The money raised will help buy additional equipment, technology or resources which will support staff and patient wellbeing during this pandemic, over and above what NHS funding provides. This could include staff and patient wellbeing packs, costs associated with accommodation for those self-isolating from family and wellbeing centres where staff can relax and recuperate away from clinical settings. The money raised cannot be used to provide PPE or other core equipment.
The response has been overwhelming and we have been focusing initially on meeting the immediate and urgent needs of patients and staff; providing somewhere comfortable where staff can take a break, access to nutritious food and drink, use of electronic tablets so patients can stay in contact with loved ones, and counselling support to protect mental health and help staff process what they are dealing with.
In the longer term, we will use the money raised to fund programmes to help staff recover fully once the crisis has abated, reducing the long-term impact on them and the people they care about.
We are here to support NHS Lothian and to respond to what they, their staff and their patients need on an ongoing basis. As this crisis develops, there is no doubt those needs will change and we will continue to respond to that and try to meet those needs. Currently, the focus is on the immediate and long term needs of staff and patients outside of core care and treatment, including setting up comfortable places where they can take a much-needed rest, giving them nutritious meals and drinks, offering mental health support, and helping staff and the patients themselves to stay in touch with their loved ones.
So, the most effective way to financially support your local NHS, its staff and patients at the moment is through NHS charities like us who already provide that support. Donations can be made by visiting our JustGiving appeal page.
We have already received an initial grant of £35,000 from NHS Charities Together, and along with the donations received through our own COVID-19 Appeal, we will be able to fund more initiatives that support staff and patient wellbeing during these challenging times.
We will soon receive further grants which will allow us to continue to respond quickly and efficiently to any urgent needs as well as supporting staff in the recovery from the pandemic, where there will be continuing need to look after their physical and emotional wellbeing and sustain their resilience over the longer term. We are already planning strategically with NHS Lothian executives a number of larger initiatives across the whole region which will support NHS Lothian staff, the beating heart of our NHS.
You can also visit our Local and National Fundraising page for more information.