20.10.16 This week has not been the cheeriest. What is happening in the NHS right now is quite extraordinary. I sit in meetings where budgets are scrutinised and savings are made wherever possible and yet nothing is allowed to happen. This will jeopardise the fantastic patient care and treatment the service provides. No hospital is an ordinary hospital, and no patient is an ordinary patient. But I feel particularly proud of the two hospitals we support. The passion to treat our patients – many of whom are really poorly children and adults – and mend them and send them home governs everything. And what can we do here at the Charity to play our part? The income we raise is now more vital than ever. We still only fund projects and programmes that lie outside the remit of the NHS, but these are often completely pivotal to daily life. NHS budgets don’t stretch far enough to build a new Intensive Care Unit at Harefield or develop a world-class Genetics and Genomics laboratory. And to think that you and I, and our fellow fundraisers, volunteers and charity staff are making some of these projects possible is very moving. When I eventually stop work, in some years’ time, I will look back and say, “That was good. That was time well spent”. But I don’t have to wait until I stop work to say that – I can do it now. Working with our amazing Trustees to take big strategic decisions on the future and policy of the Charity is exciting. But so was picking raffle tickets out at our Heart & Soul evening, which raised a fantastic £5,000 thanks to all the supporters who came along. That’s 100 more bricks to build the Intensive Care Unit at Harefield. Those bricks will last for many decades. On that note, thank you to our Community Fundraiser Sallinder for a great event – I thoroughly enjoyed it! Showing our donors around the Genetics and Genomics Laboratory at Royal Brompton, and being able to thank them personally for their help and support to get this far was a great evening too. Well done to the Charity team who made it run so smoothly and to our hospital’s hosts, especially Dr Debbie Morris-Rosendahl and her team, and Karen Shevlin. If you received our newsletter, I do hope you enjoyed it. Please buy our Grand Winter Raffle tickets – all funds raised go directly to help our projects. If you haven’t received our newsletter and would like one, please let us know! Finally, will I be seeing you at our Carols by Candlelight Concerts at St Luke’s, Chelsea on Wednesday 7 December, and St Mary’s, Harefield on Thursday 8? These are both such beautiful events that raise such vital funds. With Christmas fast approaching, make sure you put them in your diary. Buy your tickets to the Chelsea concert here. Our Harefield concert is free of charge with a collection for the Intensive Care Unit. As you come and celebrate Christmas with us, you can feel great knowing you will also be helping our two outstanding, world class hospitals.