I have often written that no two days are the same in this job, working alongside NHS colleagues in these two world class hospitals. Earlier this week I was invited to see some of the equipment which needed replacing at Harefield Hospital. The NHS does keep hospitals working -  of course - but if, like Harefield, you strive continually to be the best, you want the latest kit which make treating patients easier and safer with excellent results. Achieving this is a challenge and where our Charity works to play a pivotal part in supporting Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals.  

Little did I know that Monday morning, that I would have such an extraordinary day. I thought we would walk around the hospital, looking at various pieces of equipment, being told what a difference the latest model would make if only the money was available. I say 'we' as I was with Sallinder Rai who many readers will know, as our super fundraiser based at Harefield. And to prove we were there, and were able to see truly behind the scenes, here is a picture of us in our scrubs.  

The Harefield operating theatres and catheter laboratories perform extraordinary miracles. We saw - happily from a bit of a distance - a coronary bypass operation. The skill behind such an operation is amazing, but our colleagues were taking it in their stride and the patient will be up and walking about within just a few days.  

Sallinder and I learned about the huge fleet of equipment which enables the clinicians to undertake their life-saving procedures - some costing just a couple of thousand pounds, some going up to £25k and more.  Sometimes donors give to a specific piece of equipment and it is possible to have a small plaque placed on or near the piece of kit in these operating theatres to thank the donor - who, in turn, is probably thanking the hospital for saving their life. It is not often a donation can make such an amazing difference at the very place where a patient-donor was actually treated. If you would like to know more about how you can support our appeal to replace, bit by bit, step by step the equipment in Harefield to enable our fantastic clinical teams to continue to be at the top of their field, please contact either me, or Sallinder Rai [email protected] for a conversation and even a visit to come and see the equipment in question. I can't promise you will see an operation but I can promise you would make a difference to the lives of thousands of patients.  

We are just about to launch a very special appeal at Royal Brompton to buy more ECMO equipment - getting ready for winter when retrieving very poorly patients to put them on ECMO reaches the busiest time. All is getting ready for the launch, with a gathering of people who will help us, along with several ECMO survivors on Thursday September 5th from 6pm. If you would like to know more about this launch and perhaps come and join us, do let me know. Yesterday I chatted with Claire Buckle, Matron on the paediatric ward and I told her about our ambition to buy more ECMO equipment. She calmly said that they had three babies on ECMO at that moment. Can you imagine it? These tiny babies on this equipment which takes blood out of the body, reoxygenates it and returns it to the patient? Without this procedure, the patients would almost certainly die - with it, they will recover.  

Can you tell that I think this is an amazing job?