Hospital management at London North West University Healthcare (LNWH) took a step back, giving their staff the reins to decide how to allocate a generous £1 million donation from the LNWH Charity, responsible for Northwick Park Hospital donations.
The Charitable Fund Engagement Initiative was launched to encourage the hospital staff to propose innovative ideas on how to utilise the funds effectively.
The initiative received an overwhelming response, with a total of 1,300 ideas submitted by enthusiastic employees. After a comprehensive selection process, staff members ultimately voted for four winning proposals, chosen from a shortlist of 12, that will share the substantial donation.
David Jenkins, the LNWH Charity Director, spoke on the initiative, stating, “The competition really caught people’s imagination, and we were overwhelmed with suggestions. It empowered staff and gave them a voice about what they think is important and want to see the money spent on.”
The winning projects, set to be implemented at local hospitals, represent a diverse range of healthcare improvements:
Greenspace Transformation Programme: This initiative will include the appointment of an NHS nature recovery ranger to enhance and improve the green spaces on hospital premises. The aim is to contribute to staff and patient well-being by providing access to nature, which has been shown to have numerous positive effects, including lower heart rates, blood pressure, and reduced negative emotions.
Post-Discharge Medication Support Plan: Focusing on patients prescribed antibiotics, steroids, and opioids, this plan aims to reduce readmissions and combat antimicrobial resistance by providing comprehensive post-discharge support.
Additional Translation Devices: The initiative seeks to expand and improve existing translation and language support tools to better communicate with patients whose first language isn’t English, ensuring effective communication and patient care.
Breast Cancer Verification System: This project introduces a breast cancer verification system that allows surgical teams to identify the border of normal tissue surrounding a tumor without the need to send samples out of the operating theater.
The selected schemes are expected to be introduced later this year, addressing critical healthcare needs and enhancing patient care in the LNWH Trust.
James Foss, who leads the greenspace transformation program, expressed his delight at the news, stating, “Learning that our project had gained enough votes to receive charity funding was a very pleasant surprise!
“Access to nature has been shown to make a huge difference to staff and patient well-being, with research showing this can lead to lower heart rates, blood pressure, and negative emotions.
“By renovating our gardens, this funding will allow us to give a much-needed boost to local biodiversity and help our Trust contribute to our ambition of a nature-positive NHS.”
The LNWH Charity, which is the official dedicated charity for London North West University Healthcare (LNWH) NHS Trust, raises funds for Central Middlesex, Ealing, and Northwick Park Hospitals, as well as local community services in Brent, Ealing, and Harrow.