We are fundraising £45,000 to support the Foulis Ward Education Project through our Young Patients Appeal.

The Hospital School provides teaching for younger children on Rose Ward. At the age of 16, patients at Royal Brompton Hospital transition from the paediatric medical team on Rose Ward (as well as other paediatric wards from other hospitals) to the adult team on Foulis Ward for their care.

Young patients who are born with or develop serious heart and lung conditions can endure prolonged and recurring stays in hospital. For example, patients with cystic fibrosis may have several admissions to Royal Brompton  for at least two weeks at a time on average. Disruption to education for these patients is common and can have negative effects, including academic under-achievement, social and emotional difficulties and less employment and earning potential.

Until recently, education on Foulis Ward was only provided on an ad hoc basis and on the goodwill of Hospital School staff. With some initial funding from the Monday Charitable Trust, we secured additional teaching hours and post 16 education support. With your help, we can extend education provisions to our young patients, at this pivotal stage in their life, to ensure they can take their next steps with confidence.

Donate to the Young Patients' Appeal

Maria, who has been a Royal Brompton patient since she was 13 years old, said:

I was frequently admitted in hospital and have spent several Christmas and Easter holidays with them. They gave me the motivation required to not give up. Not only they helped me to pass my exams or educate me in algebra or literature, but their guidance taught me patience, love, sympathy, and kindness. Values that helped me to become who I am today… The school is a fundamental part of my life and your contribution aids to the improvement of many children’s lives.

The Hospital School works closely with a patients’ home school to provide young patients a full curriculum and fill gaps in teaching which might occur through hospital visits or ill health. It is also a registered exam centre, reducing the worry patients might have about missing exams they had studied hard for.

Chronic diseases and their management can have a negative impact on a student’s attendance. The teaching team are well placed to understand the strain this can place on a pupil and can communicate this clearly with advice and supportive strategies to a patients school, sixth form or college.

Ben Lewis, site manager and careers advice and guidance leader, said: “Even though we have seen a drive for mainstream education and society as a whole to have a greater understanding of the impact disability can have on social mobility, there still remain many barriers in post 16 education.

"This is especially the case for young people and adults living with complex chronic medical conditions that affect them physically, often also taking a toll on their mental health and wellbeing. There are many instances where colleges will look to remove a student from their studies simply due to their attendance and performance having been significantly impacted by their health. For this reason, the hospital school will advocate on behalf of the young person and family when required to ensure they remain on role and continue receiving the education they are entitled to."

The Hospital School often support young patients’ educational needs from a primary school age right up until they are ready to join the workforce. This continuity of teaching, guidance and peer to peer support, which is often lacking particularly for people with cystic fibrosis, became even more vital in the pandemic. The Hospital School quickly set up an online platform that provided teaching, career education advice & guidance and extra curricular art and crafts sessions to ease feelings of isolation and low mood.

Jo*, who has been a Royal Brompton patient since they were a few months old, said:

At the beginning of lockdown, the school quickly put into place Microsoft Teams, at first I was unsure on how it would work, but was surprised and happy that with help and encouragements from the Hospital School Team I was able to use the software with ease. Technology has been a great way for a distance community to stay connected, but face to face contact is still very important for a patient’s wellbeing.

Online teaching has provided a wealth of opportunity. Sessions are more convenient for patients, it’s easier for the school to check in on students when they are not in the hospital and has allowed for extension of the service to outpatients. “No one wants to be defined by a medical condition or held back - nor should they be. It is the Hospital School’s mission for children, young people and adults (including their families) to receive the right educational support/advice at the right time and new learning opportunities when circumstances change so as to help them with achieving their chosen ambitions in life, just the same as anyone else. Our bespoke service uplifts our students and would not otherwise be available anywhere else.” Ben said. 

In this video, hear about the achievements Jake, Ciera and Ellie, who all have cystic fibrosis, have had with support from the Hospital School.

Help us create more life defining opportunities for young people by donating to the Young Patients’ appeal.

Donate to the Young Patients’ appeal