I have had a busy week – close to tears twice but for very different reasons. 

Tuesday was a wonderful occasion. Our two Singing for Breathing choirs (Harefield and Royal Brompton) got together to give an amazing concert performing a very special piece which was created by Victoria Hume, who is so talented. It cleverly interspersed little spoken snippets from people in the choirs voicing their thoughts about their respiratory condition with singing the words. This created an inspiring performance which captured just what this fantastic Singing for Breathing programme means to our respiratory patients – it has, quite literally – transformed their lives.  So one minute you would have someone saying I can’t join the choir because I can’t sing and the next minute, that would be sung, in harmony and in the round by the very people who said they couldn’t sing. It really did bring people close to tears but they were tears of admiration and emotion.  And didn’t that choir smile? What a way to spend an evening and in the beautiful surroundings of the Royal College of Music.  Thank you Karen Janody, Victoria Hume, the singers themselves and all the rb&hArts team for lifting our spirits. 

Wednesday saw us welcome donors to Harefield Hospital to launch our newest campaign, Transforming Your Care. Director of Nursing Joy Godden spoke about the ambition describing how the paper system which is used now can inevitably be tedious and time consuming. But Royal Brompton and Harefield want to be at the forefront as always, so in comes a new digital platform which records all the vital information quickly and sends out alerts about a patient’s condition to the appropriate clinician – the time saved is going to be fantastic.

Joy talked movingly about the nurses who work at these two world class hospitals. Many of you will have experienced their care. This new programme which the Charity is supporting will enable nurses to devote more time to their patients which is what they desperately want to do. We are so proud to be part of this new programme and our guests on Wednesday night loved it too. We had a fantastic array of donors in the audience from someone who had a lung transplant but had just completed the London Marathon, to someone who had climbed Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the hospital. Not forgetting Ray Duffy who cycled across Australia and the queen of daring – Rhonda Davis who at the young age of 80 is taking part in Europe’s fastest zip wire to raise funds for this new platform. Rhonda is not doing this alone. She is joined by her doctor (how often does that happen??) and our very own fundraiser Sallinder Rai, and I will be there to cheer them on. Please sponsor Rhonda – it’s going to be quite a challenge and deserves your support; however much you give will be very greatly appreciated. Visit her fundraising page here.

And finally, yesterday we held the Memorial Service for Professor Tim Evans – much loved doctor, leader, Trustee, as well as being a family man. He will be so missed. It was a wonderful service followed by a reception where a great many of his friends, family, colleagues and mentees came and shared memories.  Thank you so much to everyone who has given to the Memorial Fund set up in Tim’s name to fund two amazing Fellowships here at Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust.