Staff and patients at the Royal United Hospitals Bath are to benefit from a generous grant from NHS Charities Together.

NHS Charities Together is the umbrella organisation of all NHS charities, which shot to prominence when Captain Sir Tom Moore raised more than £32 million for it.

The RUH’s charity The Forever Friends Appeal has received a further grant of £50,000. It will be used to provide mental health support, outdoor seating for staff and visitors and support for patients who are living with dementia.

Rhyannon Boyd, Head of Fundraising, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“We would like to thank the public who donated to the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 urgent appeal. Thanks to peoples’ generosity we can provide the immediate support and meet the practical needs of our staff and patients in the weeks and months to come.

“Our frontline colleagues have been through a really demanding time. They’ve shown resilience, strength and spirit over the past few months, and now’s the time to give them the support they need to recover, take respite and prepare as we head towards winter.”

The mental health support will ensure teams that have been affected by COVID-19 are invited to attend debriefing sessions, called ‘Pause Days’. These sessions will be run by psychological therapists and have proven to be effective in aiding mental health recovery following exposure to a period of time that has been traumatic and stressful.

Entertainment for patients living with dementia will now be funded – items such as DAB radios, Bluetooth speakers and listening devices for the hard of hearing will be provided, helping to reduce anxiety and loneliness and having a positive effect on their mental wellbeing

The funding will be used to provide more outdoor seating so staff can sit, relax and reflect during busy shifts and teams can meet while social distancing. The additional seating will also be a welcome addition for staff forums such the LGBT+ and Allies and equal abilities groups to get together.

Rhyannon said: “The public’s generosity means that these fantastic projects are now being put in place for our staff and patients. We are still responding to the new challenges of COVID-19 and we continue to fundraise to provide the necessary support for our hospital.”

In total the Forever Friends Appeal has received £123,000 of restricted funding from NHS Charities Together specifically for projects related to COVID-19.