Ruislip Residents' Association

Harefield Hospital

This world renowned heart and lung hospital is a few minutes drive from Ruislip.  Its reputation for clinical excellence is second to none, despite its old buildings.

There are plans to rebuild the hospital on its present site, but that lies a long way ahead.  It is part of the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and we obtain regular reports on that Trust’s Board Meetings held in public

Judicial Review!

At the Board Meeting on 30th March 2011 the Chairman, Sir Robert Finch, spoke at length about the review  ('Safe and Substainable') of paediatric cardiac surgery in England carried out by the Joint Committee of PCTs which has recommended that the Trust's children's heart surgery should be discontinued. This recommendation is now open for consultation.

If childrens cardiac services stop at Royal Brompton there is a very real threat to the future of the whole Trust.

If the recommendations were implemented the Trust would suffer a 10% reduction in income (£28 million) and this would result in the need to reduce staff by a similar amount as it would impact on many other services currently provided by the Trust.

The Trust believes the 'process' of reaching these recommendations was severely flawed, it has initiated legal proceedings and is seeking a Judicial Review challenging the legality of the consultation.

Other issues:

MRSA: Only one case this year - one below the target of two.

Clostridium  Difficile: 14 cases this year – 10  below the target of 24

Finances:  Month eleven produced a surplus of £3.0m against a forecast of £5.0m.  Excluding the Project Diamond funding, the year to date underlying deficit is £5.4m.  Against the Cost Improvement Programme (part of The Financial Stability Plan) £8.6m has been delivered against a plan of £10.2m. Forecast end of year delivery is now £10.1m against a target of £11.5m.

The preparation of the 2011/2012 budget is well under way.The current indication ( without any Project Diamond Funding which is likely to be very small if any) results in a potential deficit of £5.273m. 2011/2012 is likely to be a very challenging year.

Published on 31 March 2011


Bob Bell informed the meeting that the Trust had now fully met the conditions required for the payment of Project Diamond Funding and had received confirmation that it would therefore receive the full sum for the current year,£9.1 million. It has already received £5.1 million.

The 2011 - 2012 Financial year will be extremely challenging and the Trust is facing a £28 - £30 million reduction in it's income and cost increases, comprising:-

A tarriff reduction of £8m, Project Diamond reduction £7.5m, cost increases of £7m,and commissiong uncertainties of £7m.


a) Clinical

MRSA . Only one case this year, which is one case below the target trajectory of two.

C DIFF.  Eleven cases this year which is nine cases below the target trajectory of twenty.

b) Financial

The year to date, month nine, has produced a surplus of £0.5m against a target deficit of £1.4m thus a favouable variance of £2.0m. However this is after the receipt of £5.1m Project Diamond Funding. Excluding the Project Diamond funding the year to date underlying deficit is £4.6m.

Against the Cost Improvement Programme (part of The Financial Stability Plan) £6.1m has been delivered against a plan of £7.8m , a shortfall of £1.7m. Forecast end of year delivery is £9.6m, a shortfall of £1.9m.

The Financial Stability Plan also includes £8.6m of increased income contribution.

Published on 05 March 2011


After three years of planning and rebuilding, Harefield Hospital’s five operating theatres are all on the ground floor, two of them brand new rebuilds and three of them fully refurbished. 

An Open Day was held in November 2010 to let Harefield staff and invited guests see the changes.  The Community Voice was allowed to make a video and to interview Nick Hunt, Services Development Director,  and Jackie Burbidge, Service Manager, Theatres.  See the video on our website, soon.


These  included:

a)  The extremely spacious new theatres, with equipment suspended from the ceiling, touch screen controlled.

b)  The interactive wall panel in the area where patients wait to undergo surgery -  a soothing lake with a fisherman waiting for a “bite”, cyclists in the distance, a ballon drifting across the sky, dragonflies and butterflies hovering - where birds sing, cows moo, ducks swim and fish jump out of the water –  all remotely controllable by the patient at the touch of a hand-held device.

c)      The beautiful urn created by Grayson Perry after visiting the hospital – with surgeons in theatre garb, surgical instruments, couches etc for decoration -  most generously donated for auction to benefit the hospital and now lent  by generous new owners for display outside the Harefield theatres, where it excites much admiration.


We have this wonderful hospital on our own doorstep!  It is of huge benefit to local people.

Published on 05 March 2011


The meeting, in the Concert Hall at Harefield was well attended and the new loudspeaker system worked well. Bob Bell outlined why the Trust is at the forefront of heart and lung services and research.  It has 440 beds across two sites, with 310 cardiac beds – many more than other centres in UK and abroad.  Its workforce comprises 2,800 people, with one of the largest group of specialist consultants in the world.  The Trust has the largest artificial heart programme in Europe (ventricular assist device), with the most sophisticated CT scanner in Europe, scanning the entire the chest in 0.6 seconds.  It also hosts the most advanced lung research in Europe. 


The Trust has a strong research tradition, particularly with Imperial College, but it collaborates with many hospitals across the world.  Its size is a major asset as this brings more experience, better services and more specialist  procedures than any other centre in England.

The Trust’s annual turnover exceeds £270 million.  In the last Care Quality Commission ratings it achieved ratings of Excellent for both financial management and quality of services.  It has had no cases of MRSA for the last 22 months and its standardised mortality rate is 68 against a national average of 100.  It has much of which it can boast!


Major redevelopments are planned for both sites, with consultation  expected next year.  However there are challenges ahead including the current £20 billion gap in the NHS finances.  Withdrawal of Transitional Research funding has had significant impact on this research-led trust.

Another interesting speaker was Dr Miles Dalby, who explained that before 2004 Harefield received patients only through referrals from other hospitals, but then it developed primary angioplasty.  This deals with heart attacks by insertion of a balloon into the heart to free the clot, allow it to be removed and a stent inserted, to support narrowed blood vessels.  Harefield prides itself on its rapid time from patient’s arrival to insertion of the balloon – the fastest time in Europe. Dr Dalby explained that this is superior to the earlier treatment of thrombolysis, (clot busting drugs)  which does not work for all patients. Harefield’s new service started in Hillingdon but now encompasses most of NW London, Hertfordshire and most recently parts of Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, treating over a thousand heart attacks a year.

Other interesting speakers explained the value of the Trust’s Arts Programme - which benefits both patients and staff, as well as raising funds – and drew attention to the Trust’s need for outside charitable funding if it is to carry forward its ground breaking research tradition.



Published on 02 March 2011
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