Public donations to support NHS staff, patients, and Southmead Hospital in the fight against Coronavirus have so far totalled more than £1.7 million.

Southmead Hospital Charity launched their Coronavirus (COVID-19) Appeal in March to support staff and patients at North Bristol NHS Trust.

Of the total, £1.25m will be invested into caring for critically ill patients at Southmead Hospital, which operates one of the largest Intensive Care Units (ICU) in the country.

The major investment will see a new clinical information system introduced that will revolutionise the ways patients are monitored and treated.

It will also fund state of the art respiratory equipment including a specialist ventilator, portable ultrasound machines and other innovative technologies.

So far the Coronavirus Appeal is funding access to specialist counselling and wellbeing support for staff during this uncertain time.

Money raised is also supporting Southmead Hospital Charity’s bereavement fund to support families of North Bristol NHS Trust staff who sadly lose their lives to Coronavirus.

Donations have provided welfare packages for staff across the hospital as well as upgrading staff rest areas to enable people to take breaks in a safe and restful environment.

In maternity, the Charity is providing free scan photos to mums who cannot be accompanied at antenatal scans by their partner at this time.

And the Charity has also funded tablet devices for patients who are in hospital and isolated from their loved ones to enable them to stay in touch.

Local and National businesses have also been working with the Charity to support NHS staff in a number of ways through the donation of goods or services.

Major investment in ICU

Dr Julian Thompson, Consultant in Intensive Care at Southmead Hospital said:

“In recent months, COVID-19 has presented an unprecedented challenge to Intensive Care Units around the world.

“Here at Southmead Hospital’s ICU we have received inspirational support from the communities that we serve.

“The Southmead Hospital Charity’s Coronavirus Appeal donations will allow us to meet the ongoing challenge of COVID-19 with state of the art care for our critically ill patients and leave a legacy of innovation and high quality care for years to come.”

Director of Southmead Hospital Charity, Sarah Harrison, said the £1.7m had come from more than 4,000 individual donations as well as one significant seven figure gift to the Trust.

Why we need your continued support

But the Charity now needs the public to continue to support them to fund Coronavirus (COVID-19) research projects that are looking for new treatments for the virus.

The Charity is hoping to raise an additional £815,000 to support three Coronavirus research projects which researchers hope will lead to new breakthroughs in fighting the virus.

Sarah Harrison said: “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our communities in the past few months – and we are so grateful for the ongoing support which continues to be critical to our continued work in supporting the hospital into the future.

“We know that there is more to do to ensure the incredible staff at North Bristol NHS Trust and their patients are supported during this uncertain time.

“And our commitment to fund research into new understandings and treatments for Coronavirus (COVID-19) is our priority which is why we need to continue our call for donations to support these ground-breaking projects.

“We need your help to ensure our researchers can continue making progress in fighting the virus right here in Bristol – helping us to shape a new future for healthcare.”

You can find out how you can support our ongoing Coronavirus Appeal here.