The newsletter for Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust members
Patient services update
The Trust is continuing to make good progress in restoring its elective care and diagnostic services at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals. As we face uncertainty around Covid-19 over the coming months, we are fully committed to continuing our normal activity for as long as we can so that our patients can access the services they need. We fully appreciate the disruption has not been easy for anyone.
We continue to work with Kings Health Partners to plan and deliver continuous improvements to our services and provide the best heart and lung care to our patients.
Trust establishes innovative post-Covid-19 clinics
Specialist clinics have recently opened at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals for patients suffering long-term effects of Covid-19. These innovative clinics help survivors of the virus with their long-term recovery.
As a specialist cardio-respiratory centre, with additional expertise in intensive care, the Trust’s clinicians have cared for some of the sickest Covid-19 patients with severe acute respiratory failure. Many of these patients continue to experience long-term effects after being discharged.
Consultant in intensive care and respiratory medicine Dr Sundeep Kaul, who runs Harefield Hospital’s clinic, said: “There are a whole host of issues that require attention in post-Covid-19 patients, ranging from shortness of breath to fatigue to joint problems. Many patients find their quality of life is considerably impacted after recovering from the virus and they struggle to carry out activities they used to do with ease, such as driving or using a computer.
“Optimising a person’s health by assessing and treating their whole body is one of the cornerstones of successful high-quality, patient-centred healthcare and that’s what is at the heart of this service.” To read more click
Our partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas’
125 members attended recent update event
Thank you to those who attended our recent member event hosted by the Trust’s Chair and The Chair of the Membership Steering Committee on 1 October, who presented the latest updates on our partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT). We will continue to share the latest updates on this monthly via Connect. In the meantime, please visit our
website for more information about our plans to join GSTT, which will be updated regularly.
Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals ranked in world’s top hospitals for cardiology
The ‘World's Best Specialized Hospitals 2021’ survey, published by American weekly news magazine Newsweek, has ranked the world’s best hospitals in a number of specialised fields. Royal Brompton Hospital was ranked tenth in the cardiology listing, the only UK hospital to appear in the list’s top 50, with Harefield Hospital also rated in the top 200 - only 8 UK units in total achieved this milestone. Click
here to read more.
How we place patients at the heart of our research
Learn how you can get involved
The Trust’s research Lay Advisory Groups (LAG) are core to ensuring the needs of our patients are central to our research.
We are dedicated to involving patients and the public in the design, delivery and dissemination of the research that takes place at both our hospitals. The main way we do this is through our two dedicated Lay Advisory Groups (LAG) - one for cardiovascular research and one for respiratory research.
Formed back in 2011, the LAG’s are made up of patients, carers and members of the public with a keen interest in helping to shape the research we do and helping researchers improve the experience of patients taking part in research.
Taking place every three months the LAG meetings are an opportunity for our researchers planning or undertaking research, to get lay input into their research.
Some of the types of activities our lay advisors get involved with include:
Offering their personal experience to inform research relating to patient care.
Reviewing and assisting with research proposals.
Acting as judges on internal funding review panels.
Providing feedback on patient facing documents such as patient information sheets and consent forms.
Advising on patient recruitment methods for research studies.
Undertaking practice interview panels for junior researchers.
The role of lay advisor is open to any patients, carers or members of the public with direct experience of, or interest in, cardiovascular or respiratory conditions.
To find out more about the LAG please email us at email@example.com.
Digital appointment letters go live at Harefield Hospital
An Outpatient Portal which gives patients the option to receive their appointment letters digitally, via a smartphone or other device, has launched at Harefield Hospital. The portal was rolled out at Royal Brompton Hospital last October.
The new system enables patients to access their appointment details digitally, thereby reducing reliance on the postal system which has slowed down during the pandemic. It also allows patients to confirm or reschedule appointments with just one click.
Toni Davey, a patient who took part in the trial said: “I think it is brilliant, saves time, saves money and saves trees. It’s really easy to use as I deal with emails and SMS in my business. I’m glad too that patients of my mum and dad’s age will continue to get a letter.”
Tina Kay, outpatients manager at Harefield Hospital, said: “We are really pleased to offer our patients the opportunity to view their appointment details instantly online via a system that’s more environmentally friendly and moves us away from the historic paper-based activity, which can take days to arrive. With this method we’ll also be able to use cancelled appointments more efficiently.”
Upcoming member event
Patient care: present and future
Date: to be confirmed for late October or early November
Time: to be confirmed
Online- link to be emailed to registered participants
The governors invite you to join them to learn how patient care at the Trust is being transformed. This discussion, chaired by Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, chief information officer, 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 Dr Antonis Pantazis, the Trust's head of inherited cardiovascular conditions and Dr Shelley Rahman Haley, consultant echocardiologist who will share their first-hand experience of how recent changes have transformed the way care is delivered and received. You will also learn how you can get more involved by providing feedback and shaping future patient service developments.
Please email Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about this event. An invitation will be emailed to members later this month.
Royal Brompton Hospital team performs pioneering heart procedure in UK first
A pioneering procedure to treat an aneurysm in the aortic arch, using minimally invasive keyhole surgery, has taken place for the first time in the UK at Royal Brompton Hospital.
The aortic arch is a section of the aorta, the largest blood vessel in the body. An aortic arch aneurysm is an abnormal swelling of the aorta which, if left untreated, can burst and be life-threatening. Typically, treatment for this type of aneurysm involves complex, open-heart surgery. However, the hospital’s experts have used keyhole surgery to insert a stent, a tube inserted into a blocked passageway such as a blood vessel to keep it open, to repair an aortic arch aneurysm in a 78-year-old patient, who was deemed too fragile for traditional open-heart surgery. The stent used is specifically designed to treat problems in this part of the aorta.
The team, led by consultant interventional cardiologist Professor Christoph Nienaber and consultant cardiac surgeon Mr Ulrich Rosendahl, carried out the procedure in Royal Brompton Hospital’s hybrid operating theatre, a traditional operating theatre but with the imaging capabilities of a catheter laboratory.
Professor Nienaber said “We’re proud to be the first in the UK to complete this pioneering procedure and look forward to establishing this innovative technique at the Trust so more patients can benefit.”
To read the full article click
Could an app be the future to monitoring hearing loss in CF?
There is an increased risk of hearing loss in people with cystic fibrosis (CF) due to damaging effects from the antibiotics they require to treat infection, according to a study published in
The study, led by Dr Anand Shah, respiratory consultant at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, and funded by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, looked at 126 adults with CF and found that those given more intravenous antibiotics over a 10 year period were more likely to experience hearing loss. In addition, the study also looked at whether some people with CF have mutations in their genes which makes them more susceptible to developing hearing loss.
Despite the link between hearing loss and long-term use of antibiotics in the CF population, there are currently no standardised recommendations in place for screening for hearing loss for this group and existing audiology tests require specialist staff and equipment and further outpatient visits.
In a bid to explore alternative screening methods, Dr Shah and his team tested a novel ipad-based audiometry application, alongside a web-based hearing test developed in collaboration with the Imperial College Dyson School of Design Engineering, to determine if it could be used to reliably screen for hearing loss in adults with CF.
The study found that the online test, given it used standard headphones, was not as good at detecting hearing loss. However, the ipad-based test was very sensitive and specific compared to standard audiometry tests conducted by an audiologist.
So, what does this mean for people with CF? Dr Shah said:
“This study is the first to show that you can accurately detect drug-related hearing loss using easy-to-use portable equipment in an outpatient setting that can be performed by anyone. This will enable us to screen for hearing loss much more efficiently and pick up problems at a far earlier stage.”
If you would like to find out more about any of the research mentioned in this story, or any other research at our Trust, please
Collaborations with Brunel University London
The Trust is joining up with Brunel University London to give staff the opportunity to collaborate on a newly designed solution that addresses a clinical or operational problem. Staff have been submitting applications highlighting areas where something doesn’t work well and would benefit from improvement. Stay tuned for updates on innovative projects that are selected for development!
Long-serving staff recognised by new awards
The Trust’s long-service awards will recognise and celebrate staff who have reached 15, 25 or 40 years’ service
During the month of September, the first set of awards were given to 566 members of staff, who received a certificate of recognition, a letter from their division and a commemorative pin badge. A big thank you goes to the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity for funding this programme.
Lis Allen, director of HR, commented on the launch: ”It’s fabulous that we will be recognising so many of our people for their dedication to the Trust. These awards reflect our appreciation for their loyal years of service and the badge was chosen as a symbol of personal and professional achievement. We hope that folks will wear their badge with pride!”
Lily Bailey, an ITU sister who has worked at Harefield Hospital for 40 years and has just received her award, said of the recognition: “I didn’t expect it at all, but it’s great, it makes me feel appreciated and acknowledged for my work over so many years.”
Tributes paid by Mayor and MP as Harefield garden competition winners announced
Green-fingered ITU staff at Harefield Hospital celebrated recently as planters they have lovingly tended over the last year were judged by executive director Nick Hunt, and critical care matron Ellen Dunthorne, in the newly created ITU garden.
Staff nurse Claudia Berbecar and her team won the competition with their flowery display, which the judges said was well-designed and cultivated with a great use of ornament.
The competition was conceived by clinical engineer Harriett Rossouw in memory of her great uncle Marvin Sturridge, a former thoracic surgeon at Royal Brompton who had a passion for gardening. Harriett has been working with her twin sister Josie, a film set designer specialising in floral displays, to create a therapeutic garden for staff to have a break in between shifts. Nick Hunt said: “This competition has been a great opportunity for ITU staff to demonstrate their gardening skills. Now everyone can appreciate the fruits of their labours as they enjoy the space, fresh air and chance to relax away from the unit for a short time in this inspirational garden.”
Messages paying tribute to the garden have come in from a variety of public figures. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I’d like to thank the incredible team at Harefield who are going above and beyond to make their patch greener and cleaner. You should all be enormously proud for your commitment and dedication during this difficult time.”
local MP David Simmonds said: "The work carried out by the staff at Harefield is truly impressive and we owe each and every worker a huge debt of thanks."
The former Royal Marine who carried a 175kg piano up a 1,000ft mountain for Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity
A former Royal Marine has summited a mountain in south Wales with a 28-stone piano on his back for charity. Max Glover, from Penarth, took on Garth Mountain to raise money for the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity, where his friend had a double lung transplant operation. Max said: "I did it to raise money for the charity because when they helped Julie they were brilliant with her." The story was broadcast on the national ITV News and across a number of radio stations. You can watch a video of Max’s challenge
Team Heart vs Team Lungs
Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity have announced a winner! Team Heart crossed the finish line on the 4th October having covered an astonishing 17,832miles. Thank you to all who took part in this exceptional challenge.
Please feel free to get in touch with me, Nancy Dickinson if you have any questions about this newsletter, your membership, future member events or how to get further involved. I've talked to a number of you since starting as your membership manager and hope to speak with many more of you in the coming days, weeks and months! You can contact me by email at email@example.com or by phone on 020 7352 8121 and asking to speak with membership.