Posted on Thursday 14 February 2019
People have shared their views about improving cardiovascular (heart) and respiratory (lung and breathing) services for patients in London, southern England and beyond at a series of recent engagement events, including one at Guy’s and St Thomas’.
Since November 2017, King’s Health Partners has been working with Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust on proposals to change how care and treatment is provided for adults and children with heart and lung disease.
Over the last two weeks, five patient and public engagement events were held online and at sites across the three partner NHS trusts - Royal Brompton & Harefield, Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trusts.
More than 100 patients, carers and representatives of charities attended these events, with their feedback helping to inform the ongoing development of the partnership’s proposals.
At the event at Guy’s Hospital on 6 February, attendees including patients, parents and children heard from Dr Sara Hanna, Medical Director of Evelina London Children’s Hospital and Professor Richard Beale Consultant Intensivist and Associate Medical Director at Guy’s and St Thomas’.
It was a lively and energetic session, and attendees brought a wide range of helpful insights and views to the discussion. For example, they told us about the importance of consistency in terms of the team caring for them and also raised issues about how we might improve the way the current network works. Some felt that GPs would be better able to support them closer to home if they received more training in managing patients with cardiac and respiratory conditions.
Others said that while they welcomed the opportunities presented by new technology, we should move forwards carefully, taking the views and needs of patients into account. Many raised the importance of emotional support, and there was feedback about the importance of building any new facilities with this in mind. Issues around travel were also raised.
Patients were keen to get involved with the design of any future new buildings or sites to increase user-friendliness, with the Cancer Centre at Guy’s held up as a best practice example of this.
We would like to thank all those who attended the events, as well as all staff who were involved. We will be holding further engagement events over the upcoming months to continue the conversation about our proposals.
A patient and public reference group has also been set up for the partnership. The group is made up of charities, representatives of patient groups and individual patients, parents and carers, and will continue to advise and inform the partnership as its work progresses.