A new partnership to deliver world-class care for heart and lung patients

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Female patient with nurse

Plans to revolutionise cardiovascular and respiratory services for patients are intended through a partnership between Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and King’s Health Partners.

The partners have a united vision to create a global powerhouse for heart and lung medicine and research in London, providing the best possible patient care and experience. These intentions bring together the specialist skills and expertise from all of the organisations involved to create a centre of excellence for current patients and future generations.

Together Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and King’s Health Partners (the Academic Health Sciences Centre comprising Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts and King’s College London) would deliver world-class clinical facilities. This envisages the development of a new purpose-built clinical academic facility on the St Thomas’ Hospital and Evelina London Children’s Hospital site.

The partnership would also provide substantial investment to other sites within the organisations at King’s College Hospital and Harefield Hospital, to support the provision of high-quality care in a new network for patients across the south of England.

This exciting opportunity would:

  • deliver world-class clinical services from before birth through to old age for common and rare conditions on a local, regional, national and international level, offering new treatments
  • enable the organisations involved to deliver best practice care in modern facilities, making the best use of NHS estates
  • provide a large-scale service for adults and children with heart and lung conditions, offering outstanding outcomes and sustainable care within a collaborative network
  • allow the organisations to cement their place at the forefront of UK health research and build strong industry and commercial partnerships
  • train the next generation of clinicians and researchers, through extensive education including national and international training.

The partnership intends to align internationally renowned organisations that lead in the treatment and research of cardiovascular and respiratory conditions for adults and children.  Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and King’s Health Partners have a rich history of collaboration. For example, both institutions provide national services for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) therapy and they recently submitted a joint response to the national consultation on congenital heart disease services.

The scale and range of services offered by the collaboration would benefit patients on a regional, national and international level, directly reaching adiverse population of more than 12 million people.

By combining their assets in the new partnership, the organisations would be able to seek new opportunities to improve public health outcomes and economic growth, in alignment with the Government’s Life Sciences Industrial Strategy.

Services will remain focused on patients and their families and on partnerships with local and regional providers.

Bob Bell, Chief Executive of Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, says: “We believe there is the potential to transform heart and lung disease treatment and research in the UK. Our ambition is to reap the benefits of collaboration by working together across all  cardiac and respiratory specialist services for adults andchildren, in a powerful collaboration between Royal Brompton,  Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospitals, and King’s College London.

“This would be a UK first in terms of the scale of the partnership and the clinical, education and research benefits it could provide, rivalling the world’s largest centres, and becoming the most advanced cardiovascular and respiratory health system in Europe.  For instance, our congenital heart services and cystic fibrosis services would continue to offer care from before birth to old age, reflecting what we believe to be the best model for the delivery of a lifetime of specialist care, and crucially, our clinical and research teams built up over decades, would stay together.”

Professor Sir Robert Lechler, Executive Director of King’s Health Partners, says: “Cardiovascular and respiratory conditions affect patients of all ages, and much of the premature morbidity and mortality caused by these conditions is preventable or amenable to treatment. We have identified the potential to create a world-leading centre of excellence and network in cardiovascular and respiratory treatment and research. Our ambition is to create a service that can provide the best possible care to as many patients as possible, both now and in the future.”

Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, says: “We are excited to explore the potential benefits that this partnership could bring to patients of all ages. We believe that combining exceptional specialist services would not only build on our existing high-quality services to offer the best possible care for patients, but it would also give us an unrivalled opportunity to  carry out leading research on a larger scale, helping future generations of patients with cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. We look forward to working closely with Royal Brompton & Harefield and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trusts in the coming months.”

Nick Moberly, Chief Executive of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, says: “We know that working in partnership and sharing our expertise across organisational boundaries allows us to deliver even better patient care and outcomes. We believe that there is a real opportunity for us to rethink and transform how we deliver services to people with heart and lung disease right across southeast England. ”

Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and King’s Health Partners have started to explore what a formal partnership model will mean in practice for services, including benefits and opportunities across clinical services, research and education.  Regular progress updates will be provided on a quarterly basis.  The partnership model could conceivably extend to other potential partners.

Any proposals will be clinically led, developed in partnership with patients and stakeholders and will be subject to the approval of relevant boards and regulators, commissioner support and public consultation.

Last updated: March 2022

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