As we remember Captain Sir Tom Moore, the impact of his phenomenal fundraising is being felt up and down the UK via NHS charities.

The £33million he directly raised for NHS Charities Together has funded a huge breadth of projects to improve practical and emotional support for patients.

Ellie Orton, CEO of NHS Charities Together, said:

“Every now and then an extraordinary person comes along and changes people’s lives for ever. Captain Sir Tom was one of those. The money he inspired others to donate is being used by NHS charities.

“It ­provides urgent practical and emotional support to NHS staff and volunteers working in extremely difficult circumstances and making life-saving decisions every day. This is the most challenging time in the history of the NHS so the funds raised by Captain Sir Tom and others will continue to be needed now and in future.”

Funds for the NHS

The money raised by Captain Sir Tom Moore forms part of 150million raised by NHS Charities Together since March 2020, with £120million already distributed throughout the UK. The first £30million was allocated within the first six months to meet urgent needs. This year another £71million is being distributed to support ­communities outside of hospitals and the recovery of staff and patients affected by the pandemic. Here are some of the ways where funds raised are having an impact right now for NHS patients and staff.

Supporting patients and staff in Wales

The North Wales NHS Charity, Awyr Las, has received £214,500 from NHS Charities Together, and over the next six months the charity expects to receive a further £717,194 through additional grant rounds.

The £214,500 from NHS Charities Together has already made an impact, with projects including a staff Wellbeing Support Service, white goods, devices, food and furniture for frontline staff, digital devices to enable virtual visiting, and small but significant items like baby monitors for the safe monitoring of patients in hospitals and blood pressure machines to monitor heart failure patients in their own homes.

Dr Dan Menzies

Funding also includes large, life changing programmes like the Health Board’s bereavement support service, its carers support service, the chronic pain management virtual support service and talking therapy, as well as children’s inpatient activity bags and extra home monitoring equipment for children with diabetes. The money is also being used to train a specialist junior doctor to investigate Covid and share best practice that will improve treatment for patients.

Dr Dan Menzies, Consultant Chest Physician at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan, said:

“We are incredibly indebted to Captain Sir Tom Moore for what he has done and enabled others to do. We have spent wisely.

Staff nurse Kate Sinclair

“Doctors and nurses have been stretched to breaking point. It’s been overwhelming in some regards. The wellbeing and support service for staff has enabled clinicians to be looked after and we have all benefitted from that.”

Kate Sinclair, Staff Nurse, ICU at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, said:

“The funding has made all the difference to so many patients and staff. It has been so traumatic seeing patients isolated from loved ones during the pandemic. We were able to fund devices that enabled patients to see their loved ones, tragically sometimes to say goodbye to them, which made all the difference to them at that difficult moment.

“The support for staff has also boosted morale and enabled us to carry on in the most challenging working circumstances we have ever experienced. It means a lot to know that the nation is behind us.”

A counselling service for staff in London

Dr Sarah Finlay

Imperial Health Charity in London has used its funding in a number of ways to support the hospital trust above and beyond what the NHS would usually provide.

This has included urgent support to the frontline to meet the practical needs of staff, including hot meals so that they could continue with their vital work.

The funding also enabled the hospital to expand its counselling service for staff. Between April and December 2020, the service was able to refer 637 staff members for one-to-one counselling and support, an increase of 76% on the previous year. An additional 3,000 staff accessed emotional wellbeing groups during the pandemic.

Dr Sarah Finlay, A & E Lead at St Mary’s Hospital said:

“The remarkable fundraising efforts of Captain Sir Tom Moore ensured many more of our staff have been able to reach out and access support when they have needed it most. The pandemic has been very difficult and everyone has been affected.”

Mental health support for children

NHS Charites Together funds are being used to support an innovative programme for children and young people with mental illnesses in Birmingham. A grant of £252,000 from NHS Charities Together and £139,000 from Birmingham Children’s Charity will be used to fund the project, which is sadly more important than ever, with the pandemic having had a negative impact on the mental health of children and young people across the UK.

The project focuses on support provided by Peer Support Workers, who will be aged between 16 and 24-years-old and who come from the same communities and backgrounds as the people they will support. Crucially all have lived experiences of mental illness.

Alex Borg, director of mental health services at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We’re incredibly grateful and focused, more than ever, on providing ­long-term support to deal with the lasting effects of Covid-19 on youth mental health. This initial funding will help us to start the programme but our ambition is to increase capacity to help even more young people.”

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