Charity awards £1.7m grant to fund long-term staff support programme

17 September 2020

Charity awards £1.7m grant to fund long-term staff support programme
Thousands of hospital staff are set to benefit from a major programme of wellbeing support, thanks to a £1.7m grant from Imperial Health Charity.

The Covid-19 ‘legacy’ programme will include improvements to hundreds of staff facilities, better access to food and shops, and enhanced counselling and mental health support.

Planning work is already under way and the first wave of improvements to staff spaces is due to begin in the autumn, including refurbishments to staff rooms, changing rooms, shower facilities and kitchens.

Our funding will also enable the expansion of counselling services for staff across the Trust, including individual and group support plus additional training for managers in mental health awareness, compassionate leadership and psychological first aid. Extra support will be provided for staff who have been shielding, members of the Trust’s BAME and disability networks and hospital facilities staff.

The £1.7m grant was awarded from our Covid-19 Relief Fund, which raised more than £3m to help the Trust’s hospitals respond to the pandemic.

Ian Lush, chief executive of Imperial Health Charity, said: “Over the last few months the NHS has faced the greatest challenge in its history and we have all been humbled by the courage, commitment and resolve that staff have shown throughout the pandemic.

“I’m incredibly proud that we have been able to play such an important role in supporting the Trust during this unprecedented period and we are determined to do even more to help staff in the months ahead.

“We hope this major programme of support will serve as a lasting legacy to the extraordinary efforts that staff have made to provide such outstanding care during this time.”

Since March, we have been providing essential support to strengthen the Trust’s Covid-19 response. At the peak of the pandemic, we recruited more than 300 volunteers to help distribute meals to wards and departments as well as running free staff shops at Charing Cross, Hammersmith and St Mary’s hospitals.

Thanks to the goodwill of the local community and thousands of other generous supporters, we also funded a range of projects benefiting staff and patients across our hospitals, including access to faster wifi, free haircuts for staff, tablet devices for patients and resources to help staff set up ‘wobble room’ rest areas.

However, this further grant of £1.7m will enable the Trust to provide long-term wellbeing support for staff.

Professor Tim Orchard, chief executive of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said: "The health and wellbeing of our staff has never been more important – with the support of Imperial Health Charity, we now have an opportunity to embed improvements that will have lasting benefit for our staff – and for our patients. 

“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 six months, and for making this programme of staff support and wellbeing possible.” 

To read more about how we have been supporting the Trust’s Covid-19 response, read our Focus magazine here.