Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals – Spotlight on Employee Network Groups

Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals make up the largest specialist heart and lung centre in the UK.

With more than 4000 employees, the organisation is part of the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.


As one of the 16 NHS Foundation Trusts without a Disability Network, Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals was looking for innovative ways to support disability and wellness throughout the organisation. 

To advance this initiative, the organisation set up the Disability & Wellness Network (DAWN). In 2022, the network grew to include more than 100 members. DAWN also has an intranet page and ran their first Disability History Month celebrations across the entire organisation.  

Innovative actions

Through the efforts of DAWN, the organisation has delivered sessions on mental health, neurodiversity, and a lived experience session (led by one of the directors). Furthermore, they have explored Makaton (a language programme that uses symbols, signs, and speech) to assist with different approaches to accessible communication.  

Since some mobility impaired individuals cannot use the bins that are common in the organisation’s facilities, Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals are trialling an alternative to foot pedal bins. These new bins have sensors and handles that are designed to help improve accessibility. 

The organisation has also introduced Changing Places toilets and Sit Stop chairs for disabled patients and visitors. These special Sit Stop chairs are based on a collaborative design co-created by DAWN members. 

Evidence of impact

As a result of these initiatives by DAWN, Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals have been able to secure a yearly accessibility fund. 

The information contained within this resource was accurate at the time of its publication. This article was created in February 2023. 

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