My first ever protest march was a terrific success – not due to me, but due to almost 2,000 people who came to voice their opposition to the ridiculous and outrageous NHS England proposal to close the congenital heart services at Royal Brompton. It was one of the most moving events I have ever been part of. Families came from all over the country and from all walks of life.

We, the three Charities involved – Brompton Fountain, Friends of Brompton and our own Charity – wanted the day to be upbeat and positive. We didn’t want to whinge and whine – we wanted to celebrate this fantastic hospital, and the world-class service it provides its patients. And this is exactly how the day went. Our speakers included Baroness Sally Morgan, Chair of the Foundation Trust, Greg Hands MP and Dr Mike Rigby, who has saved lives at Royal Brompton for three decades. He recognised a great many patients who had joined us for the day, first knowing them as tiny babies and now as adults living full lives. And our final speaker was the amazing and wonderful Baroness Betty Boothroyd, former MP and House of Commons Speaker, who has been a patient here for many, many years. She spoke in forthright terms about how damaging and useless this proposal would be if it were to become a reality. At the end of her rousing speech, she called on her Parliamentary past and asked the thousands of people present to shout 'AYE' to her call to oppose NHS England’s destructive proposal. It was a very loud response – let’s hope Jeremy Hunt MP heard and comes to our rescue. 

Thank you to everyone who came. Thank you to our amazing marshals and helpers, especially the staff and volunteers who stayed behind to help us. 

The pictures say it all, so do take a moment to have a look.

And talking of pictures – take a peek at these. 

I should have been a builder really – I love donning a hard hat and hi-vis jacket and clambering over scaffolding poles. I was bowled over by the progress of our emerging Intensive Care Unit extension and Scanner Centre at Harefield today, which I witnessed in the rain! There is something very emotional and special about watching a building take shape, when you know you have made a difference. If you have bought a brick or contributed to our appeal to support the Intensive Care Unit and Scanner Centre at Harefield, then you are a truly special person. When the plan came together, before the budget committee, to build this state-of-the-art new wing, it was just too expensive for the Trust to take on at this difficult time for the NHS. So, we, the Charity, stepped in and said we would raise £1.1m towards the cost. We are well on the way to reching that target, thanks to you.  I was told that the building will need 40,000 bricks – please do consider buying one as every pound takes us closer to our goal. Thank you.

Occasionally, we organise tours of the site for some of our special donors. It is our way of saying thank you to those who have significantly helped us in reaching our goal. If you would like to know more, please contact [email protected]