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



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


      October 2021








Leaving a legacy of a gift of life


To mark Organ Donation Week 2021, patients have shared the life-changing impact organ donation has had on them, to encourage everyone to speak to their loved ones about donating organs – leaving people certain about their decision after they are gone. Harefield Hospital staff have also shared why organ donation is so important and how it can bring some comfort to families during a difficult time.


Deborah, who had a double-lung transplant three years ago at Harefield, said: “My donor chose to be an organ donor. Knowing that I carry her with me is a gift. I feel the responsibility of really making the most of every opportunity being alive brings, because of her. She is living on through me.”


Harefield Hospital is the UK’s largest and most experienced centre for heart and lung transplants. Since 1980, there have been more than 3,000 transplant operations at Harefield Hospital, including the world's first double heart and lung transplant in 1983. Watch the video.



Celebrating World Heart Day: one family’s story


Bray from Billericay is just 12 years old but has already undergone surgery at Royal Brompton Hospital to cure his congenital heart disease. This World Heart Day, Mum, Kelly, shares the family’s story and how a faulty connection in Bray’s heart has led to the family creating a lasting connection with staff at Royal Brompton. Read more.







Cardiogenic Shock Programme brings expertise to patients across the UK


Clinical teams from our hospitals have developed the first comprehensive programme in the UK to help improve the survival of patients with cardiogenic shock.


Cardiogenic shock is a life-threatening condition, where the heart is unable to pump enough blood around the body, leading to progressive and rapid failure of all the organs. The condition is associated with a high risk of death. However, if it is recognised early enough, appropriate specialist intervention can significantly increase the chances of the patient’s survival.


The Cardiogenic Shock Programme has been developed by teams at both of our hospitals, and means that their specialist expertise and technology is immediately available to patients no matter where they are – either in the form of advice to clinicians around the country through a virtual multidisciplinary team meeting, or by retrieving patients to be treated at our specialist hospital.


The Cardiogenic Shock Programme, conceived in 2018, includes many groups of staff from across our hospitals: ECMO nurses and perfusionists, cardiac and transplant surgeons, cardiologists and intensivists.



Research update:Transplant consultant wins prestigious MRC funding


Dr Anna Reed has been awarded funding through the Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Academic Research Partnership (CARP) programme for her research into fungal infections. Thanks to the funding Dr Reed will now have protected time to carry out her research which focuses on fungal infection in patients who have undergone a lung transplant. Read more.


















Celebrating Black History Month


From the Archives

As we celebrate Black History Month, it’s natural to turn to our hospital archives to find out more about the contribution of Black staff to Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals. Recruitment for the new NHS from the then colonies of the British Empire began in the period after the Second World War, including in Africa and the Caribbean, and black British and recent immigrant staff have always been a key part of the NHS workforce.


In the hospitals’ own archives, we can see evidence of diverse cohorts of nursing staff and students in the 1960s and 1970s, but further research is required to find out more about the individual stories of black staff and patients at the Brompton and Harefield. To find out more about Black histories in the NHS, watch David Olusoga’s recent programme ‘Our NHS: A Hidden History’ and check out the Young Historian’s Project resources on African Women and the British Health Service.



To mark Black History Month this year, colleagues across the Trust will be hosting a range of online and in-person events, which will include music, career development webinars, special guest speakers, cooking classes, panel discussions and reflections.


The NHS is the biggest employer of people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds in Europe. To find out more about NHS staff from overseas who transformed the health service, watch the BBC documentary, ‘Our NHS: A Hidden History’. To find out more information about Black History Month, visit the website here.


You're invited to get involved!


Improving Heart and Lung Care:

Meet new people, tell stories, make art


Guy’s and St Thomas’, including Evelina London and Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals, and our partners King’s College Hospital are working together to revolutionise heart and lung care. We’re working with Playing ON Theatre Company to run online drama & art sessions for 7-25 year olds who use heart or lung services. We want to hear your stories and opinions on your healthcare!


Children age 7-11

Every Saturday, 2-23 October


To read more and register for this event, click here


Children and young people age 11-16

Every Saturday, 2-23 October

10am – 12pm

To read more and register for this event, click here


Young people age 17-25

every Monday, 27 September - 18 October


To read more and register for this event, click here


You can come to as many sessions as you like, and if you can’t attend any of them, contact us for other ways to get involved. To find out more, click here.









Training in Digital Patient Stories



Digital Patient Stories offers an effective approach to documenting and sharing patient experiences of care. We are currently offering free training to people who wish to help us record more stories.


This short course teaches people how to record and make digital stories, and will run every Tuesday in November from 6-7.30pm. Participants receive a free zoom recorder and software in exchange for recording four patient stories throughout 2022. All you need to take part is a PC/laptop, some basic IT skills and time.


To apply, please record a short introduction of yourself and your reasons for applying, and complete a short application form. Email these to the Patient and Public Engagement team (email address is included on application) by Tuesday, 19 October.

To learn more and to complete your application, click here.







In your words:


'It cut through the myths and misinformation - excellent, and well done to you all.'


'Many thanks for a great experience which I personally found extremely beneficial.'


'It was fascinating to have the opportunity to see the MRI scan of the heart as I had an MRI scan myself just yesterday, though not of the heart! '


'It is so good to know how AI will advance and improve diagnosis and enable targeted treatment in the future.'

Adult inpatient experience: survey results and future improvements


Wednesday, 3 November

6.30pm – 7.30pm

Online- MS Teams

To register,  please click here.


The Patient and Public Engagement Team at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals invite you to join them for a presentation on the results of the Care Quality Commission’s 2020 Adult Inpatient Survey and a discussion about future patient-initiated improvements. This survey, running since 2002, looks at the experiences of adults that have been an inpatient and plays a vital role in helping us determine areas where we can improve inpatients’ experiences at our hospitals. While the team is excited to share the positive feedback received from this year’s survey, they are even more keen to involve you in helping them determine how we can improve the experience of our adult inpatients in the future. Join us to learn more about our performance, how you can get involved and help us shape the future.


The role of our nurses: strategy proposal and an opportunity to share your feedback



Wednesday, 13 October

11am – 12pm

Online, MS Teams

To register,  please click here.


Join us to learn more about the role of nursing within the Trust and the proposed strategy set to launch in early 2022. A lot has changed since the nursing and midwifery strategy was last refreshed including the ongoing impact of Covid-19, a growing digital agenda and the merger with Guy’s and St Thomas’. While many members of staff have engaged in the strategy review process, we are keen to hear from you, our patients, who will know first-hand the vital role our nurses play in providing excellent and compassionate care for patients.

Following a presentation by Nicola Nation, Senior Nurse, you will be given the opportunity to ask questions and encouraged to share feedback.


Event recordings


To view recordings of previous member events, please click here.

Please note the recordings for the members’ event Artificial Intelligence and for the Annual Public Meeting will be uploaded later this month.

Meet John Bradbury–

one of our patient governors


What is your connection with the Trust?

As with much of life, not necessarily planned. Somewhat unexpectedly, I spent five months in Harefield Hospital in 2017 before undergoing a heart transplant in August of that year. Obviously, it is impossible to put into words my gratitude to the donor and their family.  Although there were a few challenges in that period, two things really stood out. The first was the actual hospital building (which although somewhat old in parts has very interesting features) along with the amazing grounds which I could walk round with other patients once well enough. The second, and more important thing, was the care and empathy provided by staff at the hospital from nurses and doctors to those cleaning, making beds and bringing meals.


What motivated you to become a governor? 

Essentially the old cliché of trying to give something back...however modest. While it is important to be aware of the limits of the governor’s role, I think they provide valuable insight and input into strategic and other key decisions. As a Patient Governor I try to reflect the concerns and questions that patients raise. Overall, I want to help ensure that the world leading work in cardiac and respiratory medicine and surgery continues and thrive as part of the expanded Trust.


What Council of Governors Committees or working groups will you be contributing to and why?

The Royal Brompton and Harefield Clinical Group is the key one for me, particularly at this important time for both hospitals having recently joined Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. I also attend the Quality and Performance Board Committee which has highlighted the size of the expanded Trust, the range of medical disciplines it covers and the complexity of the issues it faces.





Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity


Staff, patients, supporters and celebrities celebrate the opening of Harefield Healing Garden


In September the Harefield Healing Garden was officially opened with an event to mark eight years of fundraising, planning, designing and planting. Hospital staff, patients and supporters came together to enjoy the beauty of the new garden on a warm September evening.


The Harefield Healing Garden offers patients, their families and the hospital’s staff an accessible quiet, calm space, filled with beautiful plants and trees to rest and recuperate in. The garden looked especially beautiful with the flowers in late summer bloom.


To read more about the garden and to learn how you can support the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity, click here.   

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

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