‘Every penny counts’: Why Royal Free Charity is stepping up efforts to help hospitals through ‘toughest winter’

Jon Spiers, incoming chief exec of the Royal Free Charity. Picture: Royal Free Charity

Jon Spiers, incoming chief exec of the Royal Free Charity. Picture: Royal Free Charity - Credit: Archant

As this most arduous of years nears its end, we’re deeply conscious that we may not yet have seen the worst effects of the pandemic on our patients and staff at our three hospitals: the Royal Free Hospital, Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital.

Our 10,000 clinical and support staff from 100 nations have been working at an unprecedented level now for months, seeing more, sicker patients than anyone has seen in their career and risking their own physical and mental health. And it’s not over yet: we need them to keep up their heroic fight as we face the toughest winter in the history of the NHS.

READ MORE: New Royal Free Covid-19 trial launches as hospital unveils bench honouring key workersAt the charity we’ve been astonished at the incredible generosity of the public to our first Covid appeal, whether you donated money, food or time making PPE for staff. A huge thank you to all who’ve supported us this year. But now we need to redouble our efforts.

We know every penny counts. That’s why we worked tirelessly finding the best possible ways to use your kind donations to support our hospitals. In the first wave, we provided a free supermarket so exhausted staff didn’t have to face empty shelves and long queues after a frantic shift, we created areas where they could rest, eat and contact family members, and we bought electronic devices for patients to communicate with their loved ones who couldn’t visit.

Now we’re focusing on longer-term support in three areas: providing psychological care to those affected by months of fighting the pandemic; enhancing the health and wellbeing of lower-paid staff; and creating more areas where staff can rest and recuperate.

The BBC2 documentary Hospital, following life in our three hospitals, is bringing the reality of the situation on our wards into living rooms across the country. We hope you’ll consider donating to the Royal Free Charity so we can all be with our brave NHS staff every step of the way.

Jon Spiers took over as chief executive of the Royal Free Charity in September 2020. To find out more about the charity’s end-of-year appeal and its year-round fundraising work, visit royalfreecharity.org/