Staff from The Christie charity have been stepping in to support cancer patients as part of the hospital’s ongoing work to support patients during the coronavirus lockdown. 

In addition to continuing to seek donations, where possible, for the work of The Christie hospital, staff at the charity wanted to help cancer patients directly and have been allocated to a variety of different roles across the hospital. 

Charity staff have been providing a range of support for their hospital colleagues including providing transport for patients at risk to get them to their essential appointments, delivering essential pharmacy medicines to patients at home, providing portering support and screening patients coming into the hospital each day by checking their temperature. 

This ensures that patients who may have the COVID-19 virus are identified quickly, offered appropriate support and do not put other patients or clinical staff at risk of catching the virus. 

Charity staff members Heather Brookfield, 55, a fundraising coordinator from Stockport, Fran Mather, 24, a fundraising assistant from Heaton Moor and Abbie Wick, 25, a sporting events coordinator from Reddish are three of the charity employees who have been helping over the last month. All three have been taking on portering duties and screening patients coming into the hospital. 

Heather said: “It’s really nice to be able to help in other ways at a time when our patients are most at risk. Everything The Christie charity does is to benefit our patients so it’s nice to be able to continue to do exactly that in a very hands on way.” 

Fran said: “In the middle of this dreadful virus pandemic, one of the most important things we can do as charity staff is to directly help patients, many of whom are incredibly vulnerable, to deal with the challenges and difficulties that this virus is causing. We can also help to relieve some of the pressure on our clinical colleagues in the hospital who are working flat out to keep treatments going.” 

Abbie added: “The charity has always supported the Trust in its work and this is just another way we can help to keep the hospital running smoothly and our patients as stress free as possible. I’m just thrilled to be able to do something so practical and useful at this time and know that it is directly helping Christie patients and clinical staff in their hour of need. It’s been very rewarding for me.” 

The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to patients and their families. 

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust was the first specialist trust to be rated as ‘Outstanding’ twice (in 2016 and 2018) by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It referred to The Christie as ‘a leader in cancer care’ and ‘a pioneer in developing innovative solutions to cancer care.’ The CQC praised the Trust’s staff which it said ‘go the extra mile to meet the needs of patients and their families’ and that they were ‘exceptionally kind and caring.’ In 2017, the CQC rated The Christie as the best specialist trust in the country, and one of the top three trusts overall in England.  

Local people can continue to support the work of The Christie charity during the COVID-19 pandemic by donating to The Christie.