Staff from eight NHS trusts supported by our member charities were honoured to speak by phone today with HRH The Duke of Cambridge in his role as Patron of NHS Charities Together. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge became joint patrons of NHS Charities Together in December 2020. Projects funded include mental health support for young people and counselling for NHS staff. Thank you to our Royal Patron for hearing how our funds are making a difference.

Awyr Las Charity

Dr Dan Menzies, a Respiratory Medicine Consultant in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, was honoured to speak to HRH The Duke of Cambridge to discuss how NHS Charities Together funds have made a difference for patients and staff in North Wales, and to hear more about some of the challenges that Dan and his colleagues have faced whilst caring for people with Covid-19.

Dr Menzies said: “During the last year I have mainly been looking after the sickest patients with Covid requiring high levels of respiratory support. I welcomed the opportunity to speak with the HRH Duke of Cambridge about my work and about the difference that the grants from NHS Charities Together and other donations from local supporters of our NHS Charity, Awyr Las, have made.”

“Thanks to the donations we’ve received, we’ve been able to fund a Covid Medical Fellowship, so a specialist junior doctor can stay abreast of the latest in Covid treatment and share best practice with colleagues. We’ve also been able to purchase items for staff ‘wobble rooms’ and the charitable support has funded a staff wellbeing support service and digital devices for virtual visiting. These are just some of the examples of how support from the public has helped us and our patients.

Dr Dan Menzies (Image © Daily Express)

“It was great to see first-hand the enthusiasm and interest that HRH The Duke of Cambridge has in the impact of NHS Charities Together and the wellbeing of patients and NHS staff.”

Birmingham Women and Children’s Hospital

HRH The Duke of Cambridge was told by Sarah-Jane Marsh (pictured in the main image above) the hospital has benefited from £252K of NHS Charities Together funding. This along with donations worth £139,000 has funded a network of Peer Support Workers who, once appointed, will be the first of their kind within Children’s and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in the UK.

South Western Ambulance Trust

Responder Manager Rob Horton explained how funding for Community First Responder volunteers is enabling South Western Ambulance Trust to go the extra mile for exceptional staff, volunteers and communities.

Southampton University Hospital

Patient Support Hub Manager Emma Squires told HRH The Duke of Cambridge how the hub, made possible with NHS Charities Together funds to Southampton Hospitals Charity, was having a positive impact on patients and their families.

North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust

Caroline Walker, Chief Executive of North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, explained to HRH The Duke of Cambridge how NHS Charities Together funds were being spent to provide North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust with programmes focussed on boosting staff and patient wellbeing, including a cultural ambassador programme and training.

Royal Cornwall Hospitals

Royal Cornwall Hospitals CEO Kate Shields described during the call how with funds received meant they were able to provide small grants to over 70 staff teams across the Trust so far, giving them the choice of how best to benefit and reward their staff. They also revamped a communal staff area, provided iPads for patient communication and work will soon be under way on a new staff garden area. 

NHS Dumfries and Galloway

Nicholas Morris, Chairperson of NHS Dumfries and Galloway, explained how funds received are being used for partnership work with five local carer organisations aimed to reach many of the unpaid carers in the region with support including counselling, wellbeing work and mindfulness, short breaks and access to transport.

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Cardiff & Vale Health Charity, the official charity of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, spent funds on initiatives aimed at improving patient experiences and staff working environments, including work with health and social care groups to increase engagement with BAME, traveller and LGBT communities and specialist equipment for women giving birth to make them more comfortable and make labour more effective

Simone Joslyn, a mental health nurse and Head of Cardiff & Vale Health Charity and Arts Programme, spoke with HRH The Duke of Cambridge. She said:

“I was honoured to receive this call on behalf of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and have the opportunity to talk to the Duke of Cambridge about the important projects that funding from NHS Charities Together has allowed us to progress.

“Funding from NHS Charities Together has made a huge difference to our patients and staff and has allowed us to engage with and support areas of our community which have been most significantly impacted by Covid-19.”

Find out more about Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s involvement with NHS Charities Together via this link.