In consultation with medics and administrators across the Barts Health NHS Trust, the Livery Kitchen Initiative was last week invited to return to providing meals to three hospitals in East London: The Royal London Hospital, Newham University Hospital and Whipps Cross Hospital.
The Barts Health NHS Trust is redirecting manpower across their area of responsibility in East London in order to manage the virus. There is an acute shortage of nurses, exacerbated by those nurses who have been taken sick by the virus or who are having to isolate as a result of viral infections in their households. Doctors are being redeployed as nurses in intensive care units. The Royal London Hospital is at the centre of such provision and as of Mon 11th January were treating over 150 Covid patients in intensive care. Additional intensive care provision, to cope with these growing numbers, is being installed there at present.
Whether it is because the novelty has worn off, because businesses have folded or no longer have surpluses, but charitable donations of consumables for the staff are no longer forthcoming. So the LKI has agreed to provide a weekly welfare refreshment pack (of ice creams, drinks, snacks, chocolate, nutrition bars, bottled water and fruit from the Fruiterers) to allow the 200+ staff coming out of PPE at the end of their 12 hour shift to cool down whilst rebuilding their strength.
From Mon 18th January, the LKI will be providing 2,100 meals a week to these three hospitals for eight weeks. The £94,000 held in reserve for such provision will be used and there are sufficient funds in place to provide such support until at least the middle of March.
Provision of the 2000 meals a week to the 13 community groups in East London, as identified by City Harvest, will continue unchanged.