As a specialist heart and lung hospital, we made a number of changes across our private and NHS services to ensure we could support the NHS response to the COVID-19 pandemic and keep all our patients safe.

 

 

 

 

 

We helped increase capacity and saved lives

As well as our Trust’s NHS services, we re-purposed some of our private patients facilities and re-deployed select members of our team to swiftly create the necessary capacity for the Trust in March 2020.

This helped provide treatment to some of the sickest patients affected by the virus at our specialist centre, whilst maintaining an operational service for our private patients.

With our combined capacity and the skills of our specialist teams, we helped many COVID-19 patients recover and return home to their loved ones, and continue to do so.

 

We increased ECMO support

As one of only five ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) centres in the UK, patients with the most severe respiratory failure were sent to us from other NHS Trusts.

In a video produced by Channel 4 News, viewers were taken behind the scenes to see how the sickest patients are treated with this game-changing life support technology. It takes over the function of their heart and lungs to help them recover from the virus.

In response to the pandemic, we have tripled our ECMO capacity to the highest in the country – and intend to increase it further still.

 

Below is some wonderful feedback of our Trust's ECMO service:

I will encourage our local teams to do it like the Brompton. Despite the pressure the [ECMO] teams are under, they displayed excellent patient care, helping with the transfer and maintained a friendly demeanour under the PPE. The reception we received from everyone was frankly outstanding. Given the pressure the staff must be under I was amazed at how friendly, caring and happy the entire team were. This was a shining example of care and efficiency.

 - Acute care medical director for South Western Ambulance Service, UK.

 

We discovered and advised

The Trust’s involvement in the RECOVERY (Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy) study continues to support the global research efforts to find effective treatments.

Our experts recently discovered a strong association between the infection and the development of blood clots in the lungs, leading to new NHS England treatment guidelines.

Our consultants also provided and continue to provide regular COVID-19 advice throughout the pandemic to help protect public health.

 

We maintained private services

We have developed innovative ways to continue providing much needed private patient care.

New video consultation service
Our remote video consultation service mirrors face-to-face clinics with our consultants, to keep your patients safe. We have also contacted all major private medical insurers to ensure these consultations can be covered during this time.

Diagnostics and outpatients always available
77 Wimpole Street, our dedicated outpatients and state-of-the-art diagnostics facility, has always been and continues to be a ‘green zone’ during the pandemic. This means that we have put in place a range of stringent measures to keep patients safe so they can continue being assessed and treated in-person, including for cancer and neurology diagnostics.

Harefield Hospital is a dedicated cardiac centre
As of writing, Harefield Hospital remains one of only two dedicated cardiology hospitals in London. In addition to our resident experts at the hospital, our consultants from Royal Brompton Hospital continue to attend clinics and perform urgent procedures here (whilst Royal Brompton remains a COVID-19 centre).

 

And we will continue

The pandemic is not over yet and won't likely be for some time. As a private patients service, we will continue to support the NHS to treat all COVID-19 patients who need specialist care, whilst ensuring our private patients can continue their heart and lung treatment with us.

As the infection can leave patients with ongoing respiratory and cardiac issues, our consultants and physiotherapists have already helped many private patients with their rehabilitation.

For further details about what services are currently available, please contact the customer services team on +44 (0)20 3131 0535 or email privatepatients@rbht.nhs.uk