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







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



June  2022




Celebrating our nurses on International Nurses’ Day


Thursday May 12th marked International Nurses’ Day. Celebrated annually on Florence Nightingale’s birthday, the day recognises the pivotal role nurses play in patient care, and the huge contribution they make to societies around the world.


Celebrating the day, Jo Carter, director of nursing for Royal Brompton and Harefield, said:  “Happy International Nurses’ Day to all of our fantastic nurses across our hospitals. Nurses are the foundation of the NHS, providing round the clock care in every setting. Every day our nurses make a difference to someone’s life, providing exemplary care and compassion to our patients and their families. Today is an opportunity to thank our nursing teams for their continued hard work and the dedication they show every day. Thank you.”


Several nurses from across our hospitals have shared their stories about why they chose a career in nursing. To read their stories click on the following links:


Devika Ratnayaka

Liz Allibone

Oluwafemi Akindele

Jim Head





The Princess Royal opens new Diagnostic Centre at Royal Brompton


A ‘world leading’ heart and lung centre has been officially opened by the Princess Royal (on Thursday 12 May) after being built in the midst of a global pandemic.


The Diagnostic Centre at Royal Brompton Hospital provides the very latest in imaging technology to help diagnose cases of heart and lung disease.


Her Royal Highness was given a tour of the £50m centre and met staff who helped complete the project on time and under budget. She heard how the project has transformed patient care by providing all the services they need under one roof, in a calm and peaceful environment.


Specially commissioned artwork and light installations help patients feel more relaxed and at ease in waiting areas, corridors and treatment rooms.


Baroness Sally Morgan, Deputy Chair at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “I want to thank the dedicated staff who have worked so hard to deliver this fantastic building – something they achieved during a global pandemic. It was lovely to have that recognised with The Princess Royal joining us to mark this special occasion.


Read more here.


Covid lockdowns ‘increased collateral damage to those with cardiac disease’


Covid lockdowns increased collateral damage to those with cardiovascular diseases, according to a consultant cardiologist at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals who contributed to a new review.


According to Professor Thomas F. Lüscher, a consultant cardiologist and director of research, education and development at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals, the review demonstrated that the COVID-19 pandemic witnessed a substantial global decline in hospitalisations with acute cardiovascular disease, fewer diagnostic and interventional procedures and fewer outpatient and community consultations.”


Read more here.



Timing of heart surgery crucial, research shows


Valve replacement heart surgery should be performed earlier than previously thought for people with aortic stenosis – according to new research led by Professor Vasilis Vassiliou, honorary cardiovascular consultant at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals.


Aortic stenosis is one of the most common and serious valve disease problems and is caused by a narrowing of the aortic valve opening.


Guidelines recommend replacing the narrowed valve once patients develop symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pains or blackouts. But many patients with aortic stenosis do not have symptoms even when they have severe narrowing of the valve and are therefore not eligible for valve replacement.


New research shows that these patients would benefit by undergoing a valve replacement before they suffer irreversible heart muscle damage.


Professor Vassiliou explained the motivation behind his research and said: “A lot of patients with severe aortic stenosis do not have symptoms and therefore are not eligible for valve replacement according to the current guidelines.


“For these patients without symptoms, the guidelines suggest a ‘watchful waiting’ approach and intervention is recommended only when they show symptoms or develop pump failure. We wanted to know if it would be better to perform surgery and replace the valve sooner rather than later.”


Read more here.



One step closer to personalised medicine for dilated cardiomyopathy


A new research study led by researchers at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals has identified new subtypes of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a disease of the heart muscle.


The research was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and suggests that these distinct subtypes may have different underlying causes.


The research has already been recognised internationally, with the lead researcher, Dr Upasana Tayal, cardiology registrar at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals and clinical lecturer at Imperial College London, awarded first place in the prestigious Young Investigator Awards in Clinical Investigation category.


Read more here.





New art installed in Harefield Hospital’s Peace Gardens


New artwork created by artist Emily Gardiner has been installed in Harefield Hospital’s Peace Gardens.


The Peace Gardens, situated outside Rowan Ward and ICU, have over the past year been rejuvenated with plants and trellises so patients can enjoy the view from their windows.


Commenting on the recent installation by Emily Gardiner, rb&hArts manager Karen Janody said: “When our transplant patients were consulted about what they would like to see out of their bedroom windows, they asked for plants and sculptures with colours reminiscent of the Mediterranean. Emily Gardiner was chosen by patients and staff as her vision combined ceramic art, colour and nature.”


Read  more here.



In the Press


Vegetarian and vegan diets linked to UK rise in raw food allergy


An “explosion” in a food allergy poses a particular risk to vegans and vegetarians, one of Britain’s leading experts has warned. Cases of pollen food syndrome (PFS) have risen markedly in recent years as a result of global heating, worsening pollution and changes in pollen patterns, Dr Isabel Skypala said. Attacks of PFS are usually triggered by eating raw nuts, fruit and vegetables. However, they can also be prompted by foods popular among people who avoid animal products, such as soya milk, avocados, jackfruit, edamame beans and smoothies. The estimated 13 million Britons who are allergic to pollen, especially birch tree pollen, and suffer from hay fever are most at risk. PFS is caused by unstable pollen antibodies found in proteins in some raw – but not cooked – fruits and vegetables, nuts and soya.


Skypala, the only consultant allergy dietician in the NHS, said: “The last research into the prevalence of PFS in Britain, which I undertook in 2008, showed that 2% of adults had it, including 4% of people in London. I suspect that it has probably doubled since then. In my clinic at the Royal Brompton hospital in London about five out of every 10 people I see has PFS, whereas 10 years [ago] it might have been two. There’s a perfect storm of increasing PFS at the same time as you have a very great increase in people eating fruits and vegetables.


Read the full article featured in the Guardian here.





 Member Events

An update on women and children services at Evelina London

Thursday, 16 June

17.30 – 19.00

Online via MS teams

Click here to reserve your place.


Life after Transplant

Monday, 27 June


Online via MS teams

Click here to reserve your place.


Join Vicky Gerovasili, consultant in respiratory and transplant medicine, and some of our patient members for an informative discussion for transplant patients, their carers and their families. The speakers will cover a number of topics, including medication, daily life - from diet and nutrition to dental visits and tattoos, the impact of COVID-19, and current research and innovation.


Participants are invited to email questions they would like covered during the webinar to by 13 June 2022.












NEW volunteer opportunity

Asthma & Lung UK


Asthma & Lung UK (A&LUK) offer a network of support groups in local communities. The support groups are open to anyone affected by lung conditions, including the family, friends and carers of a person living with a condition.


Going to a support group can boost your mental and emotional well-being as well as help you learn how to manage different physical aspects of your lung condition.


A&LUK is looking for volunteers to help run their support groups. Meeting monthly, the groups offer a friendly space to engage with advisers, raise awareness of lung health and share positive ways to help with the  self-management of a lung condition.


Volunteers are vital to the success of the network. If you are interested in learning more, including the extensive support offered for volunteers, please get in touch through the contact details below.


You can join thousands of others who have come together to change laws, raise awareness, and make sure lung health is a priority across the UK and join our mission to transform lung health


Contact details:  call us on 0300 222 5800 (option 4) or email us at



Summer activities from picnics to

sky diving!


Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity have an action-packed summer of events planned this year, the highlight of which is our London Bridges Walk.


On Sunday, 24 July, join us for a six mile walk through spectacular central London scenery. The route crosses six iconic bridges over the Thames and takes in Lambeth Palace, the Royal Festival Hall, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tate Modern and our sister hospital St Thomas’.


Friends and family can sponsor you on your walk and all the funds raised will go towards fighting heart and lung disease. Shorter routes and a wheelchair-accessible route are also available.


You can find out more about the event and sign up on our website.


The London Bridges Walk is just one of the many events we are holding this summer. Our summer events include a picnic at Harefield Hospital, a wing walk and a skydive, as well as a fun run and family day.


You can find out about all our events and get tickets on our website.


All the funds raised from our events will go towards helping heart and lung patients.





Meet Christina, the newest Brompton Fountain team member


The team at Brompton Fountain are really excited to introduce you to Christina, who they are very proudly sponsoring in her new position at Royal Brompton Hospital.


‘Hi, my name is Christina. My role is very unique as I not only work as a senior play specialist on both Rose Ward and the paediatric intensive care unit, but also spend part of my week with The Brompton Fountain team. Areas of my charity role that I am especially looking forward to include the planning and delivery of activities and events, initiating new projects and ensuring that children, young people and their families are at the centre of all decisions."


Play Service Manager, Maxine Ovens, said: ‘Thank you to The Brompton Fountain and all of the wonderful people who fundraise for this amazing charity. Having the opportunity to further develop and grow the play service with this funding is incredible - it means that we can support even more children and help to make their hospital experience a more positive one.’


Christina is already making a big impact on the ward and in our charity projects, making a difference for our young patients when it’s needed most. Look out for more from her over the coming months!



Council of Governors 2022 – Welcome our new governors 


Governors are the eyes and ears of our public, patients and staff. Read more about our governors, including those recently elected on our website.



To learn more about your Trust membership, share your feedback or update your contact details, please contact Nancy Dickinson at


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