Support for our Local Hospitals
Urgent Appeal by University Hospitals Birmingham
Our hospitals are at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic and staff are working tirelessly in dangerous and increasingly difficult circumstances to continue caring for our local community. During such worrying and uncertain times we have seen a huge influx of requests from staff at the hospital for items and provisions that will enable them to provide the best possible care to patients and provide support for families during this time.
COVID-19 is having a huge effect on communities and everyday life and as a hospital, we are seeing some of the most extreme circumstances and how they are affecting families and patients. For our end of life patients, staff are very much accustomed to family members being present at their loved ones bedside 24 hours a day in some cases, constant visits and quality time spent in the last few days of their loved ones lives. Patients are dying and often without family around them. Now, family and friends are extremely restricted and are not able to spend that precious time all together with their loved ones, staff are also finding this extremely upsetting to witness and feel they want to give families something and they should be left with something additional with which to remember their loved ones and a way of handing over the deceased’s personal items in a box rather than simply being bagged. The Bereavement Team have requested ‘Bereavement Boxes’ to give as a special keepsake for families to take away. Those final few days, hours and minutes of quality time have sadly been taken from them due to COVID-19 and their inability, due to the restrictions in place, to be with their loved ones at the end of their life. The least the staff would like to do is provide something for families so that they may find some comfort in the fact that their loved ones were not alone during their final hours. Where there is confusion and sadness we want to help bring about some dignity.
The current outbreak of COVID-19 is affecting us all in some way. People are losing their lives at our hospital and families are losing their loved ones. Requests coming in fall into two areas, patient support and staff welfare. There has been an outpouring of love for our NHS staff, and rightly so, now more than ever, we are so grateful and humbled that they continue to go to work everyday, putting their own lives at risk, to continue caring for the local community they serve. Our NHS staff are very much part of our local community and it is no secret that right now, they are struggling, so as a charity we want to support them just as much as our patients and families. A request has come to us from staff leads to see if we can help provide a comfortable chair for staff rooms, for staff who are doing longer hours then normal in increasingly stressful conditions, so that they can take a break somewhere comfortable and relax (as much as possible given the circumstances!)
Currently the staff rooms are very basic, and in current conditions we want to provide staff with some comfort between shifts, during breaks, or if they simply need a time out as demand will allow. Ensuring our staff are looked after and feel appreciated during this time is so important, if a member of staff can go home to their families feeling like their well being has been considered we hope this will impact them in their day to day role, along with impacting positively on their home life with their families.
Brethren Our Contribution
Based on the above appeal the Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association has agreed to fund 100 bereavement boxes and two chairs for local hospitals. The boxes will be £3,000 and the two chairs £1,500. A total contribution of £4,500.