Grant awarded to support most vulnerable patients and NHS staff

Kelly Thornham News

Bradford Hospitals’ Charity has been awarded £50,000 by NHS Charities Together to support patients and staff at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust who are disproportionately affected by Covid-19.

The grant – awarded as part of NHS Charities Together Emergency Covid-19 Appeal funding – will support four projects which benefit Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff, disabled patients and under-represented members of the community.

Karen Dawber, Chief Nurse at Bradford Teaching Hospitals, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this grant, which will allow us to invest in projects which support and promote inclusion and diversity across our Trust. Our population and our staff are often one and the same and we take our responsibilities extremely seriously. We want to support our staff to deliver outstanding care to the people of Bradford.

“This grant has enabled the Trust to do even more, pushing the boundaries to be truly innovative for the wellbeing of our staff and patients. These initiatives will enable targeted interventions that are tailored to our people, allowing us to be the best we can and flourish.”

Hayley Collis, Head of Fundraising for Bradford Hospitals’ Charity, said: “Since March, we have received around £257,000 in monetary donations and £140,000 in gifts in kind to support our staff and patients through the Covid-19 crisis. This additional £50,000 will go a long way to supporting staff and patients who are disproportionately affected by Covid-19. It will enhance the already fantastic work our Trust is doing to ensure the most vulnerable people stay safe and well.”

Elaine Drake, Fundraising Assistant, and Caroline Carass, Lead Learning Disability Nurse

The projects to be funded are as follows:

  • A health and wellbeing peer support programme which aims to assist BAME members of staff who, research shows, are more reluctant to seek help during times of stress.

Previous research suggests the best support to maintain resilience comes from within a team. The programme will recruit peer supporters from BAME and other vulnerable groups across the Trust to ensure they are skilled in listening and have an enhanced awareness of mental wellbeing.

  • A library of specialist resources for patients with learning disabilities and dementia, to help with comfort and anxiety during their stay in hospital.

Covid-19 has caused significant anxiety for many patients in hospital – none more so than those with learning disabilities and dementia. The funding will allow wards to provide a more supportive and flexible environment for those with a learning disability and dementia, by creating a library of items for each ward. These items include: communication boards, books, lights, textured items and items which create noise and smell to help put patients at ease during their treatment.

  • Production of specialist videos aimed at patients who use British Sign Language (BSL) and other languages, to assist them in using the Trust’s Attend Anywhere video consultation programme.

As a result of Covid-19, Bradford Teaching Hospitals now carries out more appointments over the telephone and via the Trust’s Attend Anywhere video consultation programme. Interpreting services are available for patients who have remote consultations, however many have not been able to access the Attend Anywhere programme due to a lack of understanding over how to access the service. The funds will mean videos can be produced in the most common spoken languages and in BSL, which explain how remote consultations can be accessed.

  • Recruitment of a humanist chaplain to support under-represented patients who do not identify with the major religions in Bradford.

Since March, the demand for chaplaincy support has grown due to Covid-19. The service increased to a 24-hour rota over seven days a week and Muslim and Church of England chaplains were available at all times in person and by telephone. However, it has been identified that a chaplain who takes a humanist approach and does not affiliate with any religion would benefit both staff and patients, especially the under-represented members of our BAME community. It would also help patients for whom visiting is restricted.

You can see how some of the money donated to Bradford Hospitals’ Charity and NHS Charities Together has been spent across Bradford Teaching Hospitals at https://youtu.be/O_Ko1cCmFuc

You can find out more about the Bradford Hospitals’ Charity at https://bradfordhospitalscharity.org/