FAQs – NHS Lothian COVID-19 Appeal

FAQs – NHS Lothian COVID-19 Appeal

What is the NHS Lothian COVID-19 Appeal?
The NHS Lothian COVID-19 Appeal was launched by Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation to raise money to support NHS Lothian staff and patients impacted by Coronavirus.

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.

How is the money you have raised going to be spent?
Understanding the profound impact the COVID crisis would have on our health service, we worked quickly to launch an appeal to acknowledge and support NHS Lothian staff and patients.

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.

Why are we we fundraising for the NHS? It is not a charity and should be funded by the government?
We are not fundraising for the NHS, we are fundraising to support NHS staff and patient wellbeing in addition to what is provided through core funding. People have been giving money to health services since well before the NHS was created. Charities like Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation help the NHS to provide services they would not otherwise be able to fund. These help improve the wellbeing of patients and save lives. As the official charity partner of NHS Lothian and all its hospitals, we have a key role to play in supporting their staff and patients, both now and in the recovery from Coronavirus
Shouldn’t these funds be used to equip NHS Lothian staff with the medical equipment they need to do their job, such as ventilators and PPE?
The money raised through the appeal is currently focused on supporting the health and emotional wellbeing of NHS Lothian staff and patients in ways above and beyond that which NHS funding can usually provide. Elements such as PPE or ventilators are part of the core operation of the NHS and are ordinarily funded by government.

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.

Can I give money directly to the NHS?
NHS charities such as Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation are the legal way the NHS receives, holds and spends charitable funds and are dedicated to supporting the NHS. We exist for the benefit of current and future NHS staff and patients.

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.

Will NHS Lothian benefit from the money being raised nationally through NHS Charities Together?
Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation is one of the member charities of NHS Charities Together so will benefit from the money being raised through their national COVID-19 Appeal. The nationwide campaign will have a huge positive impact on local NHS charities like us, as we will receive a share of this funding which will bolster our own local fundraising campaign.

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.