Since February 2020, we have been overwhelmed by the whole-hearted support of the public for our campaign to keep Mildmay open.
Our petition quickly gained traction and we now have over 60,000 signatures!
Let's get to 75,000!
We were set to deliver our petition to Downing Street on March 25, but circumstances changed as the UK rapidly succumbed to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Media coverage of the #SaveMildmay Campaign, both in print, TV and online, has been incredibly helpful helping us share our story.
The Campaign was picked up by Reuters, which meant that #SaveMildmay went global, with our story being reported as far away as Canada and Taiwan.
What is happening at Mildmay during the COVID-19 pandemic?
To find out how Mildmay is managing to treat patients with COVID-19, our HIV patients and developments with our new Homeless Pathway, read this update by our Chief Executive, Geoff Coleman.
Patients living with HIV might lose their vital specialist services if the controversial closure of Mildmay Hospital goes ahead
Due to NHS funding pressures, the doors might close at Mildmay - London’s only HIV hospital, made famous by Diana, Princess of Wales when she visited regularly in the 1980s and 90s
Prince Harry, continuing his mother's passion, opened Mildmay’s new hospital in 2015 and it is still the only specialist hospital in Europe providing neurological rehabilitation for people with HIV.
The cost of keeping Mildmay open, around £5m a year, is a tiny fraction of the overall NHS budget, and the cost of treating HIV patients in other parts of the NHS are more expensive.
Doctors, patients, MPs and campaigners have been calling on the Government to grant Mildmay enough funding for another year, while new sources of income can be found.
Despite medical advances in the treatment of HIV and AIDS since the disease first came to the public’s attention in the 1980s, there are still a significant number of HIV patients in urgent need of the services Mildmay provides.
NHS doctors say that this treatment will be required for years to come and they want to keep referring patients to us.
Even though treating patients at Mildmay actually costs less in than NHS hospitals and its highly-skilled doctors, nurses and therapists are experts in specialist HIV care, sick patients are not being transferred from London’s NHS hospitals and are potentially blocking beds that are urgently needed by other patients.
We are lobbying MPs and government ministers to persuade them that Mildmay’s unique services should be commissioned directly by NHS England, like other specialist services already are, but time is running out.
Mildmay is a charity providing NHS services and not an NHS Trust, when it runs out of money, it will simply have to close.
Mildmay Hospital is now admitting both HIV and homeless patients (our new patient pathway for 2020) to ease the burden on NHS Hospitals, despite the contract funding arrangements not yet being finalised.
This has given us the opportunity to pilot our homeless pathway as well as continue to care for HIV patients as we have been doing for over 30 years.
Despite being at risk of closure, we continue to care for sick and vulnerable people as we have been doing for over 150 years.
Mildmay is a charity rather than an NHS or private hospital. It is classified as providing specialist services to the NHS. We are the only UK hospital which provides specialist care for people suffering from HIV-related illnesses and we maintain a pool of expertise and knowledge that is unsurpassed in Europe.
Senior clinicians and HIV support services across London and the UK confirm that there is a high demand for Mildmay’s services amongst people living with HIV. Nearly half of people newly diagnosed in 2018 (43%) were diagnosed late - meaning that their immune system had already been damaged, and they are 10 times more likely to die in the 12 months after diagnosis.
There is also a continuing need for the HIV population as they grow older, both because of the damage the virus has done to their bodies over time or, in some cases, the harmful effect of some of the early HIV medications.
NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are currently the source of funding for Mildmay's patients, but they themselves are cash-strapped and we have been unable to agree on a funding arrangement for Mildmay, leading to a reduction in referrals by specialist HIV clinicians. People are instead referred to alternative community services and this is resulting in increased pressures elsewhere in the system or bed-blocking, which is ultimately more costly.
It is fair to say that it has been difficult for CCGs too, having to deal with Austerity for ten years.
We have been in dialogue for nearly two years, but it became a reality in October last year as we saw our patient numbers and our finances dwindle past the point of sustainability.
It hasn’t said so directly. But the severe reduction in patient referrals to Mildmay has effectively cut off the charity’s primary source of funding.
People will have to spend longer in acute hospital beds before being discharged into the care of community services that are already operating beyond capacity – without any recourse to specialist services that focus on their specific needs, as only Mildmay does.
People with advanced HIV-related conditions won't get our specialist care and a chance to recover enough to lead a relatively normal life in the community. They will be at greater risk of prolonged and irreversible mental and physical disability, and even death.
The charity's new hospital, only opened in 2015, will be sitting empty and so we will do our utmost to try and find a use for it.
Help us save our hospital.
As long as we can survive the current NHS contract funding issues that threaten our mid-to long-term future and are at the heart of the #SaveMildmay campaign, we will continue to care for this cohort of people who are extremely vulnerable.
This new work is takes place alongside our important, ongoing work with HIV.
Our registered charity number is: 292058
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