Lucy Hamilton joins the trust in the new position of media relations manager, reporting to comms director Jo Thomas. She was previously media officer at the Royal College of Nursing.
‘With patients getting so much of their information from the media it’s crucial that the information they are exposed to fairly represents what we do,’ said Thomas.
‘As the UK’s leading post-graduate specialist centre for the treatment of heart and lung disease we attract a great deal of attention from the media and it’s important that we are able to respond efficiently and capitalise on such interest,’ she added.
The trust was formed in 1998 by the merger of the Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals; its achievements include introducing transplants for sufferers of cystic fibrosis (CF).
The 163-year-old Royal Brompton Hospital maintains the largest CF treatment centre in Europe. Thomas said the trust, which has 479 hospital beds and employs 868 nursing staff, needs to improve its relations with the media given the high level of public interest in health services.
While the role will involve reactive media relations work, Hamilton said it was essential that the trust proactively publicises its research programmes.
The trust has also employed Sarah Hathaway as senior communications officer/writer.
The Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals, along with St Mary’s NHS Trust and Imperial College, are due to move into the Paddington Health Campus when its £800m construction is finished in 2012.