NHS charities have the potential to be the nation’s biggest independent supporters of health and well-being, notes Ellie Orton

NHS Charities Together is delighted to be the HSJ’s official charity partner for the 2019 HSJ Awards.  

As the national voice for more than 137 NHS charities across the country, we seek to inspire NHS charities to be the nation’s biggest independent supporters of health and well-being. 

By “helping the NHS do more”, NHS charities are playing an increasingly important role in advancing healthcare across the country. We are delighted that a number of NHS trusts working closely with their NHS charities, have been shortlisted as finalists for the HSJ Awards. 

The evening promises to be a wonderful celebration of the successful collaboration between NHS trusts and NHS charities in advancing the nation’s healthcare. 

There are several examples of how NHS charitable endeavours are supporting award winning trusts in the HSJ Awards this year. The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital are finalists for Acute or Specialist Trust of the Year. Their charitable fund has funded “Jointcare” which includes enhanced equipment for hip and knee replacement group therapy sessions.

The trust and the charity continue to work together to fund mindfulness teaching for staff, patients and families. Giving staff and patients practical ways to deal with stress and develop more mindful ways of caring for their mental, emotional and physical health.  

Elaine Chapman, fundraising officer for the ROH Charity, explained that, “It has always been a pleasure supporting ROH through our charitable fund. Improving the patient experience is always at the forefront of their work, which makes working together so special.” 

The Imperial College Healthcare Trust has been shortlisted in the Mental Health Innovation of the Year for a project exploring the benefits of an “intergenerational” approach to care. 

Imperial Health Charity fully funded the project, which has involved regular social activities where older patients can benefit from mixing with young children. By helping patients engage with different age groups, the project aims to tackle issues around loneliness and social isolation in hospital. 

Dr Charlotte Lance-Taylor, who led the project alongside the trust’s dementia team during its first year, said: “We are so excited to be shortlisted for this award and we’re proud of the work that we’ve done to help our older patients have a more stimulating and less socially isolating stay in our hospitals.” 

NHS Charities Together and our partnership with the HSJ Awards demonstrates the importance of our NHS charities to the life changing projects and initiatives which are improving the lives of patients and their families. For us HSJ provides the platform for national recognition of these achievements.

The staff, fundraisers, campaigners and volunteers work hard and they deserve a bit of a celebration but this is not just about one night in the year for them. Our partnership will hopefully bring their work to the fore and enable the readers of HSJ a greater understanding of the contribution NHS Charities Together make to the NHS.