King’s media highlights of the year – 2017

03 January 2018 - Here is a selection of stories involving King’s from the past year

King's arch infront of Golden Jubilee Wing


In January there was coverage in the Southwark News about a twiddle mitt initiative that was launched across the Trust. To mark the launch, an event was arranged to get as many twiddle mitts knitted in one day - staff, patients and members of the public were all invited to attend.

Also in January, former chairman, Lord Bob Kerslake, published an opinion piece in the Observer about the challenges that the NHS is facing. Lord Kerslake highlighted the fact funding is one of the key areas that needs to be tackled, as well as rebuilding a service that has been fragmented, and investing in a proper infrastructure. He also highlighted the fact that the NHS has a lot to be proud about, and King’s in particular.


Following a media launch, there was extensive coverage about My MRI at King’s – a virtual reality application that uses panoramic 360-degree videos to allow children to experience what an MRI scan involves, and help relieve anxiety. Jonathan Ashmore, an MRI Physicist at King’s, worked closely with the Play Specialist Team to develop the application, so that the resource can be used with children before they go in for a scan. Coverage included pieces on CBBC Newsround, the BBC News and the Evening Standard.


In March, Channel 4 Dispatches spent a day filming in the Emergency Department at Denmark Hill, speaking to several members of staff. The programme looked at whether Brexit has had an impact on staffing levels in the NHS.

Following the attack on Westminster Bridge on the 22 March 2017, there was significant coverage - across local, regional, national and international outlets - of King’s involvement in the response to the incident. Coverage included a piece in The Guardian, where Dr Emer Sutherland, Clinical Lead for the Emergency Department, explained how King’s prepares for major incidents.

There was also coverage following the HRH The Prince of Wales’ visit to King’s, where he met with staff and patients who were involved in the attack.


Mr Duncan Bew, Clinical Director for Trauma and Acute Surgery at King’s, was featured in an article on BBC London which looked at the benefits of teaching first aid skills in school to counter the rise of knife crime in London. The article described how Mr Bew believes that first aid skills would result in fewer deaths from stab injuries, and the need to raise public awareness.

Also in April, the Daily Mail covered a piece about a new device that allows doctors to perform keyhole surgery on the brain, which is less invasive than standard treatment. The device, called BrainPath, was used by Mr Ranjeev Bhangoo, Head of Neurosurgery at King’s, on a patient in May. The device has already saved thousands of lives in America.


In May, BBC Radio 4’s Today programme came to do a live broadcast at King’s College Hospital. Presenter Sarah Montague previously spent time with, and interviewd Shelley Dolan, Chief Nurse at King’s, to get a deeper understanding of the work that goes on at King’s and the pressures that are faced. Radio 4 also attended some meetings thoughout the day, and visited the Emergency Department and Marjory Warren Ward, as well as interviewing the Chairman.

Harvey McEnroe, Deputy Director of Operations in Trauma, Emergency & Acute Medicine, and Dr Emer Sutherland, Emergency Medicine Consultant, were also featured during the piece with Shelley.


There was coverage of King’s in the Daily Mail in June, about a new heart valve device made from animal tissue, which is boosting the chances of having children for young women needing life-saving heart surgery.

The device is more durable than those that have been made in the past, and is better suited to young women who want to get pregnant.

Professor Olaf Wendler, Professor of Cardiac Surgery at King’s, carried out the operation – a world first - on Nosheen Khan. The operation was carried out using minimally invasive techniques and the patient was able to return home just five days after surgery.

There was also coverage on BBC South East of a cardiac case at King’s. Margaret Wang, who was 37 weeks pregnant, fell ill at her home during the middle of the night suffering from head and back pain. Ms Wang, was transferred to King’s from the William Harvey Hospital where she was immediately rushed to an operating theatre where a team of obstetricians, paediatricians, cardiothoracic surgeons, nurses and anaesthetists were waiting to operate.

Obstetricians carried out a caesarean section and successfully delivered a baby boy. The cardiothoracic team, led by Professor Olaf Wendler, operated on Ms Wang’s chest to replace part of her aorta.


To mark World Hepatitis Day, King’s issued a press release about a new treatment for Hepatitis C, which was published by the South London Press.

The treatment comes in tablet form, has high cure rates to treat the disease and is much less debilitating for patients. With the new treatment, complete cure is possible in 95% of cases compared to around 50% of cases previously. Dr Kosh Argarwal, Consultant Liver Specialist at King’s, was quoted in the article.


In August the Daily Mail covered a story about a trial being run at King’s to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an eye condition that causes the loss of central vision.

In the one-off, non-invasive treatment, three rays of radiotherapy are beamed through the white of the eye to overlap at the macula. The therapy is delivered by an eye doctor using a robotically-controlled machine to ensure precision treatment. The total dose of radiation received by the body is about the same as a mammogram.

There are 17 hospitals taking part in the nationwide trial, of which King’s is the leading hospital. Mr Tim Jackson, Consultant Ophthalmologist at King’s, was quoted in the article.


In September a King’s clinic treating patients with type 1 diabetes and an eating disorder was the subject of a BBC Three documentary.

The documentary featured King’s Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist, Professor Khalida Ismail, as well as a number of patients she treats. The programme follows patients from King’s and further afield who have diabulimia – a relatively new term used to describe those with type 1 diabetes who have a fear that injecting the insulin they need to control their diabetes will lead to weight gain. They deliberately reduce or stop injecting insulin in order to lose weight, risking potentially life-threatening complications in the process.

The programme highlighted the patients’ battles to control the physical symptoms of type 1 diabetes, as well as manage their eating disorder, and showed the coming together of mental and physical healthcare professionals to understand more about this condition as patient numbers increase.


In October, there was coverage in the Evening Standard to mark the year anniversary of the helipad.

The piece looks at a King’s patient, Tom Locke, who fell from the roof of his home, breaking every bone in his face, among other injuries. Tom was flown to the helipad at King’s College Hospital from Kent, and his story demonstrates just how vital the helipad is.


To coincide with HIV testing week, there was coverage in the Evening Standard about the King's College Hospital Emergency Department routinely screening patients for HIV, after the pilot scheme found 32 people unknowingly carrying the virus in the past year. They have now been put on treatment plans. The pilot launched in 2016, following a donation from the Elton John Aids Foundation to tackle late diagnoses.

There was further coverage in the Evening Standard in November, about 31-year-old Kirsty Mills whose stroke symptoms were reversed following an emergency thrombectomy at King’s, performed by Dr Thomas Booth, a Neuroradiology Consultant.

In November, The Mirror also covered a story about former King’s patient, Baebhen Schutkke, who received a liver transplant in 1997 when she was only five days. Baebhen was the youngest person to receive a liver transplant, a record that still stands.

20 years later Baebhen came back to King’s to meet Professor Mohamed Rela, Consultant in Liver Surgery and Transplantation at King’s, who performed her transplant surgery. Baebhen also met with some of the staff who were present for her transplant two decades ago.


In December, there was a story in The Mirror that featured 18-month-old King’s patient, Arlo Newcombe, who has a rare lung condition. This past Christmas Arlo left hospital for the first time ever, to spend time with his family at home – thanks to it now being specially adapted to cope with his condition.

To mark six months since the Grenfell Tower fire, Dr Malcolm Tunnicliff, Clinical Director for Emergency and Acute Medicine, was interviewed by BBC Radio 5 Live, reflecting on the events.

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