About our Charity
For over 150 years, Whittington Hospital has provided health and community care services to some 500,000 people mainly in Islington and Haringey as well as other London boroughs including Barnet, Enfield, Camden and Hackney. As one organisation providing both hospital and community services, we are known as an ‘integrated care organisation’. We have over 4,500 staff delivering care services across north London. We also run services from 30 community locations in Islington and Haringey. Our vision is to provide safe, personal and co-ordinated care for the community we serve. To fulfil this, we aim to continuously improve the quality of our services to deliver the best outcomes for our local population.
The Whittington Health Charity (also known as The Whittington Hospital Charitable Funds) supports and funds care that the NHS is not able to provide, in particular medical equipment and support for patients and staff. By spending money on additional equipment, better facilities, a more comfortable environment and research and education projects, we can offer patients the highest standards of care in the best possible surroundings.
We fund items, projects and groups which the NHS budget does not cover
Although the Whittington receives funding from the government to provide healthcare for the local population, charitable support enables us to go over and above.
The Charity focuses its support on projects in the following areas:
- State-of-the-art equipment and technology
- Enhancing the health environment
- Patient and community wellbeing
- Staff wellbeing
- Research and education
In order for a project to receive funding, it must demonstrate clear additionality; we do not fund projects that should be covered by NHS budgets.
This ensures that donations from our supporters go towards projects that provide a clear and demonstrable positive impact, with a preference for funding transformational initiatives. Our ultimate aim is for donating funds to go further.
To ensure patients benefit from state-of-the-art technology, transformational community projects, there is very much a need to go that extra mile which is often met by fundraising donations. Our aim is to continue to provide services to a high standard, but to achieve our goals we need to raise valuable and much–needed funds.
What we do
The Charity has been funding a range of projects and coordinating in-kind support in order to support staff and patients through the COVID-19 crisis. Here are just a few examples:
After British Airways, Easyjet, Norwegian and Scandinavian airlines grounded their aircraft, teams of cabin crew volunteered to turn our rest area into a First Class lounge. Donations to our Charity paid for furniture and accessories – including a mindfulness room – and the cabin crew served free newspapers, teas, coffees and snacks to hospital staff. It has been so successful that the project has spread to other hospitals across the country.
Meals for the NHS
The support of our donors has enabled us to provide staff with access to hot, nutritious meals from local restaurants. Coordinated by Meals for the NHS, this supply of food has allowed staff who cannot or will not leave their patients to be fed and in turn helped to give them the energy to continue providing the very best care for patients.
Improved staff facilities
We have furnished staff rooms with new, more comfortable furniture and installed new microwaves and fridges. This has helped ensure that staff can get some proper rest when taking breaks during their long shifts. We have also installed heated igloos to give staff safe and relaxing spaces in which to get some safe and socially distanced rest away from their wards – and enjoy the benefits of lots of daylight
With donor support, we have also...
- Provided hand cream for staff to mitigate the effects of continued use of hand sanitiser and repeated handwashing – leading to dry, cracked hands
- Supplied training manikins to help diagnose COVID-19 patients more efficiently o Installed easy to read clocks making it simpler for staff wearing PPE to maintain accurate time keeping
- Provided packs of essentials like canned food and toiletries to recovering patients to take home when they’re discharged from hospital
Rainbow Garden - adding colour to our children's ward
‘If a sick child is kept active, there is a much higher chance of a faster recovery’ – Kerry Robinson, Consultant Paediatrician. Our Charity raised over £250,000 to transform the outdoor play area at Whittington Hospital into a ‘Rainbow Garden.’ It was designed in collaboration with The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, Whittington’s paediatric team and patients.
Play is integrated into children’s treatment, with their activities purposely designed to accelerate their recovery, and improve their physical and mental wellbeing. As its name suggests, the play area features colourful rainbow canopies as well as decking areas, a London cityscape construction play area, chalkboards and tactile panels. There’s even space for pet rabbits to help reduce any feelings of anxiety experienced by the children.
The C Factor - helping cancer patients find a voice
This unique project provides psychological support to patients with cancer. It has won a Macmillan Award for Excellence in Innovation. The project uses storytelling and theatre techniques to help patients communicate, share experiences and gain the psychological tools to self-manage the emotional challenges of cancer. Patients describe The C Factor as ‘energising, uplifting and empowering’
‘It has helped put my own problems in context and made me realise it’s okay to have cancer.’
‘I am usually intimidated by support groups in case I can’t articulate what I mean or feel. But at The C Factor I never felt that pressure.’
Funding for this project has been provided by our charity but we need the support of our local community to keep it going and to keep making a big difference.