Part of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust



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


      July 2021




Harefield team wins government funding for Artificial Intelligence programme


A team led by Dr William Man, consultant chest physician at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals, has been awarded significant funding from the NHS Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lab as part of the AI in Health and Care Award. The funding, with a potential value of £1.32 million, will be used to help improve the diagnosis of lung diseases in primary care. As part of this, Dr Man’s team has partnered with medical device company, ArtiQ, to determine how AI could be used to interpret spirometry tests – a test that measures how well the lungs are functioning – to improve the diagnosis of lung conditions, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


Dr Man said: “This AI technology could be used to make quicker and more accurate diagnoses, which means patients can start treatment sooner before any lung diseases progress too far. We believe it has the potential to have a significant effect on reducing health inequalities in lung disease.” Read more here.














Cystic Fibrosis Week 2021


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disease where thick sticky mucus is produced in the lungs making it difficult to breathe. It can also affect other parts of the body, and while there is no cure for the disease, treatments are available to help manage it. For Cystic Fibrosis Week, we spoke to CF patient Eleanor Smith, an ambassador of our Vocal Beats programme - where young people are offered singing and music lessons that can help with breathing techniques - about why she joined the Vocal Beats programme, what it is like living with CF and how she met and interviewed BBC Radio 1 presenter, Katie Thistleton, for the Vocal Beats YouTube channel. Read more and watch Eleanor’s interview with Katie.



Dietitian’s Week: raising the profile of dietetics


Our hospitals’ team of dietitians provide a service to all adult and paediatric wards. Their specialism is treating nutritional problems associated with heart and lung disease, a field within which research and advice is continually expanding.


The themes for this year’s Dietitians Week included celebrating the diversity of the dietetic profession and encouraging more people to consider a career in dietetics.


Rasleen Kahai, cardiorespiratory dietitian, explains why celebrating diversity in dietetics is so important. “Representation of people from diverse backgrounds is important in all professions, particularly in a hospital setting where patients needs are different and sometimes complex,” she says. “Celebrating diversity in dietetics is very important to me personally – I am the only dietitian in the UK who is a wheelchair user.”


Over the past year, the team has faced additional challenges as a result of the pandemic. Rasleen explains that with so many people in intensive care, her team had to be ready to deal with the nutritional impact of the virus.


Despite the challenges, it is clear each member of the team enjoys her career in dietetics. Lauren Kelly, nutrition lead and dietitian in rehab and therapies, says: “It can be a stressful environment but it’s always interesting, my colleagues are great and I’m always learning new things. I like being on people’s journey to recovery, because I know how important nutrition is.”









Hospital team wins digital health award for excellence in patient care


A team at Royal Brompton Hospital led by consultant cardiologist and electrophysiologist, Dr Jonathan Behar, has won the Royal College of Physicians’ Excellence in Patient Care Award (EPCA) in the digital category. The award recognises digitally driven projects that have contributed to significant improvements in patient care. The project, titled, “A digital pathway to support pre-procedural, shared decision making and consent” was set up to improve the way patients consent to having a cardiac procedure before it takes place, and received excellent feedback from patients for its use of a digital consent form alongside video animations to help patients better understand their condition and upcoming procedure. Read more here 




Latest research news



Could the use of hourglass stents improve blood flow and reduce angina?



Thanks to funding from the British Heart Foundation (BHF), researchers hope to answer if hourglass stents could be used to help patients who suffer from chest pain (angina) caused by ischaemia with normal obstructive coronary arteries (INOCA).


With the help of his team, Dr Ranil De Silva, consultant cardiologist at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals and senior lecturer in clinical cardiology at Imperial College London, will be testing the new stent in a subgroup of patients who suffer from INOCA. The stent, a small hourglass-shaped stainless steel tube, is inserted into the coronary sinus (the main vein of the heart) to improve blood flow.


Patients with INOCA experience angina caused by restricted blood flow to the heart muscle. However, unlike with coronary artery disease (CAD), the coronary arteries on the surface of the heart are normal. In these patients, reduced blood supply to the heart muscle is thought to be caused by abnormal function of the small blood vessels which are embedded within the heart muscle, which play a central role in control of blood flow to the heart. This is termed coronary microvascular dysfunction.


Studies have shown that patients with INOCA and coronary microvascular dysfunction are likely to be admitted to hospital more frequently and suffer from poor quality of life.


Dr De Silva says; “This is a crucial first step towards developing the first interventional treatment for patients with INOCA and coronary microvascular dysfunction, which has the potential to transform care for these patients. We are extremely grateful to the BHF for recognising the importance of supporting this research.”


The trial is expected to start in October 2021. To find out more about this project, click here.























International success for young researcher


Researchers have used Artificial Intelligence (AI) to predict which critically ill Covid-19 patients might respond to interventions carried out in an intensive care setting, such as proning – where patients are turned onto their fronts to get more oxygen into the lungs. This approach, where comprehensive patient data is analysed day-by-day, could be used to improve Covid-19 guidelines and determine the best clinical treatments. Read more.





Royal Brompton and Harefield patient fundraising challenge featured in the news


Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals patient, Deborah Batten, appeared on the new TV channel GB News to raise awareness of her forthcoming fundraising challenge for Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity. In the interview, Deborah spoke passionately about the fantastic care that she has received from the teams at both hospitals, from when she was a young child being treated for  cystic fibrosis (CF) to when she had her double lung transplant - and the care she has received since.


Deborah said: “Royal Brompton and Harefield have just been incredible, they’ve cared for me ever since I was very young, all the way through managing my CF and then with my double lung transplant. They have saved my life numerous times and I wouldn’t be here without their care. Having a double lung transplant saved my life and transformed my life. I feel pretty incredible, there’s nothing I can’t do, I have freedom and I’m the fittest I’ve ever been. It’s given me the time to spend with loved ones.”
















Meet Leah Mansfield, one of your recently elected patient governor



What is your connection with the Trust?


I have been a lung patient at Royal Brompton Hospital for many years following suffering from frequent and protracted chest infections since childhood, which substantially affected my quality of life. Prior to my treatment here, my medical care lacked any sense of coordination or a proper long-term management plan. Once referred, my treatment was a total revelation in how care should be received in terms of medical excellence, and also through the whole patient experience.


My positive experience fuelled my wish to become an active voice within the Trust. I have the privilege of being a member of the Patient and Public Engagement Group which has enabled me to listen to and share experiences with other patients and to be part of innovative programmes for holistic and positive improvements to care.


What motivated you to run for governor?


Through my experience of being constantly impressed by the excellent standard of care that I have received both medically, and in terms of the whole patient experience at Royal Brompton and Harefield, I developed a strong desire to want to give back and to contribute as an active member in the system.  I considered that my combined professional and personal experiences would enable me to contribute positively in the role of a governor and enable me to more effectively advocate on patients’ behalf and represent them. More specifically, I wished to extend upon my current involvement with the Trust, utilising what I have learnt from other patients’ concerns through my involvement in the Patient and Public Engagement Group and to be part of the strategic planning and advocacy for patients at the highest level.


I look forward to the many opportunities that the role gives to be at the heart of core decision-making and transformational positive change for patients.


What skills do you bring with you to the role?


I am a lawyer with over twenty years’ experience advocating for a wide range of individuals and groups. I have worked in the private, public and charitable sectors, in Parliament, with international governments and in several organisations within the United Nations system. As well as advising on legal matters, I gained extensive experience of strategic planning, budgets, negotiation, chairing committees, management, recruitment and in representing grassroots individuals and organisations in the highest forums. I have both designed and led innovative programmes for transformational change and project managed at a senior level. I have many years of board level experience, both as a trustee, and through advising boards on corporate governance issues.  As an advocate, I am keenly aware of the pressing needs of those I represent and achieving the best result possible in their interests with passionate commitment, focus and drive. Specifically, within the medical field, I have advocated for rare diseases, disability issues, specialist nurses, funds for medical research, the provision of medical services.


On a personal level, in addition to my own experiences as both an inpatient and outpatient, I cared for my late father, an Alzheimer’s disease and cardiac patient, at home and advocated for all his care needs. This gave me further invaluable insight into the care of the elderly and vulnerable patients, in general, for whom a strong advocate on their behalf is crucial.


Is there anything else you would like to share with your fellow members?


Yes, I would like members to know that I intend always to maintain close links with patients so as to be able to be fully aware of issues that affect them and to best be able to advocate for positive changes on their behalf in improving patients’ experience of care. For me, this is vital in order to be able to represent patients’ needs effectively and to ensure that they are always at the forefront of discussion and planning.


From the Archives



Did you know that the archives of Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals, including records dating back to 1811, are carefully preserved and available to all?


Historic records of the hospitals and the authorities which have run them over the years are cared by Barts Health NHS Trust Archives. The collections include records from minute books and financial records, to records of nurse training, case books and photographs. Like all archives, there are gaps, but the collections are a valuable resource for research and insight into early medical practice and standards, social and hospital history, how health conditions were managed and how treatment has evolved, and much more.


The archives are located at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London and can be visited for research, by appointment. An online catalogue is also available to browse for listings of the collections held by Barts Health Archives.. Kate Jarman, Trust archivist at Barts Health NHS Trust, will be sharing stories from the collections in future newsletters – you can also watch a recording of the recent talk ‘Graft, Grace and Gratitude: encounters with the Brompton Hospital archive’ online.






Movement and Exercise


Date: Tuesday, 6 July

Time: 5.30 – 7.00pm

Location: online


Join us for the upcoming webinar to learn how physical activity can improve your health, reduce your risk of developing several diseases and bring benefits to those with osteoarthritis.



To find out more about this event and to register, please click here.



RB&HArts Events

  Harefield Garden Launch     


   Thursday, 8th July

   12 – 3pm

   Outdoor event

   To register, click here

 Join us to celebrate the completion of our beautiful new gardens at Harefield Hospital.   Heritage tours of the Healing, Rowan and Peace gardens as well as the intensive       therapy unit courtyards will be led by the Harefield History Society. The afternoon,   which will follow Covid-19 safety measures, will also music by violinist Adrian Garratt,     gardening workshops and more. 


Events recordings:

In case you missed any of our recent events you can catch up on the recordings here. 

Updates and events hosted by the charities supporting our hospitals


Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity


The sun is out and we are all out and about more. This means that Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity is organising some events this summer. It has been too long since we have seen our supporters in person and we are looking forward to being able to meet up again at the upcoming events.


London Bridges Walk

This is our main event this summer. Join us on a scenic tour of central London’s most famous landmarks, crossing over six iconic bridges. 5km, 10km and wheelchair-accessible routes are available. More details and tickets can be found here


Sky dive

We are offering a few lucky supporters the chance of the ultimate rush. Sign up for our sky dive and you can see the world from 10,000ft. No previous experience is required. More details here.


Virtual London Marathon

If you are not keen to be out and about at events yet, but want to support the charity, then you can sign up for the Virtual Virgin London Marathon. All you have to do is complete 26.2 miles within 24 hours on the 3rd of October. You can do this wherever you are and at a pace that suits you. Sign up here.


Depending on what happens with national or regional Covid-19 restrictions these events may have to be rearranged or cancelled. Keep an eye on our website for updates. We will email everyone with information as soon as we have it. Here at the charity we are looking forward to seeing our supporters where we can this summer.





If you would like to learn more about membership or get in contact with your governors, please email Nancy Dickinson at


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