18 December 2014
The Prince of Wales has today (18 December) met patients and staff at Royal Brompton Hospital in his first official engagement as patron of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
Prince Charles visited Foulis Ward to meet patients cared for at Royal Brompton’s adult cystic fibrosis centre and to speak to clinicians involved in providing specialist treatment. The Prince also met support staff involved in the day-to-day running of the unit, which is one of the largest of its kind in Europe.
After unveiling a plaque to commemorate his visit, The Prince of Wales, said: “I am so delighted to have a chance of visiting the hospital and the unit here, which I know does such wonderful work on the cystic fibrosis front, but also I am so proud to become patron of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in its 50th anniversary year.
“I wanted to use this opportunity not only to salute you all for the work you do, but also to wish all those who I know are doing such good work in finding better and better answers to dealing with this condition, every possible success in the future.”
One of the patients introduced to the Prince was 25-year-old chemistry graduate Nicholas Mason, from Sussex, who is currently on his fourth admission of the year and has spent almost a third of 2014 in hospital.
Nicholas explained to Prince Charles that his lung function has dropped to about 20 per cent and he therefore needs to carry an oxygen cylinder everywhere he goes.
Nicholas said: “The Prince was very interested in the genetic cause of cystic fibrosis and I explained that both of my parents carried the gene, but had no way of knowing this until I was born.”
The Prince of Wales also met Chris Pickton, 24, from Feltham, who has been hospitalised three times this year after contracting mycobacterium abscessus, which is a particularly dangerous bacteria for patients with cystic fibrosis.
He talked to Prince Charles about the need for cystic fibrosis patients to have a high calorie diet and the many lifelong treatments required to manage the condition.
Chris said: “I was very much looking forward to meeting Prince Charles. He was very easy to talk to and interested about cystic fibrosis and the continued advances in treatments.
“The Prince asked about what I can and cannot eat and I told him I can eat anything – almost like an anti-diet.”
Royal Brompton Hospital was home to the UK’s first adult cystic fibrosis service, which was established in 1965, by Sir John Batten, to provide treatment to the increasing number of patients living with the condition into adulthood. Since then, Royal Brompton has been responsible for the introduction of many treatment innovations that are now regarded as routine and was a model for the development of other centres in the UK and Europe.
Today, the multidisciplinary team, which includes consultants, specialist nurses, dietitians, physiotherapists, clinical psychologists and pharmacists, provide expert inpatient and outpatient care to almost 700 adults and 350 children and their families.
Dr Su Madge, consultant nurse in cystic fibrosis, said: “The Prince of Wales was genuinely interested in the specialist work we do at Royal Brompton. He was knowledgeable about available treatments and asked patients about living with and managing the disease.
“Cystic fibrosis is not necessarily a well-known condition, so to welcome Prince Charles to our unit, where he met staff and patients, is a great help in raising the awareness of this life-limiting disease.”