Fundraising appeal launched to support Royal Free London’s emergency departments

31 October 2023

People with dementia, children with additional needs and patients at risk of developing pressure sores are set to benefit from a raft of improvements thanks to a new fundraising appeal by the Royal Free Charity.

The charity hopes to fund a series of enhancements in the emergency departments at all three RFL hospitals by enlisting the help of our local communities.

Making a difference for vulnerable patients

Jon Spiers, chief executive of the charity, said: “Patients attending A&E and urgent treatment centres can feel vulnerable and anxious. After all, nobody wishes to find themselves in those circumstances. When we factor in additional vulnerabilities such as dementia, sensory sensitivity or mental health episodes, what is already a stressful situation becomes really fraught for those patients and their loved ones.

“That’s why we’re asking our local communities and businesses to take part in our A&E Shift Challenge and help us to fund projects that will make a big difference to vulnerable patients.

“We’re deeply committed to helping the trust to go further and faster than could happen with NHS funding alone. We can’t create extra hours in the day for our dedicated staff or fix the bigger problems in the system. What we can do is improve the overall experience for everyone involved.”

The charity is hoping to raise money to:

  • Design bespoke calm spaces for children with neurodivergent conditions to help reduce their distress, thus speeding up examinations and treatment.
  • Provide a suite of measures to reduce disorientation and distress for patients with dementia.
  • Provide specialist seating for patients who experience pain and discomfort due to orthopaedic conditions or limited mobility.
  • Purchase specialist mattresses for patients who have to wait on trolleys in A&E which will reduce the risk of them developing pressure sores.
  • Provide toys and activities for children and teenagers awaiting treatment to help pass the time and distract them from their discomfort.
  • Renovate staff areas to create a more restful environment for staff on breaks during 12-hour shifts.
The A&E Shift Challenge

The charity is encouraging individuals, businesses and communities to rally together in support of the appeal by signing up the A&E Shift Challenge. This could be a distance challenge, such as competing a 10k run every day throughout November, a pub quiz or a sponsored gaming streamathon.

Find out more or share details with someone you know who might be interested in our A&E Shift Challenge.