Imperial Health Charity has introduced a contactless donation unit at St Mary’s Hospital in London – the first time the TAPTOGIVE™ technology has been used in a UK hospital.The charity partnered with tech start-up GoodBox, which has developed the unit with its own payment processing technology.
It enables patients and other hospital visitors to make an instant £5 donation to the charity, which raises money to support the five hospitals of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
The portable GoodBox unit has been installed in the children’s outpatients department at St Mary’s as part of an initial trial. A smaller table-top contactless giving device has also been trialled at fundraising events.
The charity is planning to introduce additional GoodBox units in targeted locations across the other four hospitals it supports – Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea and the Western Eye.
Ian Lush, Chief Executive of Imperial Health Charity, said: “This is a very exciting time for NHS charities. We are seeing more and more people willing to support their local hospitals through cash donations and with the 70th anniversary of the NHS coming up next year we believe contactless giving will enable even more people to give back.
“We are delighted to be partnering with GoodBox to introduce a box in the children’s outpatients department at St Mary’s Hospital this week and we look forward to rolling out the boxes across the other hospitals we support in the coming months.”
The standalone box installed at St Mary’s features bespoke artwork tailored to the charity’s cause. It is designed to replace traditional glass coin boxes and counter-top collection jars.
The quarterly trips, organised by Imperial Health Charity, give patients experiences they might otherwise miss, help them to socialise and keep their minds active.
A recent visit to the Royal Academy of Arts included a guided tour of the Jasper Johns retrospective and a group discussion about what they’d seen.
Pippa Kirby, a Speech and Language Therapist in the neuro-rehab unit at Charing Cross, believes that the visits make a huge difference:
“One patient who came has very severe cognitive problems. She generally finds it very hard to engage in any task or activity for longer than about 15 minutes and generally in conversation gets distracted and can’t stay on topic.”
“However, at the RA she was absolutely captivated. She loved the paintings. She gave her opinion on them, compared them, asked to see some of them a second time. I’ve never seen her so engaged with something.”
Patients in the unit can suffer from a wide range of neurological conditions, including stroke, brain tumours and multiple sclerosis and often have lengthy stays which can leave them feeling lonely and, in some cases, delirious. The accessible visits provide a change of scenery and can leave a lasting impression.
“It’s this kind of activity which really enriches people’s experience of rehab, lifts their mood, and helps them feel more optimistic about the future. We very much hope to have many more similar trips in future.”
Mariko, a patient in the unit, echoed Pippa’s praise, saying: “I love going to galleries but because of my health I have difficulty moving. I really enjoyed it and it’s very inspirational that the hospital patients now have the opportunity to visit. I really want to do it again!”
Another patient said: “I thought the curators who took us around were very good. Jasper Johns is not an easy artist to understand so having someone who could reveal what was going on was tremendous. Everybody I’ve told that we had this opportunity said how very fortunate we were.”
The initiative is one of many arts projects that the charity has supported to benefit patients including craft workshops for dementia patients, art therapy for stroke patients and art workshops for those undergoing dialysis.
For more information about our engagement programme, visit
Spread a Smile was presented with the Best Charity award by The Sun’s agony aunt Deidre Sanders at a ceremony on Wednesday for brightening the days of sick children with entertainers.
The awards, hosted by Lorraine Kelly, celebrated the unsung heroes across the health profession who excel in improving the lives of patients.
Imperial Health Charity has funded Spread a Smile’s regular visits to St Mary's Hospital since 2016, where musicians, face painters, fairies and therapy dogs provide fun and games to keep kids calm and entertained in what can be a frightening situation.
Spread a Smile’s co-founders, Josephine Segal and Vanessa Crocker, said: "We are completely thrilled, delighted and humbled to win the best charity award from The Sun and it's wonderful to get this recognition for our work."
"We don't cure these young people but we do have one simple mission - that is to make them smile for just a moment, to distract them from their pain and illness and make them feel like any other child.”
Imperial Health Charity, which manages the art collection at all five Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust hospitals, has organised the installation of four vivid prints in the Nuclear Imaging Department.
The works focus on the possibility of light, with lenticular images giving an illusion of depth and animation. As you walk past, the forms within the work begin to move and the colours begin to intensify and fade, bringing the 2D work to life.
Lucy Zacaria, Head of Arts at the charity, said: “We’re really excited to be able to display Brian Eno’s work at Hammersmith Hospital. These striking prints are a fantastic addition to the charity’s art collection and have a tremendous impact on patients and staff alike, as well as transforming the hospital environment.”
“We’re grateful to Paul Stolper for helping to realise this installation and for generously donating one of the prints”.
The charity is a keen advocate of art in hospitals and manages a collection of over 2000 art works at the five Trust hospitals. A 2014 survey carried out by the charity revealed that 69% of patients credited the art collection with making them feel more relaxed in the hospital environment.
In addition to his prolific music career, Eno has exhibited internationally, including at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and the Pompidou Centre in Paris. In 2009 he was invited to exhibit on the iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House in Australia.
To find out more about the charity’s art collection, visit www.imperialcharity.org.uk/art-collections
That’s why Imperial Health Charity has been a keen supporter of the Schwartz Rounds, helping to fund regular sessions for staff to reflect on their experiences and help them process stressful situations in a calm, supportive environment.
The sessions, held at the three main Trust sites and part-funded by the charity, give staff an opportunity to share concerns and experiences and reflect on challenges they’ve faced.
A recent Schwartz Round focused on the Grenfell Tower fire and featured staff who helped care for the victims.
Dr Anu Mitra, a Consultant emergency physician who was on duty in A&E as people from the fire were brought to St Mary’s, said: “I found it very helpful to hear stories of how others found it tough. It was reassuring to me to see that I wasn’t alone.”
“Although there were many people at the Schwartz Round it still felt very intimate and private, and so I felt comfortable sharing.”
The Rounds started at the Trust in June 2015 and have had more than 1,800 attendances. Staff feedback showed that 97% would recommend the Schwartz Rounds to a colleague and 83% felt they gained knowledge that would help them care for their patients.
Dr Neill Duncan, Consultant in Renal Medicine and Clinical Lead for the Schwartz Rounds, believes that the sessions can be particularly valuable in the wake of major incidents.
“The thing about the Grenfell Tower fire was that we feel very strongly that we’re part of the community of West London”, he said.
“You saw the families on the TV and the terrible pictures of the tower and you thought ‘that’s West London, those are our people!’ and those were the kinds of things that came out from this particularly impactful Round.”
“People feel engaged and have a sense of kinship that they’re part of a bigger whole; they feel valued and have a better level of understanding of each other. It’s very candid, people tell their story in a very open way and they open themselves very personally.”
Schwartz Rounds continue regularly on all main sites and welcome all staff, clinical and nonclinical, students and trainees, and healthcare colleagues working in neighbouring community settings.
For more information about the Schwartz Rounds, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We are recruiting a team of volunteers to become Hospital Hosts at Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea, St Mary’s and the Western Eye hospitals.
As part of the role, volunteers will be the friendly first point of contact for patients and their families as they arrive in outpatient waiting areas.
The role involves providing information, assisting with directions and offering an ear to listen, helping visitors feel relaxed and reassured.
We are looking for individuals who can volunteer for between two and four hours on a week day, either weekly or fortnightly.
The Hospital Hosts will provide an essential extra level of support for NHS staff working in our busy outpatient waiting areas, which are used by patients who are attending hospital appointments without the need to stay overnight.
Matt Hatt, a Volunteer Manager at Imperial Health Charity, said: “Currently the Trust receives over 1 million outpatients per year, making these areas some of the busiest in the hospitals.
“We believe that volunteers can offer a huge amount of support to our patients, visitors and staff, providing up-to-date information as well as companionship and reassurance during a challenging time.”
Imperial Health Charity manages the volunteering programme at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, as well as supporting its five hospitals through grants, arts and fundraising.
Volunteers must be at least 18 years old to apply for the role. The deadline for applications is Monday 13 November.
To download the role description and application form, visit www.imperialcharity.org.uk/volunteer