It is a truth universally acknowledged that 2020 has been – and still is – a tough one.
Many medical practitioners who have left the NHS to pursue a career in the private sector may now be watching their colleagues work on the frontlines during this time. Deciding whether to rejoin the health service in times of crisis can be incredibly difficult, especially when talking to friends and former colleagues who are in the thick of it. But everyone can contribute to the fight in their own way.
If you are currently unable to return to the NHS, a great option for supporting frontline workers is to ensure they have everything they need. Currently people in all industries are experiencing hardship due to the pandemic, NHS workers included.
Here are the details of a number of UK charities helping those in various medical fields who find themselves in need as a result of the pandemic.
If you are in a position to do so, practitioners could consider donating to these fantastic organisations to help them continue to support others in our industry.
This charity brings together five separate charitable organisations to provide financial assistance to doctors, their families and medical students. After completing a questionnaire on the Doctors Help website, the applicant is matched with the charity that best suits their needs.
Current or former nurses, midwives, healthcare assistants and associates are eligible for assistance from the RCN Foundation. They do not need to be a member of the Royal College of Nursing to apply. Hardship grants are available via their Lamplight support service. In addition to financial aid, this organisation also provides practical support. This includes identifying other types of assistance applicants may be eligible for and assisting financial planning or budgeting.
Previously the Nation’s Fund for Nurses, the Trust was renamed in honour of Edith Cavell upon her death in 1917. Cavell was a Norfolk-born nurse during the First World War who saved many lives on both sides. She was also celebrated for helping over 200 Allies escape from Belgium when it was under German occupation. Through times of personal or financial hardship, this charity is there to support nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants who are currently working or are retired. It offers financial assistance and practical help for professional nursing staff. This can range from fixing a broken boiler to facilitating an exit from situations of domestic abuse.
Established in 1883, the BDA Benevolent Fund supports dentists, undergraduate dental students and the families of dentists, who live in the UK and need financial help. This applies to dentists who are currently training or practicing, those who have left the profession and those who have retired. Additional practical and emotional support is also available, including helping dentists with personal problems such as addiction, divorce or bereavements.
It is worth noting that these medical charities are longstanding, established institutions that offer year-round help to those in need, regardless of the current unique situation. They will still be supporting practitioners after COVID-19 has been dealt with and can provide valuable lifelines to those experiencing financial difficulties at any time.