A big thank you
On behalf of staff and patients who have benefited from improved services and support due to donations and legacies, we would like to thank everyone who has contributed to our charity.
What is the charity for?
Our charity provides a valuable source of money to cover things that would not normally be paid for out of NHS funds. This includes:
- enhancing the comfort of patients when they are receiving our services, for example in our hospitals and clinics
- improving patient experience and care
- improving staff morale and providing education not covered by NHS budgets
The Board is responsible for making sure that money given to our charity is spent responsibly, and has a positive impact on the wellbeing of our patients and our staff. It also makes sure that the amount of money available is maximised through good governance and investments.
What is included in the charity?
There were a total of 106 individual funds in our charity on 31st March 2013. These include two endowment funds and 104 unrestricted funds.
As well as receiving contributions from patients and their families to our charity, our staff also work hard to raise money to improve our hospital or care environments and make a difference to the wellbeing and comfort of patients and their families.
The funds included in our charity cover various services or geographical areas across Berkshire and include:
- West Berkshire locality and Community Hospital
- St Mark's Hospital in Maidenhead
- Some specific postgraduate education
- Services for people with a learning disability
- The Garden Clinic (our Sexual Health Clinic in Slough)
- Ward improvements to Henry Tudor Ward at St Mark's Hospital
- Carers of younger people with dementia
- Macmillan House Fund
- Duchess of Kent House Research
- Prospect Park Hospital (our mental health inpatient services in Reading)
- East Berkshire Community Health Services
- East Berkshire Palliative Care Team
- Highclere ward, West Berkshire Community Hospital
What kind of things can be done with the money?
One example of how charitable funds are used is the work being done on Rowan Ward at Prospect Park Hospital. The Ward Manager, Nicky Holmes says:
'At Prospect Park Hospital we are always looking at new ways to improve the quality of people’s stay in the wards. One activity which has known health benefits is sports activity. It strengthens the body and helps the mind. We have been working with Berkshire Sports in Mind for a while now and they have helped us to fund our gym here.'
'We have not stopped there. In June 2013 we organised our first Tai-Chi lesson. The lesson was different because it was seated. We work with many older adults and not everybody is able to participate in a traditional Tai Chi class. This way everyone got involved.'
She continued: 'The sessions are a huge success. We ran a six week trial in which we measured the attendance and the effect it had on our people. It has been great as it helped many people to relax and feel better on the ward. We want to continue with this activity but we need money for the sessions and other activities we would like to introduce on our wards.'
How is the charity managed?
Berkshire Health Charitable Fund is the formal name given to our charity, which was entered on the Central Register of Charities maintained by the Charity Commission for England and Wales in 1996. Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust acts as the Corporate Trustee for Berkshire Health Charitable Fund, with the members of the Board of Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust acting on behalf of the Corporate Trustee. People who are appointed as members of the board are simultaneously appointed to act on behalf of the Corporate Trustee – but they receive no additional pay for acting in this capacity.
To make sure that the money is spent and invested well, there are regular reviews by our internal and external auditors, and oversight by our Charitable Funds Committee and Audit Committee. The policy is to use available funding to achieve benefits for patients, their families and staff, rather than maintain funds in perpetuity.
We will be adding more to this page to let you know what our charitable funds have been used for and how you can get involved.