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The #SaveMildmay Campaign

The #SaveMildmay Campaign

Our campaign to save Mildmay Mission Hospital from closure

Latest news

In December 2021, we were informed by the London NHS Commissioners (the five ICS’s and the Healthy London Partnership) that our contract to provide medical step-down care for homeless patients across the capital has been extended until March 2023.

The journey has been challenging but with a huge amount of help from our partners such as Pathway, the Royal London Hospital, the East London Foundation Trust and many others, we have together made it a success. A big thank you from all of our staff to those commissioners who have placed their confidence in Mildmay.

 

A special thanks to our wonderful MP, Rushanara Ali, for her unceasing work to help protect Mildmay from closure and to ensure our future, and to the Health Ministers who listened.

We are continuing to work with all our stakeholders to find a permanent solution for our HIV care and our other services, beyond 2023.

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The campaign

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.

Patients living with HIV might lose their vital specialist services if the controversial closure of Mildmay Mission Hospital goes ahead

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.

Our petition

Since February 2020, we have been overwhelmed by the wholehearted support of the public for our campaign to keep Mildmay open.

Our petition quickly gained traction and we now have over 78,000 signatures!

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Please sign our petition to tell The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP (Secretary of State for Health and Social Care) know that Mildmay Hospital needs to stay open

"I do not live in the London area, but I want to continue support for Mildmay Hospital. I am a retired GP. I am aware of the problems of people who are in hospital, but unable to live independently and for whom it is difficult to find suitable accommodation. Of course, Mildmay is much more than that; it has done pioneering work for HIV patients nearing the end of their lives as well as rehabilitation for many other conditions. This is an era of centralisation oh hospitals, and often there is good reason for that, but smaller hospitals, albeit with links to big hospitals, are needed as well. Not least, patients like the smaller units. Hospices are a good example."

~ Anonymous

 

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. We have been granted several temporary contract extensions since then but are campaigning for a permanent solution that secures Mildmay's survival.

Even though treating patients at Mildmay actually costs less 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 (temporary) reprieve

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mildmay has been granted a temporary contract extension until the end of March 2022 and continues to play its part in helping to 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).

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

What will happen to the hospital and it'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.




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.




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.




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.




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.





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Please donate to help #SaveMildmay