EXCLUSIVE Revealed: ‘Aggressive’ shopper who left carer in tears after accusing her of ‘spreading germs’ by wearing uniform in B&M is an ICU nurse on coronavirus frontline – and tells friends she would ‘do the same again’
- Kimberley Simpson claimed a B&M shopper accused her of ‘spreading germs’
- Care worker said woman followed her through the store because of her uniform
- Marina Kendrick, 53, told friends that she had been enforcing the ‘nursing code’
- A close friend said: ‘She fully stands by what she did and she would do it again’
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
The woman who prompted online outrage for reprimanding a carer for wearing her uniform and ’spreading germs’ is a nurse who works on the corona virus frontline and says she would do the same thing again, MailOnline can reveal.
Marina Kendrick, 53, told friends that she had been enforcing the ‘nursing code’ and could not believe the backlash against her as she has had to report to the police dozens of threats, including death and rape after the incident at B&M Bargains in Burton-upon-Trent.
A close friend said: ‘She fully stands by what she did and she would do it again. People can call her whatever they like but she regards it as being part of her nursing code – to protect her patients and uphold her profession. That is what she signed up to do.’
Mrs Kendrick, who was head of nursing at a vocational training company before retraining as an intensive care nurse, was queueing for the till when she spoke to carer Kimberley Simpson to express her view that she should not be wearing her uniform in public.
Miss Simpson captured part of their altercation on video and shared a post about it.
Marina Kendrick, 53, told friends that she had been enforcing the ‘nursing code’ and could not believe the backlash against her
Kimberley Simpson, from Burton-upon-Trent in Staffordshire, claimed the customer followed her through the store for ten minutes ‘shouting’ that she shouldn’t be allowed inside
Another friend of the 53-year-old nurse, who until February was senior lecturer in adult nursing at the University of Wolverhampton and is married and has two grown-up children, added: ‘I have spoken to Marina and I know she is traumatised by what happened.
‘She has had to delete all her social media due to the volume of hatred being directed against her.
‘She was sent 32 separate threats on Messenger which included death and rape before she took down her Facebook page.
‘There have even been people calling for her to be refused NHS treatment. The ignorance is stupefying.’
The flashpoint came yesterday afternoon as both women queued with items at B&M Bargains.
Noticing her uniform and her lanyard, Mrs Kendrick asked Miss Simpson if she worked in a hospital before pointing out that she should not be shopping in her work uniform.
Mrs Kendrick, who was head of nursing at a vocational training company before retraining as an intensive care nurse, was queueing for the till when she spoke to carer Kimberley Simpson to express her view that she should not be wearing her uniform in public
In a clip of the altercation (pictured), Mrs Kendrick tells Ms Simpson she is ‘spreading germs’ by entering the store in her work clothes – before threatening to report the carer to her manager
In footage from the incident, which has been viewed more than two million times, Ms Simpson (pictured) is seen speaking with the woman who stands behind her trolley
Her friend said: ‘She made the point because she is an educator and a nurse and even before Covid the guidance for all uniform wearing nursing staff was to cover up their uniform in public.
‘There are two reasons for this – infection control and to protect the nurse themselves for if somebody had a heart attack in a shop, others would see the uniform and might expect them to do things which were beyond their level of competence.
‘She fully stands by what she did and she would do it again. People can call her whatever they like but she regards it as being part of her nursing code – to protect her patients and uphold her profession. That is what she signed up to do.’
In her post, Miss Simpson said: ‘All I’ve done is cry this afternoon, whether I should delete this post or not.’
The friend of Mrs Kendrick added: ‘All people see is a pretty girl who is crying crocodile tears after the event.
‘She ought to take down her post. I believe she has been asked to but has so far refused. Marina did not follow her around the shop, just tried to have a quiet word and what has followed has been shameful.
Sharing footage of the incident on Facebook, Ms Simpson said she was ‘disgusted’ by the shopper’s behaviour
‘Marina is so dedicated to nursing that she put her own family at risk by going back into clinical practice after 15 years of teaching nursing so she could join the fight on the frontline.
‘She is one of the heroes we all clap every Thursday and now the mob have reduced her to living in fear.
Mrs Kendrick lives with her husband in a smart detached house near Burton-upon-Trent.
She had been senior lecturer in adult nursing at the University of Wolverhampton until February of this year when she was recruited to be head of nursing at Impact Futures, a national private sector training provider.
That role had barely started when the Covid pandemic struck and Mrs Kendrick immediately volunteered herself for the frontline, undergoing a re-training programme to prepare her for re-entering clinical wards after 15 years of teaching.
Since then she has been working in ICU at the Burton Hospital NHS Trust.
Impact Futures proudly shared a post of their ‘Head of Nursing’ in full PPE gear in ICU.
A spokeswoman for the University of Wolverhampton confirmed that Mrs Kendrick had been a senior lecturer in nursing until February.
According to an NHS England document published on April 2, there is ‘no evidence that wearing uniforms outside work adds to infection risks’
Ms Simpson was inundated with thousands of messages of support after she posted the video online, with one woman congratulating her for ‘sticking up for yourself’
Sharing footage of the incident to Facebook, Ms Simpson said she was ‘disgusted’ by the shopper’s behaviour.
She added: ‘I know I’m an ugly crier, but this lady has just followed me around B&M shouting at me saying I’m not allowed in the shop because I’m in uniform.
‘Apparently I’m not allowed to buy non-essential items, how does she know I’m not doing client’s shopping?
‘Apparently I spread germs before and after Corona, and she’s reporting me to my manager who I’ve just spoken to, and they said I’m not doing anything wrong.
‘We have worked so hard, no clients have Covid-19 so we are clearly doing something right. She shouted at me for a good ten minutes before I decided to film her because she was following me.
‘No staff in the shop helped me, no one stuck up for me, a Polish couple told me not to cry bless them and said she’s stupid.
‘I feel really disgusted at this lady’s behaviour, I have done nothing wrong.’
According to an NHS England document published on April 2, there is ‘no evidence that wearing uniforms outside work adds to infection risks.’
It added, however, that ‘public attitudes indicate it is good practice for staff to change at work or cover their uniforms as they travel to and from work.’
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