WHSmith is delighted to be sponsoring the Patients Choice Award at the Building Better Healthcare Awards in 2021. As a leading national retailer, we currently operate in over 100 hospitals across the UK delivering the strongest retail offer within the healthcare industry, making us the first-choice retailer for staff, visitors and hospital trusts.
We take pride in the strong relationships we have built across the many hospital communities we serve. Over the past number of years, we have further developed our customer offer and are now a leading franchise partner for M&S and Costa Coffee in hospital locations. Alongside our WHSmith stores, this suite of brands and formats enables us to best meet the needs of our NHS partners and customers in a variety of different sized hospitals across the country. Most recently, we have added a Post Office counter to our suite of options available in hospitals to further enhance our retail service.
2020 was an unprecedented year for so many. While everyone faced many challenges we, at WHSmith, wanted to do provide as much support as we could to the communities we serve. Across our hospital communities, we increased our support for NHS key workers to express our gratitude for their incredible work and provide a little extra help to make their life easier wherever we could. This included extending our grocery ranges across our WHSmith and M&S hospital stores to make it easier for frontline NHS staff to buy food and essential items during the height of the pandemic, and we were delighted to be able to extend this further with additional discounts, giveaways and an enhanced meal deal offer. As a result, we are very proud to have provided over £2.5m in discount to NHS staff in hospitals throughout this period.
It has been a challenging period for everyone, particularly those working in healthcare environments, so we are delighted to be able to further our support and celebrate everyone who has made an impact as a healthcare hero by sponsoring the Building Better Healthcare Awards this November.
Over the coming months, we would encourage you to look out for some of the exciting projects we have been working on to enhance retail services in hospitals.