The newsletter for Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust members


Keeping patients safe

We have put a number of measures in place at our hospitals for patients who are coming in for an appointment, test or procedure.


For example, appointments are staggered to ensure social distancing is maintained; chairs in waiting rooms are spaced two metres apart and we have a limited number of people in these areas at any one time; staff are required to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE); and all patients are required to wear a face covering while in our buildings, and sanitise their hands on arrival.

We have produced a video that explains these, and other measures, in more detail: view video.


Please remember, if you have been invited in for an appointment your clinical team believes that the benefits of your visit far outweigh any risks.

Trust consultant leads global trial into coronary artery disease


New findings from a multi-national clinical trial, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) and authored by Royal Brompton Hospital consultant cardiologist, Dr Jonathan Hill, shows that patients with an advanced form of coronary artery disease (CAD) can benefit from a treatment using sonic pressure waves to break up hardened blockages in the heart. Dr Hill was the trial’s co-principal investigator and has trained cardiologists on the innovative procedure across the world.


The trial tested innovative technology called Shockwave Intravascular Lithotripsy (IVL) which generates sonic pressure waves – or shockwaves - to fracture these calcium build-ups. The narrowed artery can then be expanded and blood flow can be restored with the placement of a stent, a small tube inserted into a blocked passageway to keep it open.


Dr Hill said: “I am delighted to have been part of this important global trial. The results of this study show that the procedure is safe and effective for patients with moderate to severe calcification. It will make a huge difference to clinicians’ treatment of CAD. It also has quick recovery times for the patient, which is key.”


Click here to read the full article.

Nurses accepted onto prestigious Windrush Leadership programme


Two of Royal Brompton Hospital’s adult intensive care unit (AICU) nurses have been accepted onto the prestigious Windrush Nurses and Midwives’ Leadership Programme 2020.

AICU staff nurses Latifat Awotedu and Stella Esan are two of just 44 nurses and midwives accepted onto the programme, from over 500 applicants across the UK.


The Health Education England-funded programme, run by the Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF), was set up in 2018 to celebrate the contribution of the Windrush generation and Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff to the NHS. It helps BAME nurses and midwives become future healthcare leaders by equipping them with the knowledge and skills to develop and succeed.


Latifat was inspired to apply to the programme due to her experiences as an immigrant from Nigeria: “I thought the course could teach me more about adapting into UK society and culture as well as learning key leadership skills to help me progress.”


Stella was also attracted to the course for the potential to develop her leadership skills. “During Covid-19, I supported teaching some nurses who weren’t from ICU and got really positive feedback. I thought ‘there’s a bit of leadership in you, go for it!’.”


Upcoming Member events


Join us online for these upcoming events where you can gain expert insight into healthcare transformation, what current Covid-19 findings tell us and tips on how to look after your wellbeing. You are also welcome to participate in some fun and festive activities organised by RB&HArts and Trailblazers.


Patient care: present and future

Monday, 16 November


Online (link to be shared with registered participants)

Register for this event- please click here.


Learn how patient care at the Trust is being transformed. The discussion, chaired by the Trust’s chief information officer, Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, will cover the Trust's plans and aims for the future of patient care and how these have been impacted and, in some cases, accelerated because of Covid-19. Hear from Penny Agent, director of allied clinical sciences & patient engagement, and Dr Antonis Pantazis, consultant cardiologist and clinical lead for cardiomyopathy, who will share their first-hand experience of how recent changes have transformed the way care is delivered and received. You will also learn of upcoming opportunities to get involved in helping shape future services.



Covid-19: what current findings tell us

Tuesday, 24 November


Online (link to be shared with registered participants)

Register for this event- please click here.


A unique opportunity to gain expert insight into the latest findings on how Covid-19 affects the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Professor Thomas Luscher, consultant cardiologist and director of research, education and development, will chair this discussion with Professor Susanna Price, consultant cardiologist and intensivist, and Professor Dr Brijesh Patel, honorary consultant with adult intensive care and a lead researcher for a number of studies and trials on Covid-19.The speakers will share their experience of treating patients with Covid-19 and will discuss how the latest research findings could shape future treatments and improve patient outcomes.


Living well during Covid-19

Friday, 4 December


Online (link to be shared with registered participants)

Register for this event- please click here.


The pandemic has changed life as we know it and many of us are experiencing feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, burnout and isolation as a result. Join Christianna Kyriacou, lung team psychologist, who will explore these common thoughts and share tips on how you can look after yourself, better understand what steps you can take to ease the burden and what to consider in order to make informed decisions. Chris will be joined by Charlotte Hogben, ILD clinical nurse specialist to answer questions.


Get festive with Vocal Beats

Singing classes for 13-25 year olds


RB&H Trailblazers Singing Masterclass Course with Heather and Stac

Wednesdays, 16 November – 16 December


Vocal Beats provides opportunities for young people to make music through singing, instruments like the ukulele, and beatboxing. Since March, the programme has been continuing virtually and is now offering both group and 121 zoom singing sessions via the Trust’s youth forum RB&H Trailblazers. To see us into the festive season, musicians Heather McClelland and Stac Dowdeswell will be leading a six-week singing masterclass course to improve vocal techniques and sing some festive tunes.


To find out more and sign up, please email:


A record-breaking number of fellowships awarded


Five members of Trust staff, Mary Anton, Jennie Balls, Jamie Cheong, Catherine Renwick and Jessica Walsh, have successfully been awarded a HEE/NIHR Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship (PCAF) – a programme which supports early career researchers.


The funding allows recipients to set aside dedicated time to gain the necessary skills to prepare an application for a competitive, doctoral level research training fellowship. This is the first time the Trust has submitted five applications in one year, all of which were successful.


Laura Henderson, research development manager, said: “These successes are testament to the ambition and dedication of all five applicants who submitted their applications during the challenge of lockdown and redeployments. To have all of them awarded is an outstanding tribute to the support of their teams, and of the Trust, in nurturing and growing new research talent.”

“I became like family”: recovered nurse thanks Harefield Hospital for ‘incredible’ care during Covid-19


Maureen Clements was admitted to Harefield Hospital at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.


A senior nurse at Northwick Park Hospital, Maureen contracted Covid-19 and was admitted to the hospital with respiratory failure.

She later spent a month on Harefield Hospital’s Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) and a further month on its wards, and has since spoken about her experience recovering from the virus and the care she received.


“As a senior nurse I have been involved in delivering patient care for years as well as assessing nursing practice. I am absolutely blown away by the care I received and continue to get from Harefield Hospital. Incredible is the only word,” she said.

Harefield’s lead nurse and associate general manager, Peter Doyle, said: “When Maureen came to us she was seriously ill. She was ventilated and had very low oxygen levels.”


Peter added, “So many of our staff got to know Maureen during her time with us and were involved in her care. I know that she has a story to tell about so many of our staff of all disciplines. The thing we’ll always remember about Maureen, and her husband Jay, is their great sense of humour at such a stressful time in their lives. I’m not sure whether she realises how much she helped our morale at a time when we were all feeling real pressure. It was an emotional and joyous day when she was discharged, and lots of staff gathered to clap her out of the hospital.”


Now continuing her recovery at home, Maureen has no memory of getting sick or the ordeal she went through in ITU.


Recalling the extra lengths staff went to during her long stint in hospital, Maureen said: “I had only ever seen the staff who were taking care of me in full PPE, which can be really disorientating. One day, a group of nurses and physiotherapists got together and stood apart outside my window so they could take their masks off and I could see their faces. I won’t ever forget that.


Maureen continues to recover at home and is looking forward to returning to nursing at Northwick Park Hospital.


To read the full story click here.


Meet your Governor

Helena Bridgman, patient governor


How long have you been a governor?

I have been a patient governor since June 2018.

Why did you become a Trust member and what motivated you to stand for election?

Having been lucky enough to have had no serious illnesses I was diagnosed with pneumonia completely out of the blue in 2014. I was admitted to my local hospital in Salisbury but then developed respiratory failure so was transferred to Royal Brompton Hospital for six weeks of ECMO treatment. My memories of that admission are still a blur but once I had recovered I was asked to come back and speak to the staff about my experience of being an unconscious patient. That got me thinking that, like a lot of patients, I wanted to give something back to the hospital and staff who had cared so brilliantly for me and I felt, as a longer term patient now and a nurse, I might have something to offer.


What do you bring to the role of patient governor?

As a governor I want to be assured that other patients and staff at all levels are being cared for compassionately and safely across the two hospital sites which means getting involved. I am the governor observer on the Trust Risk and Safety Committee, a member of the Patient Quality Working Group and I coordinate the Governors Environment and Facilities Group. Patient and staff care have taken on even more importance during these times of rapid change and Covid-19, and the pressure must be immense for patients, families, carers and staff.


In my experience, valued staff translates into cared-for patients. While hospital site visits are still restricted I am trying to remain actively involved online to find out how staff are applying their learning from Covid-19 back into changes in patient care and to learn more about the significant work that has been going on around staff safety and supporting their health & well-being.


My other interest as a patient and for patients is in the Darwin Programme as they develop new ways in working with colleagues to look after and follow up patients once transferred back to their local hospital teams from the Trust. Having been an emergency patient transferred from a district general hospital in Wiltshire to a specialist hospital in London and back, excellent coordination of care and communication were very important to me and my family during recovery, rehabilitation and beyond.


When patients, carers and families are in need of support

An interview with Nishanie Ramsaroop, PALS/Bereavement Officer


Can you explain why the patient advice and liaison service (PALS) plays such an important role in the patient experience journey?

The PALS department is the first port of call for patients, their relatives and carers who might want to speak to someone confidentially about any aspect of their hospital experience or have questions and concerns and do not know who to talk to. The role of PALS is to provide a safe environment for patients to both express their concerns and to share positive experiences. The PALS team offers on the spot advice, information and support and liaise with Trust staff on behalf of patients to resolve any queries or issues. They also ensure positive feedback is shared with all relevant teams.

What happens with the feedback you receive?

The best care system we can offer patients is one that involves their input and feedback, so when we’re trying to create systems which work, we need to pay attention to what patients are saying. The information which is provided by PALS highlights current themes and trends, which have been directly reported to us by patients and their families/carers. This is communicated to department managers and staff concerned at the point of contact. Reports are compiled and shared with divisional managers, senior management and the board of directors for their review and action.

How do patients know to get in touch with PALS?

PALS leaflets and posters are distributed across the organisation. Information is also included in patient information literature (such as leaflets) and correspondence. You will find further information on our services on the Trust website. Patients can be signposted to us by staff, their GP, community services and other external organisations.


What are some key areas of focus for PALS for the last quarter of 2020 and 2021?

Recently our PALS team have been liaising very closely with service leads to improve communication so that patients have important information at hand, and are clear in terms of their treatment plans so they feel reassured and confident in the care we are providing.


To learn more about PALS and for contact details click here .


Marking World COPD Day through singing


As we recognise World COPD Day and all our patients affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), we continue to advocate for the role of singing to promote lung health. Our Singing for Breathing classes are now in their 11th year.

Watch The Singing Hospital short documentary to hear what our regular members have to say about Singing for Breathing workshops and the fantastic performance they gave last year at the Royal College of Physicians Museum. Click here to watch the video.


Patients are welcome to join a free online session to experience how weekly singing exercises can be used to support living with a breathing condition. Sessions include body and vocal warmups, breathing exercises and of course singing the songs everyone loves! Lyrics to be sent out along with the Zoom link before the event.


To find out more about Singing for Breathing click here. If you have any questions, email us at


Staying in touch


If you have any queries or updates to your contact information please send a message to Nancy Dickinson at or call 020 7352 8121 and ask to speak to the membership office.


We look forward to seeing many of you virtually at our upcoming events in November and early December.


Keep safe and well and thank you for your continued support.




Nancy Dickinson

Membership & Corporate Governance Manager


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