Although they are on the frontline, some NHS workers and carers have suffered misery and humiliation in the supermarket during the coronavirus pandemic.
After reports of healthcare workers finishing gruelling shifts just to discover they were too late to buy food, many stores announced special measures to recognise their service.
But while the vast majority of shoppers understand and value their NHS heroes, in some cases these good intentions have led to unexpected consequences.
Other times, acts of violence that would be unacceptable at any time have been even more shocking due to the fact the victim was someone battling the pandemic.
Here are some of the cases where being an NHS worker has been tough outside the hospital as well as in.
NHS worker beaten up by gang of youths
A radiographer who is based at Arrowe Park hospital told that he was beaten up by a gang of youths outside the Asda in Birkenhead.
The NHS worker, who asked not to be named, said that he was punched and beaten by the yobs on March 21 outside the Asda on Grange Road.
The man said that he was punched on the back of the head and then surrounded by more yobs when he retaliated. At one point one of the yobs used a bike seat as a weapon to attack the NHS worker.
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After the story was first reported on, many people expressed outrage at the senseless and violent attack.
He told the ECHO: “It was quite surreal that there was a news article about me, I’ve not been the subject of news before, but I was blown away by the support from the people and the comments on the article, in terms of how supportive they were.
“I did agree with the sentiments they were putting out there. I think [the attack] has shown the worst but also the best of people. It’s symbolised the community coming together.
“It showed that people agreed that this type of behaviour has no place in our community.”
It is something that has, at some point, touched all our lives.
From cradle to grave, the National Health Service, and the incredible professionals within it who care for us, is a part of British life.
Today, more than ever, we should cherish those who dedicate themselves to our care, heedless of their own health as they work tirelessly to care for people in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
Nurses and others – employed by the NHS and any other part of health and care – we have never needed them more.
So let’s show them some love, and create a living map of gratitude from every corner of Britain.
Click HERE to drop a heart on the map, and show you appreciate the efforts undertaken daily in the NHS.
Thanks a million, NHS workers – we love you.
NHS worker shouted at by others in queue
One embarrassed nurse “cried all the way home” after she said customers queuing outside Aldi made unpleasant comments about her using her NHS card to avoid a large queue.
The woman, who asked not to be named, had just finished a 13-hour night shift at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital when she stopped at the Aldi in Fazakerley at around 7am on March 30.
She said: “I had just finished work and the girls had said to me Aldi opens at 8am and the NHS don’t have to stand in the queue.
“I got there, got out of my car and there was a big queue. I walked over and there was a security guard standing there. I said ‘where do I stand?’ and said I was NHS and showed him my card, so he said ‘stand here’.
“And then the comments from people in the queue, they started saying ‘oh yeah, we’re all NHS here’, ‘so what NHS that’s your job.’ There were about six or seven of them saying things, and I didn’t answer back because I thought it would just fuel it.”
NHS worker humiliated after misunderstanding
Robyn Fairfield-Bretherton called into B&M store at Switch Island after a gruelling shift at Aintree hospital to buy some birthday presents for her two-year-old son.
But when she showed her ID to security staff at the store she was sent to the back of the queue.
Robyn explained she had just finished her shift and would like to nip in very quickly to get her baby boy who is two tomorrow a few gifts.
“Then the manager again refused her entry and said you get a 10% discount but you need to queue like everyone else.
“My sister is extremely quiet and shy as it is, she then decided to walk away from the store as she was humiliated and embarrassed and was in floods of tears.”
A spokesperson for B&M said to the ECHO that they were unable to offer priority queueing workers in order to keep staff and customers safe.
They said: “We have experienced that allowing NHS colleagues to the front of the queue has put them and our colleagues at risk, as other people in the queue don’t realise they’re NHS employees.
“We are unable to offer priority queuing at this time in order to keep our colleagues and customers safe.
“We fully support the work of the NHS and have extended our colleague discount to all NHS employees.”