Posted on Thursday 11 September 2014
Kelle Bryan, Baroness Estelle Morris and Professor David D’Cruz
Eternal pop star Kelle Bryan and Baroness Estelle Morris yesterday (Wednesday 10 September) proudly named the Lupus Unit at St Thomas’ Hospital as a Centre of Excellence.
The accolade, from charity and patient group Lupus UK, was given to the Louise Coote Lupus Unit in recognition of its excellence in caring for patients and researching new treatments.
Lupus is a potentially fatal disease in which sufferers’ immune systems attack healthy cells, tissue and organs. The Lupus Unit at Guy’s and St Thomas’ is the largest of its kind in Europe and sees 1100 new patients each year.
Professor David D’Cruz, consultant rheumatologist, says: “We are absolutely delighted to be named as a Centre of Excellence by Lupus UK. We are a small team that works tirelessly to help make life manageable for our patients who have such an unpredictable disease.
“We’re very grateful to both Baroness Morris and Kelle for joining us to celebrate our award. Their involvement in our work offers great support and continues to raise crucial awareness of Lupus.”
Kelle was diagnosed with Lupus in 1998. She has been treated at the Lupus Unit ever since, and has been a patron of the St Thomas’ Lupus Trust, the charity set up to support the clinical research activities of the unit, for more than 10 years.
She says: “The Lupus Unit is a haven for patients. The staff go way beyond the call of duty to help in any way they can. Their dedication, passion and tireless approach is inspiring.”
Kelle and her husband Jay recently won £20,000 for the St Thomas’ Lupus Trust after appearing on the hit ITV show All Star Mr and Mrs.
“As a young couple we hope to inspire others to be positive, have fun, and most importantly, increase awareness of Lupus,” she adds.
Yvonne Norton MBE, Vice-Chair and Trustee of Lupus UK, says: “Lupus UK does not give Centre of Excellence titles out lightly. We aim to assure patients that they are receiving excellent care from a medical team dedicated to providing the best possible treatment and enabling the patient to be as well and active as possible.”
Baroness Morris is a Trustee of the Hughes Syndrome Foundation, a charity set up to support people with Hughes Syndrome. This condition was discovered by Professor Graham Hughes who established the Lupus Unit at St Thomas’ in 1985.