Staff at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust have been busy over the last few weeks running a campaign focused on alcohol consumption awareness called Festive Cheer without the Beer! Funds from NHSCT have supported the stocking of the ‘tinsel trolley’ with delicious alcohol free festive tipples.
Emma Davies, Alcohol Liaison Nurse at the Trust commented “I usually try to do something to mark the national Alcohol Awareness Week but this year we decided to delay the campaign and make it a little more festive!”
The focus this year was on the relationship between mental health and alcohol. As we all know it has been pretty tough year and the trust was aware there has been an increase in alcohol use in the general population during lockdown. An recent study by Alcohol Change UK found that over half of UK drinkers have turned to alcohol for mental health reasons during the pandemic.
Alongside introducing their colleagues to a number of alcohol free alternatives the team also wanted to take the opportunity to thank as many staff as possible for their hard work over the year, as well as offering an opportunity to discuss the impacts of COVID upon their mental health. Emma and her colleagues handed out some calming essential oil blends as well as details of support and mindfulness activities that staff could access.
Emma continued “What we didn’t expect was to hear staff speak so openly about their own experiences and use of alcohol, especially in relation to the pressures of the pandemic. We were also delighted by how many people enjoyed the alcohol free alternatives!”
To mark the end of this extraordinary year Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Charity have been working across the Trust to try to say thank you and spread some much needed festive joy.
This December members of the senior team have been visiting as many wards and departments across our three sites as possible to deliver a festive goodie bag. The delivery contains a special Thank You card from the Trust Board, commemorative pin badges for everyone in the team, a souvenir edition of our newspaper Worcestershire Way and of course some 'Heroes' chocolates and mince pies for the team to share.
Through the very generous support of local company Baylis and Harding the charity have also been able to provide hundreds of Christmas gifts for patients who will sadly have to spend Christmas Day in hospital. Further donations were received for our children’s and maternity and neonatal wards too.
The final festive flourish the charity wanted to provide was to Deck our Wards! In order to lift the spirits of our hardworking staff, and our patients, the three hospital sites have been decorated inside and out with festive fun. This year in particular it was really important that we balanced the joy that decorations can bring with keeping everyone safe. Any decorations had to be compliant with the strict cleaning regimes needed. The charity was able to work with a local company who provided cleanable decorations are cost price.
This was all been funded through Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Charity who have used a combination of funding from NHSCT, public donations from our Christmas Gift Appeal as well as incredible gifts in kind and cost prices from local suppliers and supermarkets.
It was been wonderful to hear from our staff how much they have appreciated their festive deliveries and how much joy the decorations have brought to their working day.
Extra support is now available to bereaved parents at the Alexandra Hospital, Redditch and Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester thanks to the help of a baby loss charity.
CRADLE is a registered charity (1190761) and works with the NHS across the UK, supporting families during what is such a difficult time.
The first set of CRADLE comfort bags, which contain everyday essentials and the Dear Friend support letter, are now available for women admitted into hospital experiencing pregnancy loss of up to 23 Weeks and 6 days.
Lyn Saunders, Matron of Gynaecology at Worcestershire Royal Hospital commented, “As a team we recognise that every pregnancy matters and every baby loss matters. We are always as supportive as we can be, however, joining the CRADLE Charity will enable us to expand on that support”.
Faye Rogers, Lead of Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU) added “It's exciting and an honour to become a CRADLE ambassador for Worcestershire Royal Hospital. With CRADLE’s support I am confident we can make a positive difference to women and their loved ones sadly experiencing pregnancy loss. CRADLE will enable us to provide a range of baby loss support services including funded counselling and comfort bags, which we can donate to emergency admissions in EGAU, filled with toiletries and a 'Dear Friend' letter signposting anyone affected to CRADLE.”
The comfort bag project was originally set up to support women who may be admitted to hospital unexpectedly during Ectopic Pregnancies, but are now available to women admitted into hospital for any type of pregnancy loss, both emergency and planned care.
The project has been supported by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Charity and by the generous donations from local businesses and individuals. Faye commented “I would love to thank everybody for the overwhelming support of donated toiletries to fill our comfort bags.” Lyn added “I would also like to personally thank all the staff at the Trust for their support.”
For more information or to support CRADLE please contact Louise Zeniou at firstname.lastname@example.org
As our NHS responded to one of the biggest challenges in its history, staff on the front line of the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic were given a much-needed boost by the huge amount of good will from the public with donations and offers of support flooding in.
The generosity of local people saw more than £30,000 raised for our COVID-19 Appeal and an astonishing £150,000 worth of goods donated directly, including 9500 Easter Eggs!
Our Charity is also one of many across the country which has benefitted from the national wave of good will towards the NHS.
National fundraising was directed to NHS Charities Together, (NHSCT) the membership organisation for around 150 hospital charities. NHSCT quickly established a process to get funds out to hospital charities to support staff and patients through the pandemic.
The first stage allocated £30 Million pounds to fund urgent projects at more than 200 hospital charities. Grants were based on the size of the trust and the numbers of staff who worked there. The funding received by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Charity was initially used to fund the staff shops, Recharge Rooms and Happy Cafés as well as a virtual visiting programme for patients.
Additional funds followed for larger scale and longer term projects and support for staff. At Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Charity funds have been allocated to support a network for colleagues from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, in recognition of the disproportionate effect that the pandemic has had on NHS BAME staff nationally. Funds are also supporting the recruitment of additional volunteers as well as COVID Memorials to help us remember and reflect on the lives lost and the lives saved.
Staff Wellbeing is the priority focus for all remaining funds from the COVID-19 appeal and first stage NHSCT grants. A Wellbeing Group is working to identify suitable longer term projects to support the physical and mental health of hospital staff through the ongoing response to the pandemic.
NHS Charities Together received an unprecedented sum of money from national partnerships with the likes of M&S and of course from the now world famous Captain Sir Tom Moore. They have since opened two further grant rounds which Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Charity can apply to. One focuses on Community Health Partnerships and the other to the Recovery of the Trust, our staff and our patients. You can find out more about NHS Charities together on their website www.nhscharitiestogether.co.uk and we will keep you updated on further funding awarded to Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Charity