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How Newcastle Hospitals Charity protects our local hospitals

Director Teri Bayliss shares how the charity helps keep our hospitals among the best in the world.

Written by Becky Hardy
Published 26.08.2022

The hospitals in Newcastle are world-class.

That’s just a fact.

When the very first people in the UK became infected with Covid, they were sent to the Royal Victoria Infirmary for specialist care in the infectious diseases unit. The Great North Children’s Hospital treats children from all around the world and has one of only two state-of-the-art ‘bubble units’ in Britain. The UK’s first Institute of Transplantation was established at the Freeman Hospital because of their international reputation for pioneering expertise in the field.

And that’s before we’ve mentioned the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, for example. Or the RVI’s Neurosciences Centre, with its prestigious international reputation. Newcastle has one of the UK’s largest maternity departments, which brings around 7,000 babies into the world every year. The city also boasts a Regional Urology Centre recognised as having one of the top clinical research programmes in Europe.

Esoméprazole générique est l’inhibiteur oral de la pompe à protons le plus prescrit pour aider à combattre les symptômes du reflux gastro-œsophagien pathologique (RGO) et est également utilisé pour prévenir les récidives chez les personnes atteintes de psoriasis en plaques. Les utilisations non indiquées sur l’étiquette comprennent le syndrome du côlon irritable, des affections marquées par une inflammation de l’estomac ou de l’intestin, comme la maladie inflammatoire chronique de l’intestin (SII), une affection causée par des contractions musculaires anormales et la production anormale de mucus.

The list goes on. For many of us who know just how lucky we are to have them on our doorstep, Newcastle’s hospitals are one of the brightest jewels in the North East’s crown and a source of immense pride.

But did you know there’s a charity behind the scenes helping to make all this happen?

The Newcastle Hospitals Charity can trace its roots back to the 19th century. But despite being one of the oldest charities in the region, they’re not as common a household name as other hospital-supporting charities – CHUF, for example, or Tiny Lives.

And yet, their work not only supports these charities but keeps the hospitals in Newcastle at the forefront of pioneering medical care – not only in the UK, but around the world.

Something charity Director Teri Bayliss is keen to shout about.

We caught up with Teri to find out more about the charity, her secrets to success in the boardroom, and why she believes Newcastle can become a powerhouse of medical innovations…

Tell us about the work that Newcastle Hospitals Charity do.

We’re the official charity for all of Newcastle’s hospitals and, quite simply, we help our hospitals go further. We all know that the NHS provides fantastic care for patients, but also faces limitations of resources. Newcastle Hospitals Charity helps our NHS achieve things it can’t do alone by providing equipment, enhancing services and creating opportunities that improve the experience of our patients, support our NHS staff and help create healthier communities.

We can only do all this because of the generous nature of our brilliant supporters. Everyone involved in our charity is part of the team!

Why do you think so many people here in the North East want to support our hospitals?

It’s an interesting fact that people in the North East provide more support to health-related charities than anywhere else in the UK. Personally, I think this is down to the compassionate nature of our people. We also know what outstanding places our hospitals are and the over-and-above care that the NHS staff are proud to provide. I think we’ve all experienced this first-hand – either ourselves or with a family member or friend – and we want to show our support for everything our hospitals do.

What makes the hospitals in Newcastle so special?

This is a difficult one, because there are so many reasons that our hospitals are special. One thing that makes me really proud is that we have two of the best hospitals in the world (the RVI and the Freeman), here in the North East. This shows how unique and brilliant we are – two in the world!

We also have one of the best children’s hospitals in the UK with the Great North Children’s Hospital. Here we care for the health of all the children in the North East and wider afield – including internationally – through our transplant, cardiology and cancer services.

Our relationship with Northumbria University and Newcastle University also makes us pretty special. We’re a genuinely ‘translational’ hospital, collaborating on important research with academics. We’ve recently contributed £200,000 to advance research into children’s cancer at Newcastle University’s Wolfson Childhood Cancer Research Centre, alongside another local charity.

I think what makes us most special, though, is our people. Everyone cares so much about our patients and wants to do the best they can for them. The recent TV series, Geordie Hospital showed us a glimpse of this – it’s part of our DNA to go the extra mile.

What does a typical day look like for you as Director of the charity?

There’s genuinely no such thing as a ‘typical day’ – which is one of the reasons I love my job, (except for coffee, there’s always a lot of coffee).

We could be organising ice creams for staff on the hottest day of the year; finalising a fundraising proposal for a major project; getting ready for the Great North Run; or meeting with a bereaved family who want to raise money in memory of a loved one.

Everything we do feels special, no matter how small it may seem. We have a fantastic, caring and energetic charity team who always seem to make things happen, no matter what.

What would be your advice to other women in the North East aspiring to become a Director of a business or charity in the future?

The best advice I was given by a mentor early in my career was to never stop learning – whether that’s professional development, personal development, or simply day-to-day knowledge. That advice has stayed with me and helped me develop, to embrace and lead change, to have perspective and to support others.

It’s also important to nurture your team and to surround yourself with good people. The work we do is very much a team effort and developing them is key to our success and their futures. Mentorship – both being mentored and mentoring – is a hugely enriching process and one I’d encourage anyone to get involved with.

I think being yourself, having confidence in your own ability and holding yourself accountable is important. Be your own critical friend: learn from mistakes and share successes.

Finally, I think balance is central to happiness and being your best. Some of that is learning when to say ‘no’, making the time to do things well, and enjoying your down time.

What do you love most about your job?

Every day is different. I’m lucky enough to work within an incredibly diverse environment, which means I’m always learning. It’s also very humbling to see the amazing work that goes on at Newcastle Hospitals every day, and to know that I play a part in improving the hospital experience for patients, our NHS staff and the wider North East community. 

 

What do you wish more people knew about Newcastle Hospitals Charity?

I think people would be surprised at how many partners we work with in the area to help improve health inequalities. We’re passionate about building strong local partnerships and have worked with organisations such as Healthworks, Coping with Cancer and the Newcastle United Foundation to help bring about positive change with everyone – from patients dealing with the impact of cancer treatment, to people in the community whose health has been impacted by long-COVID.

Every penny we raise goes towards helping our hospitals go further. I really would encourage HLN readers to get involved with the charity; as well as fundraising, we also offer volunteer opportunities for both individuals and local businesses. You don’t have to run the Great North Run for us to make a difference. Although, of course, we would be very grateful if you did!

What are some of the ways we can support the charity in the next year?

One area that the charity is always looking to expand is our pool of corporate partners. We know that there are so many exciting, dynamic workplaces in the North East and we would love if they would consider working with us.

Becoming a corporate partner or choosing us as your workplace’s ‘Charity of the Year’ is invaluable in helping us to spread the word about Newcastle Hospitals Charity. It’s also a great team builder for staff to get them all engaged in fundraising towards a common goal. A group from Mercedes Benz of Newcastle recently took part in the Yorkshire Three Peaks to raise funds for us, for example, which is fantastic!

What are your ultimate ambitions for Newcastle Hospitals Charity?

Ultimately, we want to be a household name in the region. We’re very proud of Newcastle Hospitals and the work we do to support them, and we want everyone to know about it.

We’re currently working on achieving some specific strategic goals for the charity – including improving the patient and visitor experience and improving NHS staff wellbeing and development – so I’d like to see us make great strides in achieving those goals.

One of the areas we’re very passionate about is innovation, so we would love to be known as a powerhouse of medical innovations, helping to drive forward life-changing research and development right here in Newcastle.

To find out more about Newcastle Hospitals Charity, including fundraising and volunteering opportunities, visit their website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram

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