The Hospital Saturday Fund
The Hospital Saturday Fund is a registered charity whose aims are to provide assistance through its charitable funds for: registered health charities, hospices and medical organisations who are in need of grants for medical projects, care, research or support of medical training within the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. Individuals with a medical condition or disability who would benefit from assistance with the purchase of specialised equipment or from practical forms of treatment.
When the Fund was founded on 15 June 1873 there was little co-ordination of health services and these were mainly performed by the existing hospitals, all of which were voluntary – except the workhouse infirmaries. Lack of nutrition, over-crowding, poverty and ill-health were very prevalent. The twelfth Earl of Meath (Reginald Brabazon, a Victorian social reformer), the principal founder of the Fund and other pioneers did their utmost to bring these appalling conditions to the notice of the nation.
At a meeting held in Hyde Park, London, in 1873, they made an appeal for the inauguration of a Fund to which all in employment would pay a regular weekly amount which would help to meet the cost of hospital maintenance. In those days Saturday was pay-day and so the title HOSPITAL SATURDAY FUND was chosen. In February 1890 the Fund received its Certificate of Incorporation under the Companies Act.
Patron, President & Vice Presidents
In 1896 the Prince of Wales became the Fund’s first Patron and on accession to the throne continued to act in that capacity. Since that era each Sovereign has accepted the office of Patron and Her Majesty, the Queen only recently relinquished this when she made a considerable reduction to her Patronages. Since the early years of the last century each successive Lord Mayor of London has acted as President of the Fund and the Fund has had the privilege of holding its Annual General Meeting at the Mansion House. The present Earl of Meath, the Lord Provost of Glasgow, the Lord Mayor of Dublin and the Lord Mayor of Belfast are all Vice Presidents. Our current Patron is the internationally acclaimed opera singer, Lesley Garrett CBE FRAM.
Complementing the NHS
Since the advent of the National Health Service the Hospital Saturday Fund has ‘tailored’ its benefits to suit modern needs. Its trading company HSF health plan is one of the leading health cash plans in the UK and Ireland and provides a wide range of health benefits to help people cover the cost of their everyday health care. HSF health plan works with over 1,300 organisations in the public, private and charity sector in providing its health cash plan schemes as an employee benefit. Unlike other forms of health insurance the schemes are very low cost (from £1.00 per week) and cover things like dental check-ups and treatment, eye tests, glasses and contact lenses, physiotherapy and osteopathy. It means people can embark on a course of treatment knowing they can always claim back at least some, if not all of the cost.
HSF health plan also pays cash grants for hospital admissions and has a range of helplines including a GP Advice line and a private prescription service, a counselling helpline and other services which are there 365 days of the year to give support to employees and their families whenever it is needed*. There are currently around 89,000 HSF health plan policyholders from all parts of the United Kingdom and Ireland, but when family members are added the real figure is around 200,000. Its head office is in London, and there is a national office in Ireland (Ennis, Co. Clare).
Charitable Grants – Every penny of profit to good causes
The aims and ideals of the founders have never been forgotten and we are proud that these are still very much in evidence today. All profits made by HSF health plan are channelled to its parent charity, The Hospital Saturday Fund through which grants are made to all kinds of medically-associated charities throughout the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland each year. Assistance is also given to individuals whose illness or disability has caused difficulties. In 2020, grants totalling £1.8m will be given.
*Full details of all the benefits HSF health plan provides can be found at www.hsf.eu.com
Details of The Hospital Saturday Fund charity can be found at www.hospitalsaturdayfund.org