An NHS trust which handed out individual tea bags as a “thank you” to staff says the gesture has been taken “out of context”.
The clip was captioned “What my dad got at work as a ‘treat'”, with an accompanying post saying “#teaisahumanright” and “#clapforourcareers”.
Viewers reacted with fury, with one saying: ‘Wow, a two pence gift. But you can’t get a break to use it. What an insult.
Another wrote: ‘I saw this and I laughed until I remembered a trust that actually thought it would reassure the staff.
“I’ve seen small packages of tea bags, but that’s very different to a single tea bag.”
One TikTok user said: ‘Please tell me this is a joke? These workers are heroes. They should get free tea anyway. I smoke – the disrespect.
The creator of the video replied: ‘We don’t get anything for free in the NHS. We have to pay for our own milk and tea bags and coffee. That’s why this is a gift!’
Paul Aidan joked: “Even worse considering it costs £300 to boil a kettle at the moment.”
But the boss of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust insisted the gesture was taken out of context.
A spokesperson for the trust said it was a way of saying “thank you” to staff on International Midwifery Day and International Nurses Day in May.
Trust chief executive Matthew Hopkins said: “Of course we are hugely grateful for the hard work done by all our staff who care about our communities and we are always looking for new ways to show gratitude and kindness to our teams.
“As a thank you for all their incredible efforts during the pandemic, we worked with charities and our union partners to show our appreciation in a number of ways.
“This included offering every colleague an extra paid day off and for all our staff who worked over the Christmas and New Year fortnight, we provided a free meal every day.
“In addition, we have a comprehensive support offering to protect their mental and physical health and wellbeing, and we continue to offer free parking for all staff.
“As an extra small but sincere thank you to our midwives and nurses for International Midwifery Day and International Nurses Day, back in May, we sent each of them a certificate and a gift bag with a range of items in it, including a branded tea bag, to encourage them to take a break.
“We wanted to let them know how much we appreciate all the hard work they do and also raise awareness of the important work our hospital organization does to support the wellbeing of our staff.
“It is a shame that a small act of kindness, done with good intentions as part of one of the many ways we say ‘thank you’ has been taken out of context in this way.’
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