Hospital at the heart of Britain

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The Royal Brompton Hospital NHS Trust today launches a new campaign, backed by Mirror Group newspapers, to establish itself as a national and European centre for heart and lung medicine.

The Heart of Britain campaign aims to get people "cardiactive" and reduce the risk of heart disease while raising funds for the trust to strengthen its treatment and research programmes.

The Royal Brompton, founded in 1844, has a long history of "medical firsts", including the first heart/lung transplant in the UK; the first umbrella device to close holes in the heart of "blue babies"; and the first use of a heart laser to treat patients with intractable angina.

The hospital houses the largest unit in the UK for treatment of occupational and environmental asthma, and the largest cystic fibrosis unit in Europe, caring for 800-plus patients. Doctors and scientists from the hospital are at the leading edge of research into gene therapy for this disease.

The highlight of the Heart of Britain campaign coincides with the British Heart Foundation's British Heart Week - from 29 June to 7 July - when members of the public will be invited to take part in an open photographic competition, reflecting their view of the Heart of Britain in nine categories. These include, Tomorrow's Britain, Young Britain, Caring Britain, Animal Britain, and Good Time Britain.

The 300 best photographs will be published in a full colour book sold to generate funds for the hospital. The entry fee for the competition is pounds 2 for up to three prints and pounds 5 for up to 10 prints, with all proceeds going to the campaign.

t For more details of the campaign and the competition, telephone 0171 351 8571.