As the nation comes together in a country-wide clap of thanks on Sunday – on the 72nd birthday of the NHS – Bradford Hospitals’ Charity has revealed the invaluable role the public has played in supporting patients and staff.

Since launching its emergency NHS Hospital Heroes appeal on March 27, Bradford Hospitals Charity – the charitable arm of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – has received more than £260,000 in donations and more than £140,000 worth of goods. This includes grants received by NHS Charities Together, of which Bradford Hospitals’ Charity is a member.

Bradford Hospitals’ Charity has approved around 90 funding applications across Bradford Teaching Hospitals worth almost £180,000.

“While our country locked down, Bradford stood up to support its NHS,” said Karen Dawber, Chief Nurse at Bradford Teaching Hospitals.

“You sent donations of money, food and messages of support and solidarity.

“We will never forget this incredible generosity and moral support, at a time when our National Health Service faced its biggest ever crisis.

“But now is the time to proudly show you how we are investing the money you donated. We are focusing on the wellbeing of our staff and looking at new and innovative ways to treat and care for our patients in these unprecedented times.

“So when you all applaud our NHS heroes on July 5, we will be giving grateful thanks to you all for your support and solidarity during these tough times.”

Hayley Collis, Head of Fundraising for Bradford Hospitals’ Charity, added: “While we all say #ThankYouTogether this weekend, it will mean a great deal to us to thank the many people, organisations and businesses who have donated and raised money for our patients and staff.

“Our charity has a long and proud tradition of funding over and above what the NHS provides, and the money and goods donated since the outbreak of this pandemic will provide tremendous support now and in the future.

“Sincere thanks also to NHS Charities Together – our membership organisation –

which has provided grants to help fund our Covid-19 wellbeing projects. We are proud to be part of the NHS Charities Together family.”

Funds have been invested as follows:

  • Furniture, white goods, furnishings and wellbeing items for more than 30 staff wellbeing rooms and gardens (also known as wobble rooms) across the Trust.
  • Purchase of a specialist Sara Combilizer physiotherapy chair to help the most seriously ill Covid-19 patients, as well as other patients in the Intensive Care Unit, with their recovery.
  • An extra mobile Sonosite ultrasound scanner for use in the ICU to aid with treatment of the most poorly patients.
  • Purchase of ground-breaking software, which provides clinicians with the very latest information and research on 11,800 topics covering 25 specialities, including the latest evidence-based information on Covid-19.
  • Allocation of funds to refurbish the staff area for the Trust’s pathology department (the department currently processing the Trust’s Covid-19 tests), providing scientists with a relaxing area to rest and recharge.
  • Furniture and refresh of the Trust’s Radiology staff room.
  • Furniture for the Trust’s new staff ‘listening service’, created to provide an informal environment for staff to talk and receive support during the crisis.
  • Memory making materials, such as handprint kits, for staff to spend time with our most poorly patients on the Covid wards at the height of the pandemic.
  • 20 Samsung tablets for inpatients to video call loved ones at home while visiting restrictions are in place.
  • 140 chargers purchased for patients to use with their own smart devices.
  • A music licence to allow inpatients to listen to music on wards.
  • Training aids to allow clinicians to demonstrate best practise via video link.
  • Items to allow patients to take control of their care at home. For example, the charity has funded weighing sales for families to use at home, so nutritionists can monitor baby weights remotely.
  • Arts and crafts materials to use with children and young people in hospital, to aid with heightened fear and anxiety during the pandemic.
  • Emollient creams for staff suffering from dry and broken skin due to heavy use of PPE.
  • Self-care items for staff to allow them to change and freshen up while at work.
  • Snacks and refreshments for staff unable to leave their clinical area during working hours.
  • T-shirts for staff to wear under PPE.

The Trust has also received:

  • £140,000 worth of food, snacks, drinks.
  • PPE produced by schools and local businesses.
  • Knitted hearts to use as keepsakes for families of those who have sadly died.
  • Headbands and mask extenders
  • Scrubs
  • Stationery and greetings cards for our ‘Relatives’ Line’ to enable our staff to pass messages between inpatients and their loved-ones.