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Saturday, 23 October 2021
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London NHS charity shares story of COVID-19 response in new impact report

IMPERIAL Health Charity has shared the full story of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic in a 24-page impact report published on its website.

The report details the wide range of emergency support activities and long-term healthcare initiatives funded by the charity following its urgent fundraising appeal, which began in March.

Generous donations from members of the public have enabled the charity to commit £3million towards a number of projects supporting NHS staff and patients this year. The funding commitment includes a major £1.7million contribution to pay for improvements to hospital staff rooms, kitchen areas and changing facilities, plus long-term mental health and wellbeing support for NHS staff affected by traumatic experiences.

Imperial Health Charity is the dedicated NHS charity for the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, supporting five hospitals in north west London – Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea, St Mary’s and the Western Eye. Imperial College Healthcare was among the worst-affected NHS trusts in the UK during the first wave of the pandemic, caring for almost 2,000 COVID-19 patients between March and August 2020 and experiencing over 400 deaths. Its staff population numbers more than 14,000.

During this period of extreme pressure, the charity ran an emergency response operation involving its own staff and volunteers, providing urgent supplies of food, drinks, toiletries and other essentials to NHS workers at all five of the Trust’s hospitals. It also awarded a series of grants to fund initiatives including extra counselling services, improved rest areas and free haircuts for hospital staff as well as overnight care packs, free wifi and emergency hardship grants for hundreds of patients and their families.

The charity’s report also acknowledges the many donors, fundraisers and public supporters who helped raise more than £3million towards its COVID-19 Relief Fund. Extraordinary generosity from members of the public enabled the charity to raise the seven-figure sum between March and November.

Ian Lush, Chief Executive of Imperial Health Charity, said: 

“Our remarkable NHS colleagues have fought COVID-19 on the front-line and in doing so saved countless lives over the course of this year. Enormous credit must be paid to their extraordinary courage, commitment and resolve. But there are also many others who have played an important role in supporting our hospitals through this unprecedented period. The hundreds of volunteers who delivered emergency supplies to NHS staff; the local businesses and community groups who donated food and drink to the front line; and the thousands of donors and fundraisers whose generosity and goodwill enabled us to provide an effective crisis response at the peak of the first wave.

“This impact report shows how we have channelled this outpouring of kindness into vital wellbeing support for NHS staff and an enhanced hospital experience for hundreds of patients. It also demonstrates that we stand ready to help our hospitals in the future, whatever the coming months may bring.”

Professor Tim Orchard, Chief Executive of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said: 

“I’m hugely grateful for all that our staff have achieved in responding to COVID-19 so far – and all they are doing now to step up all of our services while keeping everyone as safe as possible. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Imperial Health Charity for all they have done to support our staff and hospitals, especially during this past few months.

“The challenge is not over. We’re making sure we build on what has been achieved, improve in areas that need to be better and are prepared for whatever comes next.”

The charity has published a special web page including a range of infographics and impact data from its COVID-19 response.

The charity’s COVID-19 impact report is available to read in full here.

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