We all value the NHS as a fundamental cornerstone of our society - there for us when we need it most.

However, we can also see the pressures it is under, as society changes in the 21st century.

This is where Oxford Hospitals Charity can come in.

Through the generosity of patients and their families, of local companies and national grant-awarding trusts, we are able to make a real difference across all the hospitals in our NHS Foundation Trust.

We do this by providing targeted and impactful support for patient welfare, as well as of state-of-the-art medical equipment; supporting key research; and funding extra training and support for the wonderful staff across each of the four hospitals.

Having lived in Oxfordshire for over 20 years, these are the hospitals that look after my family and, like many, many others, we have had reason to be thankful for the excellent care provided by the staff.

This respect has only been strengthened as I have spent time at the hospitals talking to clinical staff, hearing about the fantastic work they do and the compassionate care they provide, day in, day out.

I have also been talking to them about where and how the charity can best support their work via our core areas of funding.

I can confidently say we are a conscientious and well-run charity, making a real and tangible difference for large numbers of patients and staff across our hospitals.

But, of course, we must always strive to do more for the benefit of patients and hospital staff, and the charity team and our Trustees are determined to do more.

The need and opportunity is huge, so we are working closely with Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and clinicians across our four hospitals to ensure that we prioritise our funding to where it can have the maximum impact, which includes providing support where NHS funding simply isn't available.

This can be the funding of big projects, like our £2.5 million support for new accommodation for Children's Hospital parents, or smaller but nonetheless impactful innovations such as 3-D printers to support surgical teams, and the training of specialist volunteers to support patients in the Emergency Department.

We have also become a fully independent charity. We are no longer Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds, but simply Oxford Hospitals Charity, with a new charity number 1175809.

This is mainly a technical change of governance caused by changing guidelines from the Department of Health. It does not change the fundamental mission and approach of the charity. In fact it should allow us to provide even more support across the hospitals.

The work Oxford Hospitals Charity does across every area of our hospitals is only possible with the continued and generous backing of our donors, who understand the very real needs of our hospitals, and want to say 'thank you' to the staff for the compassion and care they and their families have received.

We are incredibly grateful to everyone who helps us to make such a difference across our hospitals.