An emergency fund to support staff at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust through the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has been launched today by the Royal Free Charity.

The 10,000-strong workforce at the Royal Free London (RFL) are responding heroically to the biggest challenge the NHS has ever faced.

Many staff are now caring for patients with coronavirus. Others are looking after patients who are not unwell with the virus but still desperately need hospital care.

The trust and the charity are asking the public to lend their support to staff as quickly as possible via the Royal Free Charity Covid-19 Emergency Fund.

From the provision of care packages at the end of a very long shift, to psychological support and the creation of physical respite spaces, to responding to the suggestions staff have for things that would help, the charity aims to get a complete support service in place as soon as possible. Much of what they need will be funded by government, but not everything. This fund will support RFL staff as they support our patients.

“We are reaching out directly to the local community,” said Judy Dewinter, the Royal Free Charity’s chair of trustees. “We are asking your local NHS staff what they need and your response is going to make a real difference to their lives. Your donation will go directly to help them as they work under pressure and in the most challenging of circumstances.

“This is about us caring for people who don’t have time to care for themselves right now because they are looking after our loved ones. We have had children asking to donate their pocket money and offers of help from individuals and local businesses. I am incredibly proud to launch this campaign and to ask for your help. We want the message to be loud and clear for staff at our hospitals: ‘You are our heroes and we will support you with whatever you need.’”

Dominic Dodd, chair of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Every person on our team - from the doctors and nurses to the porters, cleaners and support staff, is playing a vital role in being there for others during this emergency. Please join our team effort by showing your appreciation, gratitude and solidarity for them at this very difficult time.”

Details of the campaign can be found here.