As the official charity partner for NHS Lothian and all its hospitals, Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation has been fundraising through their NHS Lothian COVID-19 Appeal to help boost the NHS response to Coronavirus and support NHS Lothian staff and patient wellbeing initiatives both during and in the recovery from the pandemic.
The generosity of the local community is already making a difference to NHS Lothian staff and patients, and so far we have supported the following initiatives:
- Tablets and mobile phones to allow patients who were isolated to keep in touch with loved ones while visiting restrictions were in place.
- Provision of wellbeing rooms, including recliner chairs, TVs, appliances and furnishings so that staff who were working long and busy shifts had a place to go to get some much needed rest, relaxation and downtime.
- Free foot massages to help relieve stress, delivered by professional complementary therapists (with approved PPE and social distancing).
- Wellbeing boxes for community health teams, including District Nurses, to ensure that they had the same access to support as teams in the hospitals. Boxes included sleep packs, toiletries such as handcream and lip balm, snacks, refreshments, car chargers and headphones as well as advice and guidance on how to look after their own health and wellbeing as they responded to the needs of their patients.
- Wellbeing boxes for Scottish Ambulance Service teams to ensure they had access to hot food and refreshments while they waited to transfer an increased number of patients to hospital staff who were under increased pressure as a result of Coronavirus.
- Accommodation costs for hotel rooms for staff who were self-isolating from their families.
- Hot food vending machines to ensure staff had access to hot meals during long and busy shifts.
- Baskets of fresh fruit for wellbeing rooms to ensure staff had access to healthy and nutritious snacks.
- Hot drinks, snacks and refreshments to keep staff hydrated and energised
- A staff listening service offered by the Spiritual Care Team to support NHS Lothian staff who were under extreme pressure during these challenging times.
- Art and activity packs to help reduce patient anxiety, depression and boredom, especially while visiting restrictions were in place.
- Shopping vouchers to allow volunteers to quickly respond to patient needs while visitors were not able to drop off essentials for hospital stays.
- Food packages for patients who were going home with nothing in their cupboards or fridges and no initial access to food shopping.
We continue to be guided by staff on where their areas of greatest need are, so that we can respond flexibly to an ever-changing situation. They are the ones who are at the front line and they are the ones who know what will make the biggest difference for them and their patients.
We are also planning strategically with NHS Lothian executives a number of larger initiatives across the whole region to address immediate need and recovery of NHS staff.
We are overwhelmed by the support that we have already had to our appeal from everyone who wants to support their local NHS during a time when we are asking more of them than ever before. Thanks to your generous donations, we will continue to respond quickly and efficiently to these needs. It means the world to the staff who are working tirelessly to keep us all safe.
If you would like to donate or link your fundraising activities to our COVID-19 Appeal, follow the link below to our JustGiving page.