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January 2021

Funding boost for nurse helpline

The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) TalkToUs telephone listening service has received a major funding boost from a new charity set up to support the Health and Social Care sector, called Covid-19 Healthcare Support Appeal (CHSA).

CHSA has provided a grant of almost £49k to help expand the service, which has been running since May 2020.

TalkToUs was set up by the QNI to offer emotional support by phone to registered nurses working in the community, primary and social care. The QNI’s trained listeners are all Queen’s Nurses who are available to speak to nurses about any aspect of their work or personal life, in complete confidence.

QNI chief executive Crystal Oldman said: ‘We have been very concerned about the mental and emotional toll on the health of nurses since the start of the pandemic. The QNI was quick to respond to this, setting up a telephone listening service for all nurses working in the community, primary care and social care. We were fortunate to have considerable expertise within the QNI team in the field of telephone support lines, and the dedication of our Queen’s Nurses to become trained as listeners, offering a confidential ear to any nurse who wants to talk about work or personal life. 

‘Concerns about the mental and emotional health of nurses have only grown as the third wave of the pandemic has worsened in recent weeks. The impacts are likely to be long term, lasting far beyond the duration of the pandemic itself. We are therefore delighted to have received this major funding boost from CHSA, which will help us reach out to more nurses and give them the vital support they need at this time and in the future.’

The TalkToUs service is operated by trained listeners who are available to speak to nurses working in community or social care, including those in care homes, and nurses working with people who are homeless. TalkToUs is intended as a friendly ear for those who would like to talk to someone in complete confidence about their life and work at the current time. The service cannot provide counselling, but can direct callers to other sources of support.

If you are worried about any aspect of your work or home life, particularly if it is affected by Covid19, and you would like to talk about your feelings, please email to arrange a call back.

  • In 2020, the QNI awarded over £87,000 in grants to 130 community nurses who were experiencing financial difficulties, including five nurses who had been affected by flooding earlier in the year, and 30 nurses who had been directly affected by COVID-19. The QNI also supported nurses who were unable to work because they were off sick long-term, and nurses who had escaped abusive relationships. To find out how to apply for assistance, visit
Practice Nurse 2021;51(1): online only, 26 January 2021