I am always really proud of the charity team, but this week I am especially glowing. We (well Philip McCarthy and Karen Taylor – I can take no credit) have secured £33,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to put towards our celebrations at Harefield to mark its centenary. This is really splendid. I am not sure if I know of any other NHS charity which has secured HLF before now so we may well be the first. There are so many stories which are emerging about the last 100 years of Harefield Hospital. It has an extraordinary history, from its roots treating wounded Australian soldiers in WWI, through its tuberculosis years, and on to being a pioneering heart and lung transplant surgery centre (led by the iconic Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub). Today it continues to be trailblazing, carrying out more heart, lung and dual transplants than any other UK hospital. Alexander Fleming studied at Harefield, and the world’s longest surviving heart transplant patient is a Harefield patient – and what a wonderful character John Mccafferty is.
One of our first events to mark this extraordinary year is a reception at Australia House on Thursday 16th April. With music, speeches and, of course, sumptuous surroundings, this is going to be a very special evening – do come and join us.
Royal Brompton has always been a ground-breaking hospital, especially in research into respiratory diseases. Professor Eric Alton is leading some extraordinary new trials to find out more about how to treat the life-shortening disease cystic fibrosis. Would you like to enter this amazing world of revolutionary research for an hour, hearing from Professor Alton on the latest medical developments? Join our Audience with Professor Eric Alton on Thursday May 28th.
And last but by no means least, did you join us for our first ever London Bridges Walk last year? Not only did we have a beautiful walk and raised funds for our important charity, but we really stepped out and felt the benefits of getting fit. It was a lovely day last year and in June this year we are doing it all over again – I hope we have the same stunning weather! Book your places now.
Yesterday, the Prince of Wales met patients and staff at Royal Brompton Hospital in his first official engagement as patron of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
Prince Charles visited Foulis Ward to meet patients being care for at Royal Brompton’s adult cystic fibrosis centre and to speak to clinicians involved in providing specialist treatment. The Prince also met support staff involved in the day-to-day running of the unit, which is one of the largest of its kind in Europe.
After unveiling a plaque to commemorate his visit, The Prince of Wales, said: “I am so delighted to have a chance of visiting the hospital and the unit here, which I know does such wonderful work on the cystic fibrosis front, but also I am so proud to become patron of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in its 50th anniversary year.
One of the patients introduced to the Prince was 25-year-old chemistry graduate Nicholas Mason, from Sussex, who is currently on his fourth admission of the year and has spent many months of this year in hospital.
Nicholas explained to Prince Charles that his lung function has dropped to about 20 per cent and he therefore needs to carry an oxygen cylinder everywhere he goes.
Nicholas said: “The Prince was very interested in the genetic cause of cystic fibrosis and I explained that both of my parents carried the gene, but had no way of knowing this until I was born.”
Royal Brompton Hospital established the UK’s first adult cystic fibrosis service in 1965, to provide treatment to the increasing number of patients living with the condition into adulthood. Since then, Royal Brompton has been responsible for the introduction of many treatment innovations that are now regarded as routine and was a model for the development of other centres in the UK and Europe.
Today, the multidisciplinary team, which includes consultants, specialist nurses, dietitians, physiotherapists, clinical psychologists and pharmacists, provide expert inpatient and outpatient care to almost 700 adults and 350 children and their families.
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