Two years on: upgraded staff facilities for our NHS heroes - Barts Charity
The Wellbeing Hub at Whipps Cross Hospital

Two years on: upgraded staff facilities for our NHS heroes

We’ve upgraded staff facilities across the five hospitals we support as part of a £4.5m staff wellbeing package, made possible by our generous supporters.

  • Date: March 23, 2022

Improved staff areas

With £2 million funding, we’ve improved staff areas across the Barts Health NHS Trust to support the long-term wellbeing of staff. As these areas are neither patient-facing nor directly linked to a clinical activity, they have historically been a low priority for renovation. This funding was given during the first peak, and two years on, the facilities are now being enjoyed by staff.

Renovated rest area

On call rooms

Prior to 2020, on-call rooms were available to all staff, but during the Covid-19 pandemic use was prioritised for staff in front line roles and who had family at home shielding, family who were sick and isolating, or their commuting arrangements and shift patterns were not practical without an overnight stay near work.

The quality of the rooms was variable with many described as ‘unhabitable’ and in dire need of renovation. During the pandemic’s first peak there were over 300 staff staying in hotel accommodation at any one time – so it was important to get the on-call rooms up to standard to save vital NHS funds.

With £300,000, we upgraded 34 on-call overnight rooms for staff at The Royal London, Whipps Cross and Newham hospitals. Refurbishment included upgrading lighting, replacing flooring, buying new beds, mattresses and artwork.

In the long term, the refurbished rooms will be a valuable asset for any staff to rest between shifts.

On call room

Shower and locker rooms

The locker rooms, showers and changing room facilities at Newham and Whipps Cross hospitals were in desperate need of refurbishment. A £1million investment has modernised and expanded the facilities.

The existing locker capacity has more than doubled, ensuring staff’s belongings are secure while they’re working. There are now higher quality facilities to shower and change and it’s hoped that, along with new secure cycle storage, this will encourage staff to walk, bike or run into work to boost their wellbeing.

NHS staff shower and locker rooms

Cycle storage

To further encourage active travel to work, we’ve given £325,000 to increase the secure bike storage at St Bartholomew’s, The Royal London and Whipps Cross hospitals. The storage capacity at these hospitals has been more than doubled.

Security has been a concern for staff, with 38% of cycling staff at St Bartholomew’s Hospital experiencing multiple incidents of cycle crime.

The available space has been maximised by installing weather-proof, pneumatic strut assisted, two tier racks. These have been built into a fenced compound which is only accessible with a swipe card.

Bike storage facility at St Bartholomew's Hospital

"We couldn’t have achieved so much without the support of Barts Charity, they have been amazing."
Geraldine Cunningham, Associate Director of Culture Change, Barts Health NHS Trust

Associate Director of Culture Change and Trust Lead for wellbeing Geraldine Cunningham, says: “We are very proud of what we have achieved and have really focused our attention on getting the basic right so that we can create the conditions for our people to be at their best when they come to work. We couldn’t have achieved so much without the support of Barts Charity, they have been amazing.”

We would like to say a huge thank you to every person who donated to our Emergency Covid-19 appeal and made this funding possible 

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