NHS Charities Together (NHSCT) is the membership body for some 240 NHS charities in the UK. The Covid-19 Urgent Appeal was launched by NHSCT in March in response to public support for NHS patients, staff and volunteers impacted by Covid-19 across the country. The campaign was put together in liaison with health bodies, NHSCT member charities and national giving platforms.
The money raised is providing grants to help NHS charities support NHS staff, volunteers and patients in ways above and beyond what NHS funding can ordinarily provide, from meeting immediate and urgent needs to supporting the long term recovery from the impact of the crisis. Stage 1 of funding from the appeal was disbursed to NHS Charities between April and June 2020 to meet the immediate and urgent needs of NHS patients and staff affected by the pandemic.
NHSCT is very aware that the NHS relies on many partnerships across the UK. Examples include the hospice, care home and voluntary sectors. Stage 2 of NHSCT funding, between October 2020 and March 2021, is focusing on community partnership grants, where NHS Charities are encouraged to work in partnerships across geographical areas that support communities affected by Covid-19.
These partnerships could help NHS organisations by:
- Preventing admission to NHS facilities, for example by early intervention programmes
- Facilitating discharge from NHS facilities, for example with end of life care or community health projects
- Supporting patients to recover more quickly in the community after leaving hospital
- Supporting initiatives that seek to remove health inequalities and disparity in health outcomes with a focus on diversity in the population.
The above list contains examples only. The expectation is that the funding should be used for projects that benefit all or many of the NHS Trusts and wider VCSE sector providing health interventions in the geographical area.
Stage 2 grants are all about partnership working across geographical areas. To facilitate that, NHSCT has identified an NHS charity lead for each geographical area, who will coordinate discussions and plans with the other NHS and non-NHS charities, and other relevant organisations in the area. They will act as the facilitator for the organisation and legal mechanism for transacting the charitable funds in this stage of grants. The lead for the North East and North Cumbria is Newcastle Hospitals Charity. Please contact your local NHS charity in the first instance if you have a suggestion for partnership work that could be considered as part of the funding bid. There are two deadlines for submissions, November 30th 2020 and March 31st, 2021. NHS Charities Together will only accept a bid from the named lead charity.