Member events

Members are invited to attend monthly educational webinars run by our experts. These events focus on health and wellbeing topics relevant to heart and lung care.

We do our best to record our member events so they can be accessed by those who may not be able attend. Event recordings can be found here.

Upcoming events


Peer Leadership Development Programme (online)

The Personalised Care Group, NHS England and NHS Improvement believe that the only way to ensure the NHS meets everyone’s needs, is to involve people who use NHS services, especially those who are living with a long-term health condition, disabled people and family carers. They have developed a three-step programme to develop peer leaders to work collaboratively with the system to shape and influence how heath and care is delivered.

Steps 1 and 2 of this programme are suitable for a wide audience who are eager to learn more about how the NHS works and the role of personalised care. These steps are completed online. Step 3 is a combination of self-paced online and four all day group facilitated online sessions focused on personal development.

The programme is free and members who complete steps 1-3 will be considered as candidates for the Peer Leadership Network at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals. This network will help shape future patient led engagement in collaboration with the public and patient engagement group. 

How to register

To register to take part in the programme, please click here

Contact us

If you would like further information about an event or to understand more about becoming a member please contact:

Nancy Dickinson
Corporate governance & membership manager
Telephone: +44(0) 20 7352 8121

Learn how to become a Trust member

Past Member events

Waiting lists

Date: Wednesday, 6 March 

Jon Findlay, the Trust’s Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive , shared how the Trust is dealing with outpatient and inpatient waiting lists. This was an excellent opportunity to hear how our Trust is responding to one of the primary challenges faced by the NHS.

Governors Awareness Session

Date: Tuesday, 27 February

In advance of the upcoming elections to the Council of Governors, participants heard from some of the Trust's current governors who shared what it means to be a governor, the skills required and how the election process works, including timelines. Members are eligible to stand and encouraged to consider this valued and highly rewarding opportunity. To read more about being a governor, visit the Guy's and St Thomas' website.

Post-transplant life and the 'big C'

Date: Monday 12 February

This session was the next in our series of webinars initiated by and for heart and lung transplant patients, their families and carers.

Participants got to learn more about navigating life post-transplant and addressing a crucial aspect – cancer risks.

Transplant patients are at a higher risk of  cancer due to the immunosuppressant medication needed to prevent rejection.

This webinar provided insight into which cancers are most common among heart and lung transplant patients. Expert speakers guided participants through preventative measures, what screening is available/ recommended and what red flags to look out for.

Presenters included specialists in GI cancer, skin cancer and haematologic malignancies, as well as general oncology.

Watch the recording

Introduction into research and development

Date: Wednesday 7 February 2024

This seminar provided an overview of the directorate’s structure, key challenges, and strategic objectives, followed by a Q&A session where speakers answered questions from members. Further webinars are being scheduled including one focused on heart and lung research, date and agenda to follow.

Annual Public Meeting, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

Date: Wednesday, 13 September 2023

Event speakers included the Trust Chairman Charles Alexander, our Chief Executive Prof Ian Abbs, and our Lead Governor John Powell. The meeting featured updates on the Trust’s work over the past year and our priorities for the year ahead, including the launch of our new Epic electronic health record system and patient portal. There was also an opportunity for participants to submit any questions.

Improving experiences of care for patients, families and carers

Date: Monday, 26 June

The session enabled attendees to learn how their ideas can help us make our hospitals a better for place for patients, families and carers.

Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital Charity provides support to Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals to improve patient care, focusing on things that are beyond what the NHS are able to fund, through the Patients’ Fund. Webinar participants:

  • Learned more about plans for patient experience, improvement, and involvement
  • Heard about the work of Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity and what it can and cannot fund through the Patients’ Fund
  • Shared ideas for great care, which could potentially become projects to be funded by the Patients’ Fund
  • Learned how they can join the Patients’ Fund Committee, the decision-making panel which awards the grants twice a year.


  • Alex Padilha, Grants & Impact Manager, Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity
  • Karen Taylor, lead for Patient and Public Engagement, Heart Lung and Critical Care Clinical Group
  • Leah Mansfield, Patient Governor, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

Empowering Patients: the Trust’s new patient portal and digital health record

Date: Thursday, 15 June

Epic, a new electronic health record (EHR) system will be launched this autumn. The webinar showed how this most ambitious programme will help empower patients to get more involved in decisions about their health, transform the way we deliver care and bring unique opportunities for research through better data capture, patient-driven service improvements and greater efficiency.

Presentations included an introduction to MyChart, an online patient portal and mobile app which offers patients personalised and secured access to manage and view information about their care at our hospitals and at community services. 

This webinar offered participants a unique opportunity to hear how the changes will improve patient experience and to ask questions before the new system goes live.


  • Wajid Hussain, Chief Clinical Information Officer, Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals
  • Andrew Wilkinson, Programme Director, Ambulatory Transformation, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

You can watch a recording of the event here.

Getting involved in Patient Experience and Improvement

Date: Thursday, 27 April

Understanding and involving patient, family and carer-lived experience is an essential component for improving our services.

Peer leaders Lindsey Stedman and Jude Irvine led the session which enabled attendees to learn more about:

  • improving family and patient-centered care
  • supporting and training for involvement of patients in quality improvement
  • the role of our patient and public engagement group and how to join
  • opportunities for involvement

You can watch a recording of the event here.

On the road to transplant

Date: Monday 27 March

Drawing on the experience of transplant patients, this webinar brought together experts from the disciplines patients and their families may meet on the road transplant.

This webinar answered the many questions patients and family members often have and also covered important topics that may yet not be on their horizons.

“When John (double lung transplant 2021) and I sat down to discuss topics for this webinar, it became clear that the knowledge we had at the start of our transplant journeys overlapped in some areas and was wildly different in others. Working with closely Dr Vicky Gerovasili (transplant consultant at Harefield Hospital), we came up with the subject areas we believe are key for both those already on the waiting list and those for whom transplant is likely. It’s what we wish had been available to us when we were told we needed transplants.”

Clare Lauwerys, Lung Transplant 2008

You can watch a recording of the event here.

Living well with heart failure

Date: Thursday, 23 March

Our multidisciplinary team of experts covered aspects of living with heart failure from causes, symptoms, treatments and medications to patient choices, how to live well with heart failure and where to find out more. This webinar was co-designed with patients, for patients and we were delighted to welcome Nick Hartshorne-Evans, founder and CEO of Pumping Marvellous Foundation, the UK’s patient-led heart failure charity, who chaired the event.

You can watch a recording of the event here.

Leading developments in quality, equity and efficiency of patient care

Date: Wednesday, 8 February

The session covered how several of our clinicians are leading developments in risk stratification to successfully address issues of quality, equity and efficiency of care. Risk stratification is the process of assigning a risk status to patients then using this information to direct care and ultimately improve overall health outcomes. Consultant cardiologist and lead for cardio-oncology, Dr Alexander Lyon and Dr Antonis Pantazis, consultant cardiologist and clinical lead for cardiomyopathy presented their work in this area and what this means for the future of patient outcomes.

You can watch a recording of the event here.

Joint Programme for Patient, Carer and Public Involvement in Covid Recovery – lessons learned and what’s next

Date: Thursday 24 November

In 2021/22, people and organisations in south east London have come together to set out how the NHS can improve the way it provides virtual access to care, supports patients on waiting lists and treats patients with long COVID. The Joint Programme for Patient, Carer and Public Involvement in COVID Recovery has worked with London South Bank University (LSBU) to understand how different aspects of the pandemic have affected patients, their carers and health professionals, and what lessons can be learned and solutions developed to improve patient care and experience.

The process was co-designed and delivered with patients, carers and health professionals.

This webinar discussed what was learned during this joint programme and what next steps are planned.

Innovations in Fetal Cardiology

Date: Thursday 17 November

Our health and wellbeing webinars focus on the latest research, new treatments and new innovations. This is a great opportunity to find out from our experts what we do to improve the life of our patients. There will be three short presentations on different aspects of this topic; after which time has been set aside for speakers to answer any questions members may have.

The presentations will include:

Artificial Intelligence to improve prenatal screening for congenital heart disease

Dr Thomas Day, Clinical Research Fellow, King’s College London & Honorary Consultant

Fetal and Paediatric Cardiologist, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

The use of extended reality for planning cardiac procedures

Professor John M Simpson MD FRCP, Professor of Paediatric and Fetal Cardiology

Fetal cardiac MRI: research insights and clinical applications

Dr David F A Lloyd, Consultant in Paediatric and Fetal Cardiology and Dr Pushparajah Kuberan, Consultant in Paediatric Cardiology.

Focus on sleep

Date: Tuesday 11 October

Lack of sleep not only adversely affects daytime activities due to trouble concentrating, low mood and irritability, but it can also damage your health. Join us to hear from Dr Alanna Hare, consultant in sleep and respiratory medicine, who will discuss the importance of sleep, diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders and updates on the latest research.

You can watch a recording of the event here.

How the pandemic has shaped our response to healthcare challenges and an update on the vaccination programme

Date: Wednesday 21 September

Join Dr Richard Grocott-Mason, Chief Executive Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals, for a discussion on how the Trust’s responses to current healthcare challenges have been shaped by the pandemic. Participants will also hear from Professor Nick Hart, Consultant Physician in Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine, Research & Development Office and Dr Ali Hashtroudi, Clinical Director and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Guy’s and St Thomas’ about the vaccination programme, including boosters.

The event was not recorded but presentations are available to view here and here. Information on the slides are accurate as of September 2022.

Life after transplant

Date: Monday 1 August

Vicky Gerovasili, consultant in respiratory and transplant medicine, and some of our patient members held an informative discussion for transplant patients, their carers and their families. The speakers covered 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.

You can watch a recording of the event here.

Sarcoidosis patient day

Date: Thursday, 28 April

Hosted for sarcoidosis patients, this event was jointly held by Royal Brompton Hospital and SarcoidosisUK, a UK charity that supports people with sarcoidosis and leads medical research into the condition. Patients had the opportunity to hear from specialists at Royal Brompton Hospital and from hospitals across the UK, who covered a range of topics, including: 

  • Sarcoidosis as a condition
  • Treatment for sarcoidosis
  • Specific forms of sarcoidosis 
  • Patient experiences of sarcoidosis
  • The role of multi-disciplinary teams in treating patients with sarcoidosis 
  • Research into sarcoidosis 

You can watch a recording of the event here.

Focus on Heart Failure

Date: Wednesday, 27 April

At this event, specialists from our heart failure team discussed how heart failure - a condition that develops when your heart become less effective in pumping blood around the body - can be prevented, how it is diagnosed, what treatment options are available and what future developments may come from current research and clinical trials.

You can watch a recording of the event here.

Physiotherapy and diet - rehabilitation and beyond

Date: Wednesday, 9 February

Members of our physiotherapy and dietetics team discussed how they work with clinical colleagues to support our heart and lung patients. Participants gained an insight into the importance of diet and exercise, practical advice on how to make appropriate choices and how to build healthy eating habits and exercise, including breathing exercises, into their routine. 

You can watch a recording of the event here.

Focus on Pulmonary Hypertension

Date: Thursday 20 January

Giving an insight into pulmonary hypertension (PH), Dr John Wort, consultant and the clinical lead for the pulmonary hypertension service at Royal Brompton and Harefield, discussed symptoms, diagnosis, novel treatments and current research concerning the condition. The PH team at Royal Brompton Hospital works closely with colleagues at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and the only charity in the UK supporting people affected by the disease, Pulmonary Hypertension Association, UK

You can watch a recording of the event here.

Health and wellbeing with the Mind & Body Programme webinar

Date: Wednesday 8 December

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and the Mind & Body Programme hosted a online session about how we support the health and wellbeing of our patients and staff.

Katy Lowe and Jackie Waghorn from the Trust’s mental health team, together with the Mind and Body Programme team, outlined some of the innovations we have introduced at Guy’s and St Thomas’ to support the mental health needs of patients. 

Improving heart and lung care workshops - feedback event

Date: Tuesday, 30 November

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 improve heart and lung services for patients.

We have been working with Verve Communications and Playing ON theatre company to run a series of online workshops where we asked patients, carers and families to share their views on heart and lung care.

This event aimed to share the findings from these workshops. It was an opportunity to hear what patients, carers and families told us about their care, and to see some of the creative work that children and young people have been doing with Playing ON.

Cardiac sarcoidosis patient day

Date: Wednesday 17 November

This event, hosted by Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals and Sarcoidosis UK, was been created specifically for cardiac sarcoidosis (CS) patients and their carers. The programme included three sessions of patient-centred talks from a line-up of leading specialists.

Online patient event: exploring pulmonary fibrosis

Date: Thursday 11 November

Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals and Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis invited 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, spoke on a host of topics, including different forms of pulmonary fibrosis, how they are diagnosed and treatment for pulmonary fibrosis.

Adult inpatient experience: survey results and future improvements

Date: Wednesday 3 November

The patient and public engagement team at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals invited patients 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.

Online patient event: debunking the myths around Covid-19, vaccines and sarcoidosis

Date: Thursday 28th October

Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals and SarcoidosisUK invited patients, their carers and healthcare professionals to join a free virtual event that aimed to debunk the myths around Covid-19, vaccines and sarcoidosis. Topics included: vaccines (types, efficacy, and role of immunosuppresion), efficacy and safety of Covid-19 vaccines, and sarcoidosis and Covid-19.

You can watch a recording of the event here.

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

A lot has changed since the nursing strategy was last refreshed, including the ongoing impact of Covid-19, a growing digital agenda and the merger with Guy’s and St Thomas’. This event was an opportunity for patients to learn more about the role of nursing within the Trust and the proposed strategy set to launch in early 2022. 

Annual Public Meeting 

Date: Wednesday 29 September

The Annual Public Meeting was an opportunity for Trust members, staff, governors and members of the public to learn more about the performance of the Trust over the last year and our plans for the future.  

A recording of the meeting will be available shortly. 

Artificial Intelligence: transforming heart and lung care

Date: Thursday 23 September

This event focused on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its role in helping to improve outcomes for heart and lung patients. Speakers spoke about the role of AI, it’s application in healthcare settings and how it will impact the future of healthcare. 

You can watch a recording of the event here.

Digital Patient Storytelling- an introductory workshop

Date: Tuesday, 21 September

Hosted by the patient and public engagement team, this event focused on digital storytelling - the practice of using technology and multimedia, such as video and voice recording, to share stories. Speakers spoke about the power of digital storytelling, how people can use it as a tool to share their stories and how it can help improve hospital services. 

Peer Leadership Development Programme (online)

Date: Thursday 29 July 2021

The Personalised Care Group, NHS England and NHS Improvement believe the only way to ensure the NHS meets everyone’s needs, is to involve people who use NHS services, especially those who are living with a long-term health condition, disabled people and family carers. They have developed a four-step programme to develop peer leaders to work collaboratively with the system to shape and influence how heath and care is delivered.

Steps 1 and 2 of this programme are suitable for a wide audience who are eager to learn more about personalised care and how the NHS works. These steps are completed online. Step 3 is a combination of online and group facilitated online sessions focused on personal development.

The programme is free and members who complete steps 1-3 will be considered as candidates for the Peer Leadership Network at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals. This network will help shape future patient led engagement in collaboration with the public and patient engagement group. 

An introduction to the Peer Leadership Development Programme

Date: Thursday 29 July 2021

Participants of this webinar were given overview of the Peer Leadership Development Programme, an innovative 4-step programme aimed at people with long-term health conditions and disabilities who could benefit from personalised care. Steps one and two of the programme are suitable for a wider audience eager to learn more about personalised care and how the NHS works. 

The Personalised Care Group, NHS England and NHS Improvemen believe it makes sense that the only way to ensure the NHS meets everyone’s needs, is to involve people who use NHS services, especially those who are living with a long-term health condition, disabled people and family carers.

You can watch a recording of the event here.

Movement and exercise, presented by Guy’s and St Thomas’ 

Date: Tuesday 6 July 2021

Guy's and St Thomas' hosted a webinar for members to learn how physical activity can improve your health, reduce your risk of developing several diseases and bring benefits to those with osteoarthritis. Speakers included Stephen Groves, advanced physiotherapy practitioner, Jade Sampford, specialist physiotherapist and Rashida Pickford, consultant physiotherapist. Hannah Dye, head of programmes, Breathe Arts Health Research and Alex Denning-Kemp, senior specialist physiotherapist, introduced participants to ‘Breathe Dance for Strength and Balance’, a programme that explores the impact of dance to improve strength and balance.

Respiratory symptoms: what could they mean?

Date: Tuesday, 15 June

Guy's and St Thomas' hosted a health seminar for members to learn about respiratory symptoms and what they could mean. The session was led by Amy Dewar, consultant in respiratory medicine, David Jackson, consultant respiratory physician and Rexford Muza, consultant physician in respiratory and critical care medicine, who discussed different aspects of the topic and took part in a Q&A.

Graft, grace and gratitude: Encounters with the Royal Brompton Hospital archive

Date: Thursday, 10 June

Giskin Day, a principal teaching fellow at Imperial College London, where she leads on medical humanities, spoke about her experiences working with material from the historic archives of Royal Brompton Hospital, and the findings of her research so far.


Date: Friday, 11 June

Mindfulness is the practice of being fully aware, present and engaged in the moment, without distraction or judgement. Sian Vincent, a member of our occupational health team, guided participants through practical mindfulness techniques that could be embedded into daily life.  

Carers Week 2021: Seated yoga by Yoga Tree 

Date: Thursday 10 June 

 Halina Rozensztrauch, yoga practitioner at Yoga Tree, led a relaxing session on seated yoga, taking participants through simple yoga techniques to help restore the body and the mind. 

Carers Week 2021: Planning ahead  

Date: Wednesday 9 June 

Kulbir Gill, bereavement and voluntary service lead for our patient and liaison service (PALS), led a session to highlight the importance of planning ahead and making provisions in the event of a death, to ensure patients' needs and wants are met. Subjects included: using a lasting power of attorney (LPA), choosing a next of kin, and making a will. 

Carers Week 2021: Benefits advice and support 

Date: Tuesday 8 June 

Patricia McNamara, benefits advisor at Royal Brompton and Harefield, led a session on the practical and financial support that carers and patients could have access to. 

Carers Week 2021: Digital exclusion 

Date: Monday 7 June  

The first session in a series of events for Carers Week 2021 focused on the rise of digital technology in healthcare provision in the Covid era, and the opportunities and challenges it has created for carers and patients. Participants shared their experiences of what has worked well, the issues they have faced, and what can be done to make technology more accessible. 

The role of genetic testing in diagnosing health conditions

Date: Thursday 3 June

Dr Deborah Morris-Rosendahl, consultant clinical scientist and head of the clinical genetics and genomics laboratory, talked about the significant role genetic testing plays in diagnosing suspected inherited cardiac and respiratory conditions. As she and her team celebrate the milestone achievement of analysing 10,000 samples of DNA, Dr Morris-Rosendahl also shared how genetic testing has enabled clinical teams across Royal Brompton and Harefield to diagnose conditions such as cystic fibrosis and inherited arrhythmia at an early stage, when treatment can be more effective.  

You can watch a recording here.

Employment and access to work webinar for Royal Brompton and Harefield patients, hosted by Brompton Fountain

Date: Wednesday, 26 May

 Rabia Lemahieu, from Disability Rights UK, presented a session on finding employment and access to work. 

Introductory workshop: help us transform heart and lung care

Date: Thursday, 13 May

The main purpose of this event was to give information about the partnership between Royal Brompton and Harefield and Kings Health Partners and its work, give an opportunity to participants to ask questions, and introduce the engagement events for patients and families. 

This event is the first in a series of events and is open to adult and young patients with a heart or lung condition, their carers and families, and others with an interest in heart and lung care provided by the partnership.

Covid-19 and the vaccination programme

Date: Tuesday 4 May 

With the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine dominating our news, Professor Nick Hart, clinical director for respiratory, sleep and critical care, and Dr Ali Hashtroudi, clinical director, occupational health and honorary senior lecturer, shared their insights into different aspects of the vaccination programme, including vaccine hesitancy. 

You can download the presentation slides here.

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

Date: Friday 23 April

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. This event heard from those at the centre of these developments, to help members better understand these changes and to share what other innovations are on the horizon.

You can watch a recording of the event here.

Be inspired, get involved

Date: Tuesday 13 April

At this event, we looked back over the past year to highlight some of the great work that our hospital staff, volunteers and supporters managed to achieve during a particularly challenging time. From art classes, singing and tree planting, to research, working groups and charitable activities, speakers shared how people have joined together to help make a difference, and how you can, too.

You can watch a recording of the event here.

Sarcoidosis patient day

Date: Thursday, 1 April

The first ever Sarcoidosis Patient Day took place on 1 April, hosted jointly by Royal Brompton Hospital and SarcoidosisUK. A virtual event, it was created specifically for sarcoidosis patients, with patient-centred sessions led by leading specialists.

You can watch a recording of the event here.

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

Date: Wednesday 24 March

Professor John Pepper, consultant cardiac surgeon and professor in cardiothoracic surgery at the National Heart and Lung Institute, imperial College London, led a session on why and how research is at the heart of our hospitals. He spoke about the latest heart and lung research initiatives and innovations, the role our hospitals are playing in Covid-19 research, and what projects are planned for the future. 

You can watch a recording of the event here. You can also download the presentation slides here.

Governor awareness: understanding the role of governor and how you can stand for election

Date: Friday 19 March

This event aimed to provide a better understanding about what it means to be a governor, the election process, and the skills required to do the role successfully. 

Staying afloat in challenging times

Date: Wednesday 3 March

Following the success of our last wellbeing event, we were delighted to welcome psychologists, Dr Victoria Singh and Dr Anne-Marie Doyle for our next event in this series. They shared recommendations on how to live with uncertainty and stay calm amidst these challenging times.

You can watch a recording of the event here

Covid-19 vaccines: your questions answered

Date: Wednesday 17 February

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. 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, presented the latest information about the national vaccination program and its benefits. They also answered a range of questions from members. 

You can watch a recording of the event here

Merger update and Q&A

Date: Tuesday 12 January

Hosted by the Trust's Chair, Sally Morgan, Baroness Morgan of Huyton, and Chair of the Membership Steering Committee and Patient Governor, Jeremy Stern gave members the latest updates on the planned merger between Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. They answered questions from members regarding membership when the merger takes effect on 1 February 2021.


Virtually Christmas

Date: Thursday 17 December
Location: online

The Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity hosted a virtual Christmas celebration in place of their traditional carol singing.

They welcomed Her Royal Highness, Princess Eugenie, who delivered a Christmas reading. They were also joined by the amazing Dame Sian Phillips, star of I, Claudius, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Strike. 

The event included readings from patients and staff, and carols from our wonderful patient choir Singing for Breathing, the beautiful Fortis Voices and Harefield Primary School choir.

Council of Governors meeting

Date: Tuesday 15 December
Location: Held virtually

On Tuesday, 15th December 2020, the Council of Governors of Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust approved a proposal from the Board of Directors to merge with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust with expected effect from 1st February 2021.

View the meeting agenda 

Understanding the spread of Covid-19

Date: Monday 14 December
Location: Held virtually

Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC) is working at the forefront of research and patient care during the Covid-19 pandemic. In this online event, two experts spoke about their research on detecting COVID-19 in the environment and how respiratory viruses like influenza spread and COVID-19 spread between people. 

Living well through Covid-19

Date: Friday 4 December
Location: Held virtually

The pandemic has changed life as we know it and many of us are experiencing feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, burnout and isolation as a result. Christianna Kyriacou, lung team psychologist, explored these common thoughts and shared tips on how to look after yourself, better understand what steps to take to ease the burden and what to consider in order to make informed decisions. Christianna was joined by Charlotte Hogben, ILD clinical nurse specialist, to answer participant questions.  

Covid-19: what current findings tell us

Date: Tuesday 24 November
Location: Held virtually

This was a unique opportunity for members to gain expert insight into the latest findings on how Covid-19 affects the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Professor Thomas Luscher, consultant cardiologist and director of research, education and development, chaired this discussion with Professor Susanna Price, consultant cardiologist and intensivist, and Professor Dr Brijesh Patel, honorary consultant with adult intensive care and a lead researcher for a number of trials and studies on Covid-19. Speakers shared their experience of treating patients with Covid-19 and discussed how the latest research findings could shape future treatments and improve patient outcomes.

A recording of the event can be found here.

Patient care: present and future  

Date: Monday, 16 November
Location: Held virtually

This event allowed attendees to learn how patient care at the Trust is being transformed. Chaired by Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, chief information officer, the discussion covered the Trust's plans and aims for the future of patient care and how these have been impacted and in some cases, accelerated because of Covid-19. Penny Agent, director of allied clinical sciences & patient engagement and Dr Antonis Pantazis were also present to share first-hand experience of how recent changes have transformed the way care is delivered and received. 

A recording of the event can be found here.

Virtual coffee morning for parents and children (0-12) with cardiomyopathy -Tuesday, 6 October

Date: Thursday, 6 October
Venue: Held virtually

The inherited cardiac conditions (ICC) nurse specialist team held a virtual (video) coffee morning for parents and children aged 0-12 years with cardiomyopathy treated for in our hospitals. Guest speaker, Ellie Quinn (genetic counsellor) delivered a talk and information surrounding genetics and cardiomyopathy. The event aimed to bring together families from the comfort and safety of their homes to connect, meet and support each other.

Merger update with Q&A - Thursday 1 October

Date: Thursday, 1 October
Venue: Held virtually

Hosted by the Trust's Chair, Sally Morgan, Baroness Morgan of Huyton and Chair of the Membership Steering Committee and Patient Governor, Jeremy Stern, members were invited to listen to the latest updates on the planned merger between Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust.

Virtual coffee morning - Thursday 6 August 

Date: Thursday 6 August 2020
Venue: Held virtually

Our first virtual members' coffee morning gave members the opportunity to learn more about Trust membership and how patients, their families and carers can support our work. 

Annual General Meeting of the Council of Governors and Members' Annual Meeting - Tuesday 14 July

Date: Tuesday 14th July 2020
Venue: Held virtually

The Annual General Meeting of the Council of Governors and Members’ Annual Meeting of Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust was held on Tuesday 14th July 2020. The main purpose of the meeting was for the Annual Report & Accounts 2019/20 to be presented to the Council of Governors and Members of Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust.

Download annual report and accounts 2019/20

Annual Members’ Meeting & AGM 2020 questions & answers

Tour of the hybrid theatre at Royal Brompton Hospital

Date: Wednesday 22 June 2016
Venue: Hybrid theatre, Royal Brompton Hospital

On Wednesday 22 June, 20 Trust members attended a tour of the hybrid theatre at Royal Brompton Hospital. This state-of-the-art facility combines the environment of an operating theatre with the imaging capabilities of a catheter laboratory and is used for treating patients with complex cardiac conditions.

Professor John Pepper, consultant cardiac surgeon, started the tour with a talk about how cardiac surgery has changed over the past 30 years. He explained that the hybrid theatre allows the Trust to offer more minimally invasive procedures, such as coronary artery bypass graft with coronary angioplasty, which involves inserting a stent via a catheter to treat a blockage in the artery. The hybrid theatre’s advanced imaging technology, operating table and integrated computer software work together, which means operations can now be planned in advance in unprecedented detail.

Members then visited the hybrid theatre where Karen Shevlin, cath lab and theatre manager, and Dr David Alexander, consultant anaesthetist, showed them how the theatre operating table can be changed from a surgical table to a cath lab table. They also demonstrated the x-ray machine, which can move 360 degrees in any direction. 

“The tour was excellent, from the initial talk to the final presentation in the lab,” said one member.

Tour of the primary ciliary dyskinesia unit, Royal Brompton Hospital

Date: Friday 22 April 2016
Venue: Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) unit, Royal Brompton Hospital

Trust members were taken on a guided tour of the primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) unit at Royal Brompton Hospital.

PCD is a rare inherited condition in which the cilia – microscopic hairs found in the nose and airways – fail to adequately remove bacteria and particles from the respiratory tract. This leads to recurrent infections in the nose, ears, sinuses and lungs. If untreated, it can cause lung damage. The treatment is physiotherapy to help clear the airways, and antibiotics to help fight bacterial infections.

PCD affects fertility in some people, and up to 50 per cent of patients also have dextrocardia (heart on the right side) and situs inversus (internal organs being on the opposite side to normal).

Dr Clare Hogg, paediatric respiratory consultant and staff governor, discussed the diagnosis and treatment of PCD. She explained that cases are higher in populations where marriage between blood relatives, such as first cousins, is common.

Screening for PCD involves measuring the amount of nitric oxide gas present in the nose and looking at cilia under the electron microscope and on high speed video.

Dr Hogg explained that the PCD diagnostic service at Royal Brompton Hospital, one of only three in the UK, has been nationally funded since 2006 and sees around 400 patients each year. After the talk, members were given demonstrations of the different electron microscopes that enable the medical team to look at cilia and diagnose PCD. “The tour was superb,” said one member. “The presentations were well thought out and given with an enthusiasm that made the subject come alive”.

Skeletal muscle in COPD – why bother? Professor Michael Polkey, Royal Brompton Hospital

Date: Friday 22 April 2016
Time: 2.00pm
Venue: CRF Education Centre, First floor, Fulham wing, Fulham Road, Royal Brompton Hospital

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a collection of lung diseases, including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease. People with COPD have difficulties breathing, primarily caused by the narrowing of the airways (airflow obstruction). 

At this event, Professor Michael Polkey, consultant respiratory physician at Royal Brompton Hospital, spoke about COPD and the effect skeletal muscle weakness can have on the condition.

Visit to the children’s sleep and ventilation unit, Royal Bompton Hospital

Ruth Wakeman describes the work of the children's long-term ventilation (LTV) unit
Ruth Wakeman describes the
work of the children's long-term
ventilation (LTV) unit​​​​​

Date: Thursday 8 October 2015
Time: 1.30pm
Venue: Children’s sleep and ventilation unit, Fourth floor, Sydney wing, Royal Brompton Hospital

A small group of Trust members enjoyed a guided tour of the children’s sleep and ventilation unit at Royal Brompton Hospital. The unit provides comprehensive evaluation and care for children with sleep-related breathing disorders, which may be caused by difficult asthma, muscular dystrophy, obstructive sleep apnoea or other conditions.

Felicity Gray, paediatric respiratory / sleep physiologist, began the tour by explaining the set-up of a cardiorespiratory polygraphy, a sleep study that monitors body functions overnight to detect if there are any sleep problems or breathing issues.

Using a dummy patient, Felicity showed the complex equipment patients have to wear during an overnight study, including two soft belts strapped across the chest to monitor chest movements, sensors placed under the nose to assess breathing and special sensors on the head to observe brain wave activity.

Each bedroom has a video camera and audio equipment so that clinicians can check patients visually and aurally (for snoring particularly) as well as via the sensor information.

After Felicity’s talk, the members split into two groups. Dr Hui-leng Tan, consultant in paediatric respiratory and sleep m.edicine, showed one group anonymised recordings and assessment information from previous sleep studies and explained the different types of sleep apnoeas and their symptoms. 

The other group met with Ruth Wakeman, advanced care practitioner in children’s long-term ventilation (LTV), who talked about the clinical support, training and education the LTV team provides to allow children who are dependent on ventilator support to be safely discharged home when they are well enough. In the past, children have stayed on the unit for up to 18 months, but new discharge pathways developed by the team have reduced this to as little as three months. 

The event received great feedback and members asked many questions throughout the tour.

Dr Mark MasonPacemakers in 2015 and what the future holds – Dr Mark Mason, Harefield Hospital

Date: Monday 8 June 2015 
Time: 3.30pm–4.30 pm
Venue: STaR Centre, Harefield Hospital

A pacemaker is a device that regulates the heartbeat and can help if someone’s heart beats too slowly. 

Dr Mark Mason has led the pacemaker device service at Harefield Hospital since 2001 and has seen huge, positive changes over the years. He described the history of pacemakers, how they are implanted, and talked about the latest pacemakers and future developments.

New pacemakers include:

  • A leadless pacemaker – a small implantable device that sends electrical pulses to the heart whenever it senses that the heartbeat is too slow. Leadless pacing devices are placed directly in the heart without the need for a surgical “pocket” and insulated wires (leads). They are very small –approximately 23mm long.
  • The subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD) – this subcutaneous (under the skin) device simplifies surgery. It has two main benefits over current devices – no leads are actually placed into the heart and removal or replacement is much simpler, reducing the potential risk of infection. These ICDs are particularly good for young patients who may have to have several ICDs implanted throughout their lives.
  • Implantable loop recorder – a subcutaneous, single-lead monitoring device used to diagnose patients with “unexplained” cardiac rhythms.

Dr Mason also explained developments in out-of-hospital monitoring:

  • Home monitoring of cardiac pacemakers allows Trust clinicians to observe a patient's heart rhythm over the internet, potentially reducing the number of hospital admissions.
  • Remote monitoring implants for patients with chronic heart failure alert doctors remotely to any decline in a patient’s condition even before symptoms are experienced. The microelectromechanical system (MEMS) is inserted into the pulmonary artery.

Members found the talk fascinating. One member commented: “The total hour-and-a-half talk was engrossing”.

Valerie Lapworth Diabetes and cardiovascular disease, Harefield Hospital

Date: Friday 14 November 2014
Time: 11am
Venue: STaR Centre, Harefield Hospital 

Valerie Lapworth, clinical nurse specialist in diabetes, began the talk with an explanation of diabetes, which is a common condition that happens when your body is not able to use glucose (sugar) and convert it into energy. This is caused by lack of a hormone called insulin. 

There are two types of diabetes: type 1, where there is complete absence of insulin or type 2, where the body is insulin deficient or the body is resistant to the insulin produced.

Diabetes is a significant problem in modern life; 3.2 million people in the UK have been diagnosed with diabetes. 

Diabetes is more prevalent in people of the Asian and African Caribbean ethnicity and it is becoming increasingly common for children to develop type 2 diabetes caused by diet and lifestyle.

In the UK, it is suspected that there are 630,000 people who do not know that they have diabetes and, if diabetes is left undiagnosed, complications occur.  The long-term complications are diabetic eye disease, kidney disease, nerve damage (particularly in the feet), stroke, heart disease and peripheral vascular disease.

Heart disease is the most common complication. Eighty per cent of people with diabetes will develop cardiovascular disease. 

Diabetes is expensive costing the NHS around £10 billion per year, which equates to 10% of the total NHS budget. One in seven hospital beds is occupied by a patient with diabetes and one in four people who are admitted to hospital with heart failure, heart attack or a stroke, has diabetes.

Risk factors of coronary heart disease, which are modifiable are: 

  • Diabetes
  • Inactivity
  • Elevated blood cholesterol
  • Excessive alcohol
  • High triglycerides with low LDL
  • Excessive stress
  • Elevated blood pressure 
  • Smoking 

Non-modifiable risk factors for coronary heart disease are: 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Race

Valerie explained that people with cardiodiabetes (the term being used to describe the two conditions together) are also at a higher risk of developing: 

  • Atherosclerosis (arteries clogged up by fatty substances)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Hyperglycaemia (high levels of sugar in the body)

Atherosclerosis leads to formation of plaques, which narrow the large and medium arteries. 

Poorly controlled blood sugar, high cholesterol and high blood pressure damage the lining of blood vessels. People with diabetes are more likely to have multiple risk factors that accelerate coronary heart disease, and tend to have more extensive disease affecting more vessels than those without diabetes. 

Research shows that improving dietary habits, managing weight, keeping active and using medications where required to help control risk factors like high blood sugar levels, cholesterol and blood pressure reduce the chance of developing cardiovascular disease. 

Throughout the talk, members were encouraged to ask questions. Feedback afterwards was very positive and members commented that the talk was interesting, informative and easy to understand. 

Catheter lab at Royal Brompton HospitalCardiac catheterisation laboratories' tour, Royal Brompton Hospital 

Date: Tuesday 16 September 2014 
Time: 1pm
Venue: Royal Brompton Hospital

Twenty-six trust members attended a tour of the cardiac catheterisation laboratories (cath labs) at Royal Brompton Hospital.  

Dr Simon Davies, consultant interventional cardiologist, started the tour with a talk about the history of cardiac catheterisation (angios). He explained that cardiac catheterisation was not a new procedure; it was first done in 1929 by Dr Werner Forssman – on himself! 

Dr Davies then described the different types of heart conditions treated in the cath labs. Examples of angiograms were shown with blockages in the coronary arteries being opened by coronary balloons and stents. 

Karen Shevlin, cath lab manager, and her staff divided members into two groups. The first group was taken to the cardiovascular biomedical research unit (BRU) laboratory and the second group to lab 2, which is used for paediatric procedures. 

In the BRU laboratory, members were shown the whole procedure of having an angiogram: how the patient is prepared (draped) to provide a sterile environment, the drugs used and how the X-ray equipment is moved by the radiographers. Members were given the opportunity to handle the different types and sizes of catheters, stents and plugs. 

The tour of Lab 2 demonstrated pictures on the X-ray screens with examples of congenital heart conditions both pre and post closure of the defects. They were also taken into the control room and shown moving images of a number of different cardiac procedures that are routinely carried out in the cath labs and were given the opportunity to “drive” the X-ray equipment. 

The groups then swapped locations so that all members saw both of these specialised areas. 

One member commented: “What an informative experience! Calmly explained, I would now have these procedures done with no fear."

Peter CollinsEasy ways to help women (and men) be healthy and live longer, Royal Brompton Hospital

Date: 19 May 2014 
Time: 2pm-4pm
Venue: Education Centre, Respiratory Clinical Research Facility, first floor Fulham Wing, Royal Brompton Hospital, London SW3 6NP

Over 20 Trust members attended this talk entitled “Easy ways to help women (and men!) be healthy and live longer” by Professor Peter Collins, consultant cardiologist at Royal Brompton Hospital. 

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women: 10 times more deaths occur from heart disease and stroke than from breast cancer. However, a lot of heart disease can be treated with lifestyle changes, medication and exercise. 

Professor Collins explained that whilst medicine can help you live longer, you can also help yourself by taking exercise, simply by walking for half an hour each day. The half hour can be done in a single sessions or broken into three 10-minute sessions. Exercise helps to maintain energy levels, lower total cholesterol, manage body weight, control the metabolic syndrome/diabetes and relieve stress.  

Heart disease occurring in women is very preventable and can be delayed. One of the problems is that heart disease starts when women are young and it then gradually worsens over the years, sometimes developing into a heart attack. Professor Collins explained that a heart attack (where a blood clot blocks an artery in the heart) can cause heart muscle death within 15 minutes so the sooner the clot is opened the better the result will be. 

The top three risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease are hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes and cigarette smoking. 

Throughout the meeting, members asked pertinent questions about heart disease, and following the talk, the membership team received some excellent feedback. Comments included: “the talk was interactive, practical and not too technical” and “the presentation was extremely informative and well presented.” 

Member event listening to a presentationAdvances in cardiomyopathy: what we are doing and where we are going – Dr Sanjay Prasad, Royal Brompton Hospital

Date: Wednesday 27 November
Time: 6pm 
Venue: Respiratory biomedical research unit, Fulham Road, Royal Brompton Hospital

On Wednesday 27 November 2013 over 30 Trust members attended a talk entitled “Advances in cardiomyopathy – what we are doing and where we are going” by Dr Sanjay Prasad, consultant cardiologist at Royal Brompton Hospital. 

Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle and a leading cause of heart failure. Dr Prasad explained the different types of cardiomyopathy: hypertrophicdilated and arrhythmogenic right ventricular. He also spoke about treatment for chronic heart failure, including prognosis, morbidity and prevention. 

One of the most important approaches for the successful treatment of cardiomyopathy is early diagnosis and, as the disease is often inherited, Dr Prasad and colleagues have started a cardiomyopathy clinic, where an entire family can be screened for the condition. Appropriate treatment can be given at an early stage, which helps those confirmed with the condition to live a full and active life. 

Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust is active in research in cardiomyopathy, which Dr Prasad agrees is the way forward in discovering the best treatments. For example, cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) has already proven a better tool for diagnosing heart failure caused by dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) than a standard angiogram. Dr Prasad showed images of several cases of cardiomyopathy, explaining their background and the differences between each.

Dr Prasad also talked about genetic research into cardiomyopathy where recent breakthroughs have been made; first in identifying a mutation in the Titin gene, which is found in one in four patients diagnosed with DCM, and second in the Trust’s involvement in a gene therapy trial for heart failure where five patients have had extra genes inserted into their heart muscle cells using a harmless virus. This is a worldwide trial and 200 patients will take part. So far 50 have had the extra genes inserted.

Several magnetic resonance images (MRI) were shown to the members and Dr Prasad explained that MRI together with genetic testing is used to provide more detailed information, particularly to see if there is scarring of the heart or if there is inflammation and thickening of the heart wall. Royal Brompton Hospital is the world leader in cardiac MRI and offers frequent assistance to international colleagues.

Peter Klinger Peter Klinger

Towards the end of his talk, Dr Prasad invited Mr Peter Klinger, a patient with cardiomyopathy, to the podium to talk about living with the condition, the symptoms of which he had first experienced as a child when he became breathless after the smallest exertion. 

He has been a patient at Royal Brompton for 10 years, and said the care and treatment he has received have greatly contributed to the good quality of his life now. 

Several members asked pertinent questions about the MRI images and were also keen to know how to improve the quality of life of patients with cardiomyopathy.  

Feedback from the talk, which was the second event in the Trust live members’ programme, was very positive. One member commented: “The talk was interesting, simple to understand and informative. The time flew by, I could have stayed listening all night.” 

Catheter lab Harefield HospitalCardiac catheterisation laboratories' tour, Harefield Hospital

Date: Wednesday 16 October
Time: from 2.00pm 
Venue: Cardiac catheterisation laboratories

This was the first member event in a new programme that will see Trust members invited to both hospital sites to gain knowledge and understanding of our work and specialisms. 

Cath labs, as they are known, are rooms with X-ray equipment where heart disease is diagnosed and treated.

More than 20 members attended tours of the state-of-the-art cardiac catheterisation laboratories at Harefield. Attendees met members of the cardiac cath lab team, and were taken in small groups to view the hospital’s specialist equipment.

The hospital's chief cardiac physiologist demonstrated the workings of the heart and the electrophysiology equipment.

Members were also shown X-ray equipment, catheters and stents used in procedures such as primary angioplasty.