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



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


      November 2021









Reflecting on Black History Month


October saw a medley of initiatives, events and programmes take place across the country – including at our hospitals – to celebrate and recognise Black History Month and the enormous contribution people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities have made to the UK.


As Black History Month drew to a close last week, the spotlight cast on BAME communities, on raising awareness about Black history, and on educating ourselves about BAME experiences, should not be eclipsed by the arrival of a new month – supporting the fight for racial equality continues.


In elevating the voices of our staff from BAME communities, we asked them to share their thoughts on what Black History Month means to them, the centuries-long contribution of BAME communities to healthcare, and how Black history can be recognised and celebrated beyond just one month. Read their responses here.


Annual Review film highlights staff dedication in ‘a year like no other’


Following the publication of the final Annual Review of the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust (covering the period between April 2020 and February 2021 – before our merger with Guy’s and St Thomas’), an accompanying film has been produced that captures what’s been described as a ‘a year like no other’. Watch the film here.







Cardiology team holds ‘lifesaving’ learning event for school children


More than 200 school children and teaching staff around the country attended Your Heart Hospital, a multi-site virtual cardiology conference, held in partnership with the British Cardiovascular Society.


The annual event, which was launched at Harefield, aims to ‘demystify’ what goes on in a specialist heart hospital and educate children and young people about the importance of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).


Dr Miles Dalby, consultant cardiologist at Harefield, who launched the event in 2006, said: “Central to our event has been to demystify what goes on in a heart hospital like ours. We want to enhance an understanding, within the community, about the causes, prevention and treatment of heart disease.


“A crucial part of the event is to help educate our attendees, particularly young people, about the importance of resuscitation training. Most cardiac arrests occur in the home or at work so learning how to do CPR and how to do it effectively could potentially save someone’s life.”




Royal Brompton clinician receives prestigious accolade


Royal Brompton consultant cardiologist and intensivist, Professor Susanna Price, has been awarded Honorary Membership of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM).


The highly prestigious award is given to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to both the ESICM and the speciality of intensive care medicine over a prolonged period.  The award is given to between only one to four intensivists across the world each year. The ESICM’s council nominates individuals deserving of the award each Spring, the list is then in-turn shortlisted by its executive committee and, where necessary, asks the council to formally vote for the most deserving winner. Only 38 intensivists in the world have received the prestigious honour since its inception in 2009. Read more.
















Harefield nurse wins rising star award


Julia Gangata, Harefield Hospital cath lab sister, has won a Royal College of Nursing (RCN) London’s Rising Star award. The awards are part of RCN London’s celebrations for Black History Month, with 14 winners from hospitals across the capital.


The Rising Star Awards recognise nurses and healthcare support workers from London’s Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) nursing community who have made an outstanding contribution to the capital’s health and care system.


The winners were recognised for championing culture change and acting as role models; educating and mentoring colleagues to create more inclusive and supportive working environments; and for using their own experience to bring about meaningful improvements in services for their patients, particularly patients from a BAME background.


Julia commented: “I feel honoured and grateful to have won the RCN London rising star award. Throughout the pandemic, our team has shown a lot of resilience and managed to adapt to the ever-transforming ways of working while putting patient safety and staff wellbeing first. This is a team that I am proud to belong to, which has learnt to embrace one another, providing the best quality care to our patients.”


Julia was nominated by cath lab manager, Sumesh Thiruthalil, for her extraordinary devotion throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.



Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) Day


The Trust marked Allied Health Professionals Day by thanking all of our outstanding AHPs for the exceptional care they provide to our patients.


AHPs work in a wide variety of roles across the Trust’s hospitals and community sites. They play a crucial part in treating, rehabilitating and improving the lives of our patients.


To learn more about the work AHPs do and how proud they are to be making such a huge difference to people’s lives watch this film.













Royal Brompton Hospital, St Thomas’ cardiology department, and Harefield Hospital in the top 120 centres in the world for cardiology care


Royal Brompton Hospital, St Thomas’ cardiology department, and Harefield Hospital have been identified as three of the best centres in the world for cardiology care by the American weekly news magazine, Newsweek.


Earlier this year, Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals joined Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, bringing three world-renowned cardiac centres together with the vision to revolutionise care for heart patients for generations to come.


The American weekly news magazine, Newsweek, publishes an annual ranking of the world’s best hospitals in a number of specialised fields. The ‘World’s Best Specialized Hospitals 2022’ identifies and honours the very best hospitals through a global survey of medical professionals (doctors, health care professionals and hospital managers). Only 12 UK hospitals made the top 250 for cardiology.


Royal Brompton Hospital was ranked ninth in the cardiology category – the only UK hospital to appear in the list’s top 70 and ranking one place higher than last year; St Thomas’ cardiology department ranked at number 75, and Harefield Hospital at number 119. Read more.



From blue skies to blue scrubs: a career change to the NHS


In February 2020, Alexia Epitropou was a business and first-class host in the cabin of an international airline. But once the Covid-19 pandemic began she, along with millions of others, were furloughed. Wanting to do her bit to help the NHS, Alexia joined Project Wingman – a volunteer scheme for furloughed cabin crew and pilots to offer support for NHS staff during their breaks from treating Covid-19 patients in dedicated lounges. One year on and Alexia is now a healthcare assistant (HCA) at the hospital she volunteered at, Harefield Hospital. Read more about Alexia’s story here.






In the press:


BBC interview


Royal Brompton Hospital patient and BBC journalist, Gem O’Reilly, has an inherited heart condition called long QT. She interviewed Dr James Ware, consultant cardiologist at Royal Brompton, on the perils of heart disease in young people, the importance of early diagnosis and how to exercise safely. Dr Ware explains that he and his colleagues created a personalised plan for Gem, and discussed the risks of exercising against the harms of not exercising for both her physical and mental wellbeing. “I’m confident we’ve done everything we can to support you in exercising safely.” The interview was played across BBC Breakfast and BBC World News.


The Guardian


World-leading NHS doctors are using “James Bond medicine” and cutting-edge technology to save the lives of people whose hearts collapse due to a rare and often fatal cardiac condition. Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals in London have begun sending teams of specialist medical personnel to hospitals in England and Wales to pick up patients who would otherwise die. People suffering from cardiogenic shock (CGS) are brought to Royal Brompton or Harefield hospital, which form one of Britain’s centres of excellence in heart medicine, in a last-ditch attempt to save them. Read the full article in The Guardian.











From our archives: Harefield and Frimley sanatoriums


After the Second World War, Harefield Hospital became a sanatorium for the treatment of tuberculosis – a condition which was claiming up to 60,000 lives a year in the early 1900s. Due to its position on one of the highest points in Middlesex, Harefield Sanitorium received an abundance of fresh air and sunlight, lending itself to the then popular ‘open-air’ method of treatment for tuberculosis, which supported patients with their recovery programme consisting of rest, open air, exercise and local food provided by the nearby farm, which remained an important part of the sanatorium until 1960.


Frimley Sanatorium, which was part of what is now Royal Brompton Hospital, followed a similar programme of recovery for treating patients with tuberculosis. Patients were encouraged to get out of bed for progressively longer periods to walk in the grounds and to assist on the hospital farm and orchards, on the basis that physical exercise would support their recovery. The exercise programme was believed to promote auto-inoculation against tuberculosis. This image shows patients at Frimley, c 1907, digging a trench for a garden bed on the hospital site.  To undertake your own research on sanatoria or the treatment of TB in post-war Britain, contact Barts Health NHS Trust Archives, where records of Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals are held.





Exploring Pulmonary Fibrosis

Thursday 11 November

10am – 3.30pm

Online via Zoom

To register your place, please click here. Please note: you will be redirected to an external site to complete registration.


Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals and Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis invite patients with pulmonary fibrosis, their carers and healthcare professionals to join a free virtual event, where respiratory experts from our interstitial lung disease unit, and patients and carers familiar with pulmonary fibrosis, will tackle a host of topics, including:

  • Different forms of pulmonary fibrosis and how they are diagnosed
  • Treatment for pulmonary fibrosis
  • Quality of life and pulmonary fibrosis
  • The future and research
  • Full details of the event programme and the line-up of speakers can be found here.

Patients, carers and families’ views on heart and lung care

Tuesday 30 November



To register, please click here.


Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, including Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals and Evelina London Children’s Hospital, and our partners King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, have been working on plans to change heart and lung services for patients.


Please join us to hear the findings from the workshops we ran throughout 2021 for patients, carers and families to share their views on heart and lung care. This event is an opportunity to hear what participants told us about their care and see some of the creative work that children and young people have been doing with Playing ON. 


Event recordings


Covid-19 and cardiac sarcoidosis- view recording here.

Artificial Intelligence: transforming heart and lung care- view recording here.

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


News and events from our charities


The Brompton Fountain




Brompton Book Trail

The Brompton Fountain team is delighted to launch the Brompton Book Trail, in partnership with the Royal Brompton Hospital Play Team. This scheme has been established to give new parents confidence when reading to their children on the ward. Over the course of six weeks, parents will receive three books and song sheets to go through with their child, for which they will receive support from the Play Team.


Webinar: Transition from paediatric to adult care

Thursday 18 November



This webinar is for young patients who will be transitioning from paediatric to adult care. It is an opportunity to hear from healthcare professionals about the steps involved, and to hear from those who have transitioned to adult services. Attendees will also be given the opportunity to ask questions. If you are a parent or carer of a young patient, or a young patient yourself, please register for this webinar via the following link.


Paediatric Remembrance Service

Sunday 7th November


This service will be held in honour of those children who have sadly passed away. Like last year, this will be a virtual service. We are grateful to all the staff who are supporting this event and especially those attending on the day to perform readings.


Annual Christmas Toy Appeal

Raising money for those spending the festive season at the hospital, we will be buying toys and funding treats, parties and special experiences for patients, their families, and staff. Visit our website to learn more.



Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity



This winter, Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity have a full slate of events that are both fun and support the work of our hospitals.


Quiz Night

Test your knowledge with brainteasers asked by our special celebrity guest and written by quiz guru Rich Warren. Tickets include a delicious dinner and there will also be a pay bar and a raffle. Click here to learn more.


Santa Dash

Santa Dash will be held online for the first time. Get involved with some Santa silliness by donning a Santa hat to raise funds for the hospitals. Everyone involved gets a hat and a chocolate finishers medal. Click here to learn more.


Save the date:


Harefield Hospital's Festive Fair

Tuesday 7 December

St Mary’s Church Hall in Harefield


Shop for Christmas treats and hand-crafted decorations while sipping hot chocolate. This event is free to attend and all the proceeds will go towards Harefield Hospital.


Carol concerts


Royal Brompton Carols by Candlelight

St Luke’s Church in Chelsea

Wednesday 1 December


Harefield Carols by Candlelight

St Mary’s Church, Harefield

Thursday 9 December


To buy tickets, or to find out more about our events, visit 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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