargains are always around for those lucky enough to qualify. Perhaps it is something to think about for prospective pharmacists considering work in the NHS services and hospitals.