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The newsletter for Trust members with an interest in heart and lung care


 

February 2021

 


 

Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals join Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

 

We are delighted to announce that Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust has officially joined Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, bringing together world-leading expertise in the care and research of heart and lung disease.

 

The merger of the two NHS foundation trusts was approved by the Boards and Councils of Governors of both organisations in December 2020. It comes into effect today, 1 February 2021, seeing the creation of a newly expanded Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, with Royal Brompton and Harefield forming a new Clinical Group within the Trust.

 

Since 2017, Guy’s and St Thomas’ and Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trusts have been working together, and with colleagues across King’s Health Partners, to develop plans to transform care for adults and children with heart and lung disease. This merger is a key step towards achieving these ambitions.

To begin with, the merger will mean clinicians and teams working more closely together, building on the partnership work over the last three years, but generally providing services to the same patients and in the same places as they do now.

 

Subject to the necessary public consultation, children’s services will move from the Royal Brompton Hospital site to an expanded Evelina London Children’s Hospital at St Thomas’ in around five to six years’ time. Subsequently, and again subject to consultation, we hope to build a new centre for heart and lung services at St Thomas’, which will be the home to adult heart and lung services from across the new Trust and potentially other partners as well. There are no plans to move services from Harefield Hospital, but these services will be an integral part of the integration across the new trust.

 

Professor Ian Abbs, Chief Executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, says:

“I am proud to welcome colleagues from Royal Brompton and Harefield to the Guy’s and St Thomas’ family. Together, and with our partners, we have a once in a generation opportunity to build a lasting, world-renowned heart and lung centre, providing the highest quality care for patients from before birth to old age, and conducting world-leading research.

 

“We have already demonstrated that by working together we can achieve more for our patients, not least during our current pandemic response, where partnership working has helped us care for many patients requiring the most specialist treatment.

 

“I am looking forward to taking the next step on our exciting shared journey, both with our new colleagues and our clinical and academic partners.”

 

Dr Richard Grocott-Mason, Managing Director of the new Royal Brompton and Harefield Clinical Group at Guy’s and St Thomas’ says:

 

“This is a hugely significant moment in the history of Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals. From our earliest discussions with Guy’s and St Thomas’ we realised we had the chance to create something new and dynamic with colleagues who shared our values and appetite for innovation and transformation – vital for a specialist Trust with a strong reputation for breaking new ground in heart and lung disease treatment and research.

 

“Healthcare will undergo radical transformation over the next ten years and hospitals and healthcare providers will need to respond. Joining Guy’s and St Thomas’ gives us the best chance of leading and shaping the transformation of heart and lung care and research on a national and international stage.”

 

For more information about our partnership with Guy's and St Thomas', read our frequently asked questions.

 

 

Latest information on procedures and appointments during Covid-19

In light of the significant increase of new Covid-19 patient cases, we have put measures in place to ensure patients and staff are safe in our hospitals. As part of these measures, we have reorganised the way care is delivered, with non-urgent, planned procedures being reduced and priority given to urgent cases where patients’ health would be at risk if treatment was delayed.

Find out more.

 
 

 

Covid-19 vaccine information

 

With the national Covid-19 vaccination programme now underway we are pleased to provide you with the following information to help answer some of your questions and concerns.

Covid-19 vaccination advice for heart and lung transplant recipients

Covid-19 vaccination Q&A for heart and lung transplant recipients

Covid-19 vaccination advice for patients on the waiting transplant list/with advanced Heart/lung disease/with a ventricular assist device

Covid-19 vaccination advice for adult congenital heart disease patients

 

 

Royal Society of Medicine Covid-19 vaccine webinar

Virus mutations: past, present and future

 

Dont miss the upcoming member event

Covid-19 vaccinations: your questions answered

To learn more about this online event and to register please see details in member events section below.

 

Staff Covid-19 vaccine programme boosts morale

 

On 7 January the Covid-19 staff vaccination clinics began in Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals. This was an historic moment for the hospitals and the NHS.

 

Rolling out a vaccination campaign at this scale has been an incredible effort – bringing together teams from pharmacy, innovation and technology, procurement, HR, and occupation health – working diligently for weeks on logistics, delivery, handling, as well as the training and deployment of over 20 vaccinators.

 

Dr David Alexander, consultant anaesthetist, said:  "All of the staff we encountered were delighted and grateful for the opportunity to be vaccinated in the first rollout of this novel vaccine. The support from admin and pharmacy staff and the volunteers who undertook the vaccination have ensured we have vaccinated 200-300 staff onsite each day."

 

Dr Richard Grocott-Mason, Managing Director, said: “Many thanks to all involved in making this happen. It has been an amazing effort and has given everyone a morale boost. The exceptional way the vaccination programme has been organised, in such a short space of time, is a credit to everyone who played a part.”

 

 

In the press

 

How does a hospital continue life-saving treatment in the middle of a global pandemic?

 

Christina Lamb, from the Sunday Times, investigates

 

In January, Christina Lamb from The Sunday Times visited Harefield Hospital to find out how the hospital’s clinical teams are continuing with life-saving surgery in the middle of the latest Covid-19 surge.

 

Lamb met with clinicians from the hospital’s cardiac, transplant and intensive care teams to see how it is possible to continue with these vital services while looking after some of the sickest Covid-19 patients who need the highest level of critical care. Nick Hunt, the hospital’s director of service development, attributed this to clinical innovations and sheer staff dedication: “Emergency situations often bring out the best in people and that’s certainly been the case at Harefield. Initiatives that we’d talked about for months, or even years, have materialised in weeks.

 

“Even with the incredible demands on staff and capacity we have somehow managed to introduce digital outpatient clinics, home testing, webcam support in ICU, and new ways of collaborating remotely with other hospitals that effectively give patients access to expert opinion from multiple sources. We’re well-known for our innovation, but the speed at which these solutions were found was remarkable; we have literally transformed the clinical landscape.”

 

The formation of the ‘Cardiac Hub’, established during the first wave of the pandemic last spring, has ensured that priority cardiac procedures can still go-ahead. Spearheaded by consultant cardiologist, Dr Shelley Rahman Haley and cardiac surgeon Mr Mario Petrou, the cardiac hub ensures that patients who need cardiac surgery are promptly reviewed and treated. It is made up of an expert team of consultant cardiologists and surgeons from across London who review and discuss patient cases from Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals and other trusts across the South East – to decide if urgent surgical intervention is needed. Experts at Harefield Hospital have performed 100 cardiac procedures since Christmas. Commenting on the cardiac hub, Mr Petrou said: “Patients are not just getting a second opinion, but maybe 20-plus, which is incredible.”

 

Surgeons at the hospital’s world-famous transplant unit have carried out three lung transplants in the last week alone.

Like many other teams across the Trust, the lung transplant team has had to adapt how it delivers its services to patients, many of whom are shielding and have been able to benefit from having their appointments virtually. Speaking about the virtual clinics, patient Vanessa Tedbury said: “I prefer it. I used to have to write off the day.”

 

Dr Reed and her colleagues also organise regular webinars for their transplant patients so they are kept informed on the latest Covid developments and how these might impact them.

 

And all of this activity is taking place against a backdrop of critically-ill Covid-19 patients, who are under the hospital’s specialist care, and require advanced life support.

 

“Increasing our intensive care capacity to support the sickest Covid patients has inevitably affected how we prioritise non-Covid cases”, said Dr Robert Smith, consultant cardiologist at Harefield Hospital’s heart attack centre. “But for patients who come in with urgent, life-threatening cases, we have not compromised on getting them the care they need, when they need it – which, to a large extent, means it is still business as usual at our heart attack centre.”


   

Our innovative arts programme features in a wellbeing documentary

 

RB&HArts, the hospitals’ arts programme, recently planted over 300 trees on the grounds of Harefield Hospital. The trees, donated by the Woodland Trust, were planted by volunteers, including a number of staff members.

 

Watch this film to see how tree planting has helped the wellbeing of one of our clinicians and learn the unique ways other NHS staff look after their mental and physical health.

Watch video.

 

Upcoming Governor elections - stay tuned

 

You will hopefully be aware that Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust has now joined Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation, and soon governor elections to the expanded Council of Governors will take place. Being a governor provides an opportunity to play a pivotal role in influencing how decisions are made and to represent the interests of Trust members, patients and the public.

 

There have been 13 newly created governor position on the Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust Council of Governors, representing the Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals; five of which are appointed by local stakeholders and the remaining eight will be elected by you, our members.

 

The elections are being planned and further information will follow. If this appeals to you please consider becoming a governor for your constituency.

 

Please contact Nancy at n.dickinson@rbht.nhs.uk if you have any queries.

 

 

  

 

 

Member Events

 

Visit our website for additional event details.

  

Upcoming

 

Covid-19 vaccines: your questions answered

Wednesday, 17 February

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Online

Register here

 

With Covid-19 vaccine information dominating our news keeping up with the latest developments can be challenging. Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals’ cardiology and respiratory teams are diligently following the progress of this pandemic and actively seeking out the best information for our patients. Join Dr Vasilis Kouranos, consultant respiratory physician and honourary senior lecturer at the National Heart and Lung Institute and Dr Rakesh Sharma, consultant cardiologist and the clinical lead for heart failure at Royal Brompton Hospital, to hear the latest information regarding the national vaccination program and its benefits. The speakers will be answering members’ questions throughout this discussion.

 

If you have not already submitted a question and would like to do so, please email Nancy at n.dickinson@rbht.nhs.uk by the 10th February.

  

Staying afloat in challenging times

Wednesday, 3 March

2:00pm - 3:00pm

Online

Register here

 

Following the success of our last wellbeing event, we are delighted to welcome Trust psychologists, Dr Victoria Singh and Dr Anne-Marie Doyle for our next event in this series. They will share recommendations on how to live with uncertainty and stay calm amidst these challenging times. A questionnaire will be sent to interested participants in advance of this event to allow the speakers to tailor the discussion to meet the members' interests.

 

Focus on innovation: the latest heart and lung research at our hospitals

Date: Wednesday, 24 March

Time: 10:00Am - 11:00am

Online

Register here

 

Join Professor John Pepper, consultant cardiac surgeon and professor in cardiothoracic surgery at the National Heart and Lung Institute, imperial College London, to learn why and how research is at the heart of our hospitals. Participants will learn more about the latest heart and lung research initiatives and innovations, gain insight into the significant role our hospitals are playing in Covid-19 research and hear what projects are planned for the future. Speakers will answer participants' questions and will share how you can stay informed and get involved in upcoming research at our hospitals.

 

What a 'hybrid' model means for the future of patient care

Friday, 23 April

10:00am – 11:00am

Online

Register here

 

‘Transforming patient care’, ‘a hybrid model of care’ - join us to learn what this means for the future of your care. The development of further home monitoring and increased capability of home testing are examples of innovations that have resulted in reducing the number of trips patients have had to make to our hospitals. Join us to better understand these changes, learn what other developments are on the horizon, how you can help shape future services and what you can do if you have concerns about these changes.

 

In case you missed it:

 

Merger Q&A

 

On 12 January members of the executive team shared an update on the impact of Covid-19 on our hospitals and staff morale and answered members’ questions on our merger with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Below are some of the questions raised during the event and a summary of the responses from the speakers.

 

What is the shape of the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust Board going forward?

 

3 of the current Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals’ Non-Executive Directors will join the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Board. Royal Brompton & Harefield Clinical Group will be run by a Committee of Guy’s and St Thomas’ board (Baroness Morgan will Chair this Committee), made up principally of the current Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals’ leadership team.

 

How will they decide which of the current Governors will join the new Board of Governors of the new structure?

 

13 governor positions will be available for Royal Brompton and Harefield governors to join the existing Guy’s and St Thomas’ Council of Governors. 5 of the 13 governors will be appointed (by local authorities, the NWL ICS and universities we work with) and the remaining 8 will be elected by members whose origin of membership is recognised as Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals. All current governors are invited to be observers and join the conversation for an initial period of time.

 

What are the arrangements for the future uses and governance of Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals’ associated charitable funds?

 

The Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity is an independent charity. The charity will continue as before in its mission to support patients and staff at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals. It will use the income generated by fundraising activity, its property and investments to directly benefit Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals by funding new equipment and supporting staff wellbeing at these two world class institutions. Everyone at the charity wishes our NHS colleagues success as part of Guys and St Thomas’.

 

Can the proceeds of any eventual sale of Sydney Street be properly ring-fenced and available for the planned new centre at St Thomas'?

 

Plans for th estate are not yet developed. Those decisions will not be made by the Trust alone, but in conjunction with NHS England, the Dept of Health and planning authorities.

 

How do we prevent this slow process to mean we lose focus and embrace opportunities of change?

 

In our partnership work with King’s Health Partners, we developed a plan for bringing services together across our different hospitals before new facilities are built. This includes creating “a single service across two sites” wherever possible, encouraging teams to collaborate, share good practice, and provide support, training and cross-cover to create more resilient services. We have also offered funds as an incentive for groups from different hospitals to work together on ideas for improving services.

 

 

Upcoming events hosted by Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity

 

Virtual Vino

Take a virtual stroll through the vineyards of Spain, whilst soaking up the fruity flavours all from the comfort of your own home.

 

Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity is very pleased to host Virtual Vino along with Unique Wine Safaris. Sign up and you will receive three 75cl bottles of wine and on the day Phill Humphries a wine expert with over 25 years’ experience will guide you on a virtual through the wines.

 

A ticket costs £50.00, which includes your wine for the evening delivered to you directly.

 

Sign up here

 
How we’re looking after the health and wellbeing of our staff

 

We appreciate the interest many of you have expressed in the health and wellbeing of our staff.

 

Last year was a unique and challenging one, and as the Covid-19 pandemic continues into 2021, the dedication and resilience of clinical teams while working under high levels of pressure over an extended period, is remarkable.

 

Staff wellbeing is fundamental to the delivery of high quality, safe patient care. So supporting, maintaining and enhancing staff wellbeing – both physical and mental – is a major priority. As such, members of staff are offered a full range of services and are encouraged to make use of the enhanced health and wellbeing resources.

In addition to the support provided by the occupational health and HR teams a number of charitable activities and donations, free lunches for staff and messages of support have helped to lift the mood of our staff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let our staff know that you are thinking of them

 

The Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity have launched an initiative to give you the chance to send your messages of support.

 

The care and share noticeboard:

 

"Right now, our hospitals are busier than they were in March. Staff are working difficult shifts and adapting their roles to care for Covid-19 patients. We need to let them know that our appreciation for them never stops.

 

"Let’s show them some love at this difficult time. We have set up the Care and Share Noticeboard, where you can share a message with our hardworking frontline staff caring for Covid-19 patients to let them know you’re thinking of them.

 

"You can write a message on the noticeboard, upload a drawing you have made, take a picture or make a video. The more messages we share the more love our NHS colleagues will feel."

 

Share your message here.
 

Traditional blacksmiths create a unique tribute to key workers

 

Traditional blacksmiths have crafted and donated a beautiful, rainbow bench as a thank you to all staff at our hospitals for their crucial role fighting Covid-19.

The bench is one of three unique designs created for prominent London trusts. It features the symbolic rainbow motif, forged using stainless steel, steel, brass and copper and ‘thank you’ is engraved into the solid English oak seat in 18 different languages.

 

It was designed and crafted by Fred Suffield and his team, traditional blacksmiths from 200-year-old Anwick Forge in Lincolnshire. Facing struggles due to Covid-19, Fred successfully applied for a Heritage Crafts Association (HCA) grant and was commissioned by the trustees of Grandey’s Place, a centre dedicated to the conservation of Britain's Heritage Crafts, to create a lasting gift for the NHS.

 

 

 

 

 

Fred said: “It was nice to work on a project that really meant something – we personally owe a lot to the NHS and wanted to thank staff for what they do for society and all that they’ve done during the pandemic. The benches also celebrate our craft and have kept a family-run business going during these difficult times.”

 

The bench sits in the courtyard at Royal Brompton, and Fred and his brother Tom hope staff and patients will be able to enjoy it for many years to come. “I hope the bench brings happiness to people – it’s in a place where staff and patients can come and sit for a break or they can appreciate it when they look out of their windows. The bench symbolises the gratitude of a nation, the inclusivity and diversity of the NHS and century-old craft heritage so I hope people can learn from it too,” Fred said.

 

Dr Richard Grocott-Mason, managing director, who helped unveil the bench, said: “We are delighted to receive this rainbow bench, a unique work of craftsmanship and tribute to our wonderful staff for their hard work and dedication throughout this pandemic.”

 

Do you have friends and family with an interest in heart and lung care?

 

We’re looking for more members who want to help us shape the future of heart and lung care. If you have friends or family members who would enjoy receiving this newsletter, might be interested in attending our events and would like to support our hospitals, please forward this newsletter to them so they can learn more about becoming a member. Membership is free and signing up is easy.

 

To learn more about membership click here or scan the QR code, visit our website, or contact Nancy at n.dickinson@rbht.nhs.uk.

 

 

A note about your membership

 

We will continue to recognise the origin of your membership and tailor your membership benefits to focus primarily on heart and lung care and the activities, events and opportunities at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals. You will also have access to the general benefits of being a member of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. See our website for more details.

 

I am delighted to remain your main contact for all membership related matters. Please feel free to contact me at n.dickinson@rbht.nhs.uk if you have any questions about your membership.


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