Stoke & Staffordshire

Coronavirus: Bet365 boss Denise Coates donates £10m to NHS trust

Denise Coates Image copyright PA Media/Bet365
Image caption The Denise Foundation donated £10m to University Hospitals of North Midlands

The chief executive of Bet365 has donated £10m to an NHS trust to support staff fighting coronavirus.

Billionaire businesswoman Denise Coates donated to University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) - the trust which covers Stoke-on-Trent, her home town.

She said her charity foundation "felt we had to step forward... to see what we could to do help".

UHNM said it was "extremely grateful" and the money would support staff and patients "during Covid-19 and beyond".

The trust, which incorporates Royal Stoke Hospital and County Hospital in Stafford, said coronavirus had highlighted it was sometimes "lacking the technology" to work in the "most effective way".

Image copyright Google Maps
Image caption UHNM operates Royal Stoke University Hospital and County Hospital in Stafford

Some money from the donation from the Denise Coates Foundation will invested in technology to improve communications between clinicians, patients and families, UHNM said.

It will also be invested into mental health and social care services in the community, affected by coronavirus, "to support them to support us", it added.

A third portion will be put towards redeveloping the trust's cancer centre "and will have a legacy far beyond Covid-19".

Staff at the trust are "working harder than ever before in extremely challenging circumstances", UHNM's chief executive, Tracy Bullock, said.

The donation will "enhance and improve the care and experience of our patients and their families," she said.

Ms Coates said coronavirus presented "what must be the most demanding circumstances in the hospitals' and, indeed, the NHS's history".

She said she was sure the donation "will make a huge difference to the hospital, the staff and more broadly the people of north Staffordshire and the surrounding area".

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