Charities focused on doctors’ health and wellbeing recognised by BMA Giving

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA.

Location: UK
Published: Wednesday 4 August 2021

The charitable arm of the British Medical Association, BMA Giving, is today announcing a sum of over £350,000 donated in grants over the past year. This money was given to charities working to support the health and wellbeing of doctors and medical students, and patients, during Covid-19. Money was also sent to help India during the Covid surge.

During the past year, BMA Giving is proud to have worked in partnership with charities to distribute hardship funds and support to those affected by the pandemic, along with offering expertise and guidance where appropriate. Charities were chosen which offered help to a wide range of doctors from all backgrounds, with particular emphasis on mental health.

Charities which have benefited from BMA Giving in the past twelve months include Mind, Child Bereavement UK and the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund.

The donations have helped these charities in a number of ways and the BMA Giving grants have allowed each to fund specific projects, including:

  • Partnering with Child Bereavement UK to provide webinars and online resources to support doctors’ wellbeing whilst working with loss and bereavement.
  • Working with Mind to produce guidance for NHS managers to help those working on the frontline with their mental health including a webinar, where 92% of attendees rated it as very or extremely useful
  • Assisting the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund to support doctors, medical students and their families who need financial assistance because of the impact of COVID-19.
  • Working alongside the Melanin Medics to deliver Mind Us, an initiative to support the mental wellbeing of Black African and Caribbean medical students and doctors who have been adversely affected by Covid-19.
  • Connecting Olly’s Future, a suicide prevention charity, to our membership so that medical students had a better understanding of their own, their peers and their patients’ mental health

Professor Averil Mansfield, chair BMA Giving committee said, “The devastation wrought by the pandemic cannot be overstated. Its global effect on family life, on mental health and on careers has been massive.

“We are thankful that there are charities doing amazing work in the population and we were delighted to be able to give some support to them.

“We were particularly concerned to remember and to assist those who are providing the care.  With the support of the membership of the BMA we were able to give some financial assistance to several amazing charities providing much needed support and care for those working on the frontline. The contributions were a way of saying thank you and provided an opportunity to establish working partnerships with some of them which we hope to continue. I personally feel privileged to have participated in this aspect of the BMA’s work.”

Alongside the UK pandemic effort, the BMA also gave funding to charities helping India as they experienced a devastating surge in Covid-19 cases. £25,000 was donated to Indian doctors via The British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, the Disasters Emergency Committee, South Asian Heritage NHS Leaders and Staff Network and the British International Doctors Association. This money helped with the international effort including buying supplies of oxygen and food, along with providing clinical assistance to healthcare workers via teleconsulting and advice services.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA chair of council, said, “The scenes we saw in India during the pandemic were heart-wrenching and as tens of thousands of doctors of Indian origin work in the NHS, we knew we had to help. As an Association we are part of a global health community and are committed to supporting doctors affected by crises from around the world, whatever the health emergency.”

Notes to editors

The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.

 

Each of the recipients of the grants expressed their enormous gratitude at the help given to them:

Having the support of the BMA carried huge integrity, credibility and weight to our programme and enabled doors to open for us which no doubt would not have been the case as we are such a small charity” Ann Feloy, chair, Olly’s Future

“BMA Giving has made a huge difference in Melanin Medics being able to provide ongoing support in this challenging time” Dr Olamide Dada, founder and chief executive, Melanin Medics

“It has been a pleasure building our relationship with BMA Giving. Together we have been able to support doctors and the NHS workforce’s mental health and wellbeing in the wake of Covid-19” Andrew Berrie, Mental Health at Work – National Lead, Mind

“This grant has not only enabled us to support doctors directly but it has also given us the opportunity to leverage further support on the back of it which will increase our reach and impact” Steve Crone, chief executive, Royal Medical Benevolent Fund

 

BMA Giving is a committee of BMA members who meet annually to determine BMA grants to healthcare charities. The committee is chaired by Professor Averil Mansfield CBE.

The committee awards grants to charities whose research projects fall within the objects of the BMA: 

  • promoting the medical and allied sciences
  • maintaining the honour and interests of the medical profession
  • promoting the achievement of high quality healthcare.

The committee also welcomes applications from charities where doctors play a key role in the charity’s work.