Coronavirus in Portsmouth: Our campaign to help NHS and QA Hospital staff at across the city

DOCTORS, nurses, cleaners, consultants, porters, carers and more are working flat out to care and protect the public amid the coronavirus outbreak – and we want to help them.

Monday, 23rd March 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 23rd March 2020, 11:20 am

Backed by Portsmouth FC and Pompey in the Community, The News is launching Help our QA Heroes to collect donations of snacks, drinks and essentials for the NHS staff working across the city following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has stretched health services across the NHS and indeed the world.

As of Sunday at 9am it has seen 25 cases in Portsmouth which have sadly led to eight deaths. The figure for the UK is 5,683 cases and 281 deaths.

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Can you help the heroes at QA Hospital?

The donations will stock a basics bank at the hospital where staff can grab a snack on shift or pick up a few items if they are struggling to get to the shops after shifts.

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Carla Bramhall, the head of operations at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said: ‘It’s a really challenging time at the moment and everyone is doing everything they can. I’d like to say a real heartfelt thank you for the support for our staff at this time. It means a lot and we’re all really grateful.’

Editor Mark Waldron said: ‘We want to support our NHS staff who are working hard to look after their patients, but we want to make sure someone is looking after them.

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘The support of the community will undoubtedly bring a morale boost to those who are going to work every day in our city’s hospital.’

How you can help

Donations must be dropped to the door of Pompey in the Community centre in Anson Road, which will be open Monday to Friday between 8.30am until 5.30pm.

The list of suitable donations include:

QA Hospital

- food

- toiletries (not perfumed)

- deodorants (not anti-perspirant spray)

- toothpaste/toothbrushes

Carla Bramhall, head of operations at PHT

- shower gel

- face wipes/body wipes

- hand cream

- loo roll/kitchen rolls - as staff struggle to get items

- laundry tablets (staff will be doing extra washing)

Things that cannot be accepted include alcohol (even liqueur chocolates), tobacco and homemade items or items home packaged.

Mark Cubbon, the chief executive of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

There is also a call-out to help patients, and wanted items include:

- pyjamas

- colouring books

- puzzle books

- jigsaws

- slippers/socks (must be non-slip)

Everything must be new and unopened – for both workers and patients.

‘We are dealing with increasing pressures’

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS chief executive Mark Cubbon said: ‘Since I have been working at PHT I’ve been constantly amazed by the support we receive from our community.

‘Over the past days we’ve seen a huge amount of generosity and consideration given to our teams, who are dealing with increasing pressures in an evolving situation.

‘In the coming weeks and months it’s likely that we may need to rely on the support of our communities even more.

‘Thank you to The News, Pompey In the Community, Portsmouth FC and all those who support our teams, who are continuing to do their very best for our patients every single day.’

Portsmouth FC chief executive Mark Catlin said: ‘Many of us want to feel we are contributing at times like these, but we are not always able to help directly. This is a real opportunity for all of us to address that and say a massive "Thank you" to those who will be supporting us all through the coming weeks.

‘Let's all try and give a little something to show our appreciation of the fantastic and selfless work our National Health workers do for us all, not just now, but as a matter of course through the work that they do.’

Chief executive of PitC, Clare Martin added: ‘This is a great opportunity for everyone to show how much we all appreciate the incredible commitment of our National Health workers. A little thank you from all of us will help make a difference to those who deserve it the most.’

A nurse makes beds in A&E