Questions answered: this is where the competition money you've been donating will go

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You can find out in detail about the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal here. But below is a summary of where the money goes, taken from the organisation’s website Q&As:


What is the Covid-19 Urgent Appeal?

The Covid-19 Urgent Appeal was launched by NHS Charities Together to acknowledge and support NHS staff, volunteers and volunteers impacted by Covid-19 across the country. The money raised is funding grants to help NHS charities support NHS staff, volunteers and patients in ways above and beyond what NHS funding can ordinarily provide, including wellbeing packs and costs associated with travel, parking, accommodation and volunteer expenses.


How is the money you have raised going to be spent?

The first grants have been used to meet the immediate and urgent needs of patients, staff and volunteers – providing somewhere comfortable so staff and volunteers can take a break, access to nutritious food and drink, use of electronic tablets so patients, staff and volunteers can stay in contact with loved ones, and counselling support to protect mental health and help staff and volunteers process what they are dealing with. Some of the funding is also going towards helping partnerships outside hospitals, such as hospices, community healthcare and social care, making sure patients leaving hospital have access to the care they need to recover. In the longer term it will also fund programmes to help staff and volunteers recover fully once the crisis has abated, reducing the long-term impact on them and the people they care about.


Are these charities just propping up the NHS?

No, but they do help the NHS do much more than they otherwise could. People have been giving money to health services since well before the NHS was created. They help the health service provide treatments and services they would not otherwise be able to fund. These help improve the wellbeing of patients and save lives. They also support NHS staff and volunteers.


Shouldn’t these funds be used to equip NHS staff and volunteers 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 funding grants to help NHS charities support the health and emotional wellbeing of NHS staff, volunteer 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. 

Each NHS charity is there to support their NHS trust or health board and to respond to what they and their staff, volunteers and patients need on an ongoing basis. As this crisis develops, there is no doubt those needs will change and NHS charities will continue to respond to that and try to meet those needs.


How much of the money raised gets to the people on the ground?

NHS Charities Together is a small charity with a permanent team of four people. Our focus for the appeal is on raising funds and getting them to our member charities as effectively and efficiently as possible, so they can then be used to support NHS trusts, their staff, volunteers and patients. We invest the time and resource we need to help us do that and monitor that investment.


Will the money raised go towards helping health services in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as England?

NHS Charities Together has member charities in Wales and Scotland as well as in England, and funds have already been distributed to members in all three nations.  We hadn’t previously had relationships with charities in Northern Ireland, but we’re delighted that six organisations have now come on board as members and are in the process of receiving their first grants from the appeal.

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Greg Freeman

Sat 30th May 2020 10:18

Here's just a couple of examples where NHS Charities Together's Covid-19 Urgent Appeal has stepped in to help: a scheme for staff to use walkie talkies for safer communications at York Teaching Hospitals Trust. More details here and wellbeing pods where tired doctors and nurses can take a power nap during long shifts.

Keep your donations to our fund-raising competition rolling in, please, folks!

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