Colin Kinloch, Trust Funding Director, Guy's and St Thomas' Charity
Jun 01, 2020
Over the last few months, staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust have worked tirelessly to respond to the pandemic. From doctors and nurses, to porters and housekeeping assistants, they are all going above and beyond to deliver the best possible care, both in our hospitals and in our local communities.
The Charity has worked closely with the Trust to find and develop projects that are focused on improving staff wellbeing and increasing support to patients. We leveraged our funding and networks to help find solutions during an extremely difficult time for staff and patients.
Thanks to generous donations from individuals and businesses, we are funding a number of new initiatives, with a focus on staff wellbeing and increasing support for patients.
Now more than ever, the welfare of staff delivering world-class care is incredibly important. That’s why a key focus of our support has been on their physical and mental wellbeing and expanding our support for the Trust’s staff wellbeing programme, Showing We Care About You.
Over the last eight weeks, we have funded wellbeing zones at sites across the Trust. These are non-clinical spaces for hospital staff to access wellbeing advice and 1-1 psychological support. The spaces are there to rest and recharge, and have been fitted out with massage chairs, LED lights, aromatherapy diffusers and free refreshments. We will continue to evolve these spaces based on the feedback from the staff using them.
“The Wellness Zone has a nice calming feel as you enter the room and the new Nespresso coffee machine is a hit amongst most of the staff! Staff have popped in to sit down, have a coffee, listen to the radio and relax", said Candice Hendel, Therapy Assistant at the Whittington Centre in Streatham.
We knew that Trust staff were struggling to find time to visit supermarkets, especially after long or difficult shifts. Our support allowed the Trust, working closely with partners such as Team Rubicon, to build pop-up shops, where staff can get emergency essentials for free, including basic provisions like toilet roll and pasta, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables from Borough Market. We have also been subsidising food and drink at the on-site cafes and coffee shops at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals.
Clinical procedures have become much more complicated as staff adhere to stricter guidelines to avoid infection and transmission risks. We are funding training at the Trust’s simulation centre so that staff being re-deployed can ensure that both they and their patients are being kept safe.
We are also supporting additional training for staff who are having more difficult conversations about medical care and decisions with families who cannot be physically present with their loved ones. And by funding additional resources for the Chaplaincy service, we are helping them increase the support they offer to bereaved staff and hospital teams if a colleague dies.
Due to current visitor restrictions, many patients are missing home essentials such as their own toiletries, or mobile phone chargers. With funding from the Charity, the Patient Experience Team is providing an ‘amenities kit’ containing basic toiletries and phone charges to patients, so that they can keep in touch with their loved ones. We are also making sure they leave the hospital with store cupboard essentials to make meals for the first couple of days at home.
Minnie Kidd House is a long-stay unit in the community for patients with complex physical and neurological needs. Patients cannot currently be visited by friends and family which can lead to loneliness, boredom and anxiety. To help alleviate this, we are funding activity packs that include arts and crafts, books and puzzles.
The Trust hasn’t stopped treating patients with other long-term health conditions, but with limitations placed on in-person care, they have had to adapt how some services are offered.
We have supported a number of projects within the Guy’s Cancer Centre to bring care closer to the patients via digital consultations, creating patient information videos and bringing care to them in the community. Prostate cancer patients being treated at Guy’s Cancer would usually have access to support groups to meet and discuss issues with clinicians and peers. Through funding a digital platform for advanced prostate cancer patients, we are making sure the valuable peer-support can still take place.
“Our patients have been so grateful for the opportunity to stay connected and continue to receive support from their groups. Most are self-isolating so the opportunity to meet and share experiences, get support and have some fun as well has been invaluable. The sessions we have run on COVID have also helped relieve some of the anxiety of the situation we find ourselves in,” commented Louisa Fleure, Lead Urology Clinical Nurse Specialist at Guy’s Hospital.
As the charity for Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, we will continue to support the wellbeing of staff and patients during this pandemic, and beyond. Through our on-going engagement of staff and patients, we are able to learn in real-time what the impact of our funding is and focus our support in the recovery phase towards those groups that have been most affected by the radical changes that we have seen over the last few months and the resulting health inequalities.
Our support is made possible through generous donations. The coronavirus outbreak is like no other for Guy’s, St Thomas’ and Evelina London hospitals. Find out more about how you can support the staff and patients at our hospitals during this crisis.
Trust Funding Director: Colin Kinloch
13 December, 2019
As we look back at 2019 our Trust Funding Director, Colin Kinloch, shares what he's most proud of and how we have continued to support the best clinical experience for patients and the staff treating them.
04 July, 2018
I grew up caring for my mother. During those years, I was in contact with the NHS often. Earlier this year, I saw the life of a close family member saved by a team across two hospitals in Yorkshire.