£3m for staff wellbeing in our hospitals

24 Jul 2020

We’re delighted to announce an unprecedented £3m package of long-term support for the incredible staff at Barts Health NHS Trust who continue to go the extra mile to tackle COVID-19.

Thanks to donations to the Barts Charity emergency COVID-19 appeal, staff at our five hospitals - Whipps Cross, The Royal London, St Bartholomew’s, Newham, and Mile End - will benefit from a new package of wellbeing support.

"The impact of COVID has placed unparalleled pressures on NHS staff," says Rachel Simkiss, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Barts Health NHS Trust. "Our colleagues have done an amazing job saving lives and aiding patients’ recovery but they have seen a lot of things and they are feeling exhausted. During the peak many worked long, intense shifts, living away from their families and separated from their usual ways of coping due to lockdown."

  

Hospital staff are at risk of stress, anxiety and other mental health problems brought on by the COVID-19 crisis, which could be intensified by the second wave anticipated this winter.

We’re giving £1million for mental health support, with clinical psychologists being deployed to offer mental health first aid, counselling and wellbeing sessions to the 24,000 people working across the hospitals.

The new mental health programme will not be solely crisis-oriented, but will also focus on developing staff wellbeing and resilience to prevent mental ill health from surfacing in the first place. 

A further £2million will fund an extensive refurbishment programme for staff areas in the hospitals:

  • £1m to improve staff locker rooms, showers and changing rooms at Whipps Cross and Newham hospitals, to support active travel to work
  • £400,000 to upgrade 315 staff rooms and rest areas across Barts Health
  • £275,000 to provide secure, weatherproof cycle storage to encourage active travel to work across all hospitals
  • £200,000 to upgrade all 158 on-call overnight rooms for staff at the Trust

The East London public showed their gratitude to Barts Health with generous donations to our emergency COVID-19 appeal. The appeal raised £3.7million, which was boosted by donations from our corporate partners, including £1.2million from Capula Investment Management for the mental health support. 

Although the emergency appeal has now ended, our work has not – as the Trust’s dedicated charity we need your help to continue to fund initiatives that support staff and save lives throughout this pandemic and beyond.

In the coming months we’ll be making further announcements about what long-term support looks like for our hospitals and our East London community, including COVID-related research and patient-focused initiatives.

Our Chief Executive, Fiona Miller Smith says: "Donations to our emergency appeal have made this possible. And by funding this fantastic package of support we are honouring our donor’s wishes; standing in solidarity with our NHS workers and saying thank you to them for the incredible sacrifices they have made."

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