So many people campaigned to ‘Save the Brompton Hospital’, but decisions were taken behind closed doors and as nothing will seem to change immediately, it is sometimes easy to forget the issues behind the campaign.

There is always fear when mergers and takeovers are suggested. It so often seems as if some of the most important people – patients and medical staff – are not really consulted. What is key here is the excellence of the Royal Brompton and its brilliant work with, among others, Imperial College on research is not undermined or damaged in any way. 

Speaking as a fiercely loyal patient, I am so grateful for the hospital’s care. I have just passed another hurdle on my path to fixing my heart! I needed to have a range of blood tests, a dental check, Lung Function Tests and a Cardiac MRI – all of which have been managed in these very challenging Covid times. I now wait to meet the highly regarded Mr Cesare Quarto – ‘world-renowned surgeon’, according to one of the MRI techs I met yesterday! So good to know!!  

I feel humbled and grateful that this care is coming to me from the NHS at a deeply worrying time for the country and the world at large. 

It is a time to reflect also on the importance of community and good neighbours. I have just set up a Good Neighbours’ Association for my local area. It is just a simple community organisation aimed at encouraging good neighbourliness. It will have communications at its heart. People always need information about ‘what is going on’ around them – and now more than ever.

I am also determined to make sure printed material is available as well as digital. It frustrates me when insufficient attention is paid to people who do not have easy access to the internet and are not on email. They are described apparently as ‘digitally excluded’! One of the current expressions that I find somewhat irritating. I know, call me old-fashioned. But print is still ok in my book. 

I have a big reading pile set aside for enjoying over the ‘very quiet’ Christmas period ahead. I love my Kindle for its convenience but I also love a proper book. I am currently deriving much enjoyment from Fake Law – The Truth About Justice in an Age of Fake Law by the Secret Barrister  – well worth reading. I also have Barack Obama’s A Promised Land.

I had wanted to invite people in the neighbourhood for Sherry and Mince Pies on Christmas Day, but obviously, that has to be put on hold. 

My warmest greetings to all and may 2021 be a happier, healthier and better year all round. 


Battles Lost But Not Forgotten