Supporting your hospital

During this challenging time we’ve never felt more connected to our community. The time, the generosity, the kindness, the good wishes, the sentiment of thanks that have come from families and loved ones has been overwhelming, particularly for our intensive care staff. We’re incredibly grateful to receive your support throughout what has been a really difficult time.

At the RUH we are used to dealing with crises, we’re well-rehearsed with what to do but, with this pandemic we’ve all been wrapped up in it, completely. It’s been an immersive experience and as we work through it, it still remains part of our society. That’s what has made it challenging and why having the support of our community has been so valuable to our staff while the virus continues to be part of our everyday lives.

This virus has been something that we have never seen before. All of the traditional treatment and practices and standards that our Critical Care team is used to applying was irrelevant. It is all different, a completely new disease and they’ve had to learn fast, pooling learning as one nation, as a National Health Service, with experts working together and the power of that for this country is immense.

For those of you who have sadly been affected by COVID-19 it’s been an incredibly challenging time and our staff have felt this too. The only way to communicate with patients’ families has been by phone and our staff had to make some really difficult calls about end of life care – and of course, it’s been several times harder for families.

We’ve seen an extraordinary effort from our hospital colleagues with people volunteering from other areas in the hospital to work in the high risk areas such as our intensive care unit. It’s truly impressive as they’ve given their time selflessly and this has reinforced the strong sense of team that we have always had at the RUH.  We are in awe of everyone who has stepped up, accepted the new changes to achieve what has been needed in response to this pandemic.

COVID-19 has affected every ward and department in the hospital. It’s made everything become a lot more complicated and our hospital colleagues have had to adapt to new ways of working. There’s the complexity of managing patients, utilising personal protective equipment (PPE), keeping patients safe and us safe, relying on technology to do some much remotely such as holding virtual consultations. It may sound simple but it’s really complicated.

We are so grateful to our community and have been overwhelmed by the gifts made in kind and the donations to our Help Our Hospital Heroes Appeal. You’ve enabled us to support our staff and make such a difference already. During the peak of this crisis staff received welfare packs every week to ensure they had what they needed during their long shifts. The boxes were packed full of healthy snacks, toiletries and other goodies along with your letters of support and thanks. Hydration stations and reusable water bottles have now been made available on every ward to help our staff stay refreshed. These are particularly benefitting staff who have to wear full PPE and who are finding it extremely hot and uncomfortable during the summer months.

For our colleagues in Critical Care, donations have paid for reclining chairs (which will be used on wards when the crisis is over) and inflatable mattresses for the doctor’s mess so they can have a rest in between shifts. To help our nursing staff support patients nearing end of life your donations have funded memory boxes for families to create lasting memories and special keepsakes of their loved one who they have lost due to COVID-19.

As we move forward we want to continue to provide rapid funding which will pay for immediate initiatives to help staff and patients get through this crisis. To give longer term practical and psychological support we will fund trauma counselling for our front line colleagues. We also plan to provide outdoor furniture so staff can take breaks outside, helping improve their wellbeing. Some well-deserved thank you events will be organised to show staff how cherished they are and we also want to continue delivering solutions to help support patients while visiting is restricted.

This pandemic isn’t over – we will stand shoulder to shoulder with our hospital colleagues to help them get through it. You can help us continue to make a difference by donating to The Forever Friends Appeal today, or fundraise your way by taking part in My Walk of Life Marathon.

If you would like to help in another way, you can do so by sharing and liking our social media posts and/or send a letter of support for our nurses and doctors. We share all letters of support with our hospital colleagues and they really do help keep spirits up during this challenging time.

For cheques and messages of support, send them to: The Forever Friends Appeal, Bath and Wessex House, the Royal United Hospitals Bath, Combe Park, Bath, BA1 3NG.

Hospital Heroes