Our campaign to prevent Mildmay Hospital from closing
Mildmay has been granted another temporary extension to our contract to treat homeless patients referred from hospitals across London.
We hope the contract will be renewed in April 2021.
See our blog for any further updates
Prince Harry formally opened our new hospital in 2015
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 63,000 signatures!
Let's get to 75,000!
Sign our petition
Please sign our petition to let Matt Hancock know that Mildmay Hospital needs to stay open
We were set to deliver our petition to Downing Street on March 25 2020, 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.
Diana visited 17 times in both an official and personal capacity, in the 1980s and 90s.
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.
The #SaveMildmay Campaign
Patients living with HIV might lose their vital specialist services if the controversial closure of Mildmay Mission 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 remains the only specialist hospital in Europe providing neurological rehabilitation for people with HIV.
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.
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.
In 2020, doctors, patients, MPs and campaigners called on the Government to grant Mildmay enough funding for another year, while new sources of income could be found.
A reprieve, of sorts:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mildmay has been granted a temporary contract extension until April 2021 and is playing its part to help ease the burden on NHS hospitals.
Mildmay Hospital is now admitting both HIV and step-down homeless patients (on our Homeless Pathway, piloted in 2020) to ease the burden on NHS Hospitals, despite the contract funding arrangements not yet being finalised.
This has given us the opportunity to treat people who are homeless or rough-sleeping as well as continuing to care for HIV patients as we have been doing for over 30 years.
We are still 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 we run out of money, we will simply have to close Mildmay Hospital.
Frequently asked questions
Why is it so important to #SaveMildmay?
Mildmay is a charity, not 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 (see Ada's story) or, in some cases, the harmful effect of some of the early HIV medications.
Why is Mildmay under threat of imminent closure?
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.
When did you first find out about the possible closure?
We have been in dialogue for nearly three years, but it became a reality in October 2019 as we saw our patient numbers and our finances dwindle past the point of sustainability.
Why has the NHS said it will no longer fund the hospital?
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.
What do you believe will happen to prospective patients?
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.
What will happen to the hospital's facilities?
The charity's new hospital building, opened only in 2015, will be sitting empty and so we will do our utmost to try and find a use for it.
Please donate to support our campaign
Help us save our hospital.
Mildmay's Homeless Pathway
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.
Advice on dealing with Coronavirus COVID-19
Our registered charity number is: 292058