Marks and Spencer apologises for initially refusing help to customer collapsed outside its Romford store

PUBLISHED: 11:24 05 November 2013 | UPDATED: 08:30 06 November 2013

M&S staff did eventually offer help and refereshments to the victim

M&S staff did eventually offer help and refereshments to the victim


Romford Marks and Spencer staff refused to provide a blanket or first aid for a customer who had collapsed outside their store - because it did not happen in the shop.

Passer-by Lorraine Moss claims workers called an ambulance for the lady, aged around 60, who had earlier been unwell in the South Street shop, but would do no more because she had fainted outside.

Instead, Lorraine sought assistance from the Primark clothes store next door, which sent a first aid-trained manager to sit with the victim and supplied a throw to keep her warm, while the anxious group waited half an hour for paramedics to arrive.

“The staff at Marks and Spencer said they weren’t allowed to help because the woman had collapsed outside,” said Lorraine.”But the woman had actually been in the store when she fell unwell. I’m not normally lost for words but I was just gobsmacked, I thought: ‘Where’s your compassion? That could be your mum or nan lying out there.’ I was appalled.”

She added: “I went next door to Primark and they were amazing. The perception of Marks and Spencer and Primark could not be more different, yet Primark could not do more to help.”

Relatives of the victim had grown increasingly distressed at the attitude of the M&S staff, Lorraine claimed.

A spokesman for M&S blamed the initial inaction on a procedural “misunderstanding” and said a senior member of staff offered “help, support and refreshments” once aware of the incident.

The spokesman added: “We are sorry that one of our colleagues initially misunderstood our procedures and we are taking measures to ensure all store employees are reminded of our health and safety protocols”.

Are you the victim or a relative? Get in touch with Jane Ball by phone 020 8477 3878 or email

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