Donors smooth the path for hospital staff

The generosity of our donors is helping to provide services for the staff of our hospitals in unprecedented ways.

Two particular donations, from Barclays and NHS Charities Together, totalling more than £450k, have given us the confidence to forge ahead with our plans to ensure that the staff who have been risking their physical and mental health to care for our patients are cared for themselves.

The 10,000 clinical and support staff at our three hospitals have been working at an unprecedented level now for months, seeing more, sicker, patients than anyone has seen in their career – and risking their own physical and mental health. And it’s not over yet: we need them to keep up their heroic fight as we face the toughest winter in the history of the NHS.

“At the charity we’ve been astonished at the incredible generosity of the public to our first Covid appeal, whether people donated money, food or time making PPE for staff,” said Jon Spiers, chief executive of the charity. “A huge thank you to all who’ve supported us this year. But now we need to redouble our efforts,”

The charity is now focusing on longer-term support in three areas: providing psychological care to those affected by months of fighting the pandemic; enhancing the health and wellbeing of lower-paid staff; and creating more areas where staff can rest and recuperate.

Jon added: “The BBC2 documentary Hospital, following life in our three hospitals, is bringing the reality of the situation on our wards into living rooms across the country. We are deeply grateful to all our philanthropists, big and small, whose combined efforts mean that the Royal Free Charity can be with our brave NHS staff every step of the way.”

Barclays donated £250k to the charity as part of its Barclays £100m COVID-19 Community Aid Package to support charities helping vulnerable people affected by COVID-19. It is partnering with a number of charities in the UK, Europe, America and Asia, delivering aid where it is most needed.

Nigel Higgins, chairman of Barclays, said: “Incredible charities, such as the Royal Free Charity, have been playing a vital role in the UK’s response to the pandemic, ensuring urgent help reaches those most in need of support.

“We hope that by partnering with the charity, and many other charities across the UK, collectively we can ensure that as many people as possible in the communities in which we live and work are supported through this crisis.”

NHS Charities Together donated more than £200k to the charity following its COVID-19 appeal which has so far raised more than £140m. Funds have been distributed to NHS charities serving every part of the UK, meeting urgent need, supporting NHS staff and volunteers to deal with the personal impact of the crisis and supporting staff, volunteers and patients on the long road to recovery.

Ellie Orton, chief executive of NHS Charities Together said: “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity and support of the nation for our COVID-19 Appeal and it’s fantastic to see how these donations are being put to good use by NHS Charities across the country to support NHS staff, volunteers and patients.”