‘Thank you for fixing me up’ | Our news

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‘Thank you for fixing me up’

Michael Palin at St Bartholomew's Hospital's 900th birthday party

Former Monty Python star Sir Michael Palin has paid tribute to Barts Health staff who saved his life at a party to mark 900 years of St Bartholomew’s Hospital.

The broadcasting legend underwent four-hour open-heart surgery at Barts in 2019 after he was diagnosed with a leaky valve.

He told the huge crowds gathered in the hospital’s atrium that St Bartholomew’s "occupies a special place in my heart" and "if [you] didn’t fix me up, I may not be here."

Sir Michael also unveiled a huge new artwork, commissioned especially for the anniversary, featuring 900 stories from across the hospital's history.

Addressing the audience in front of a giant birthday cake, hospital chief executive Charles Knight said: "St Bartholomew’s can now look forward to the future with great confidence. We have a state-of-the-art building and some truly world-leading clinicians, academics and departments.

"Now part of the Barts Health family we are more rooted in our community than ever before."

Group chief executive Shane DeGaris said the Barts900 campaign was "a fantastic opportunity to look ahead and really understand the needs of our local populations."

Our staff hit the headlines

On Friday morning, BBC Breakfast visited St Bartholomew’s to interview staff and patients and hear our unique story from 1123 to present day. The story was also featured on Friday's BBC London News bulletins.

At the same time, Glenn Hoddle was joined by our chief surgeon Steve Edmondson on the Good Morning Britain sofa to discuss his treatment at St Bartholomew’s following his cardiac arrest in 2018.

Meanwhile, on Friday evening The London Evening Standard revealed how a new breast cancer centre, at the centre of Barts Charity’s Barts900 fundraising appeal, could ‘transform the lives’ of some of the capital’s most vulnerable people. The story was syndicated to Yahoo and MSN news.

Our lead archivist Kate Jarman revealed our incredible history on the The Leader podcast from The London Evening Standard, published on Friday evening.

City-based news site LondonWorld reported live from our birthday party, and published a pictoral history of the hospital, whilst Barts Heritage chief executive Will Palin hailed our nonacentennial in an article for The Critic.

On Saturday, to mark St Bartholomew's offical birthday, The Express hailed our 'iconic London hospital' and The Times published interviews with Michael Palin and Charles Knight.

GB News reported on our plans to build a breast centre, including an interview with oncologist Melissa Phillips.

Earlier this week, The Sunday Times spoke to Will about his plans to restore St Bartholomew’s Hospital Grade I listed North Wing including its Great Hall and Hogarth Stair.

And finally, our director of nursing Angela Robinson spoke to the Nursing Times about our 'anniversary anticipation'.

Works are expected to begin this summer.

Michael Palin cuts the Barts900 birthday cake

Our Barts900 birthday cake

Huge crowds gather in the atrium for the Barts900 party

Huge crowds gather in the atrium for the Barts900 party

Large crowds gather at Barts

Sir Michael Palin reveals the Adam Dant artwork

Read more


Add a response »
  1. Teresa Harris Friday, 17 March 2023 at 01:57 PM

    why wasn't the party on a Saturday night when people could actually attend,to have it Friday at 2pm when everyone is working at different trust just doesn't make any sense.

  2. Andrew Greasley Tuesday, 21 March 2023 at 05:45 PM

    Hi Teresa, thanks for your feedback. We wanted to organise an event that was as close as possible to the Foundation Day on 25 March. We also would not want colleagues to feel as if they had to come in at the weekend. We hope that by having the event on a Friday, we can be joined by staff, volunteers, local supporters and also some patients who will be visiting the hospital on the day. Unfortunately for a busy group of hospitals, there will never be a time that suits everybody.

  3. Kulveer Rehsi Monday, 27 March 2023 at 02:12 PM

    I love the art work. Is it available as a print?

  4. Jorden Ellis Monday, 27 March 2023 at 02:59 PM

    Hi, Where can my clinic (KGV Clinic 5 - Pacing Devices) get lanyard celebrating Barts being 900 year olds? No one in our team could get away on friday because we had an fully booked clinic and we need to deal with patients first. I have 40 members of the pacing clinic staff and we would like to change our lanyards with the celebrating.

  5. Andrew Greasley Tuesday, 28 March 2023 at 10:25 AM

    Hi Kulveer, we hope that the print will be released soon and when it is it will be available to purchase on the Barts900 website under the 'shop' section: https://barts900.org/shop/

  6. Andrew Greasley Tuesday, 28 March 2023 at 10:26 AM

    Hi Jorden, great to meet you yesterday and to deliver the Barts900 lanyards to your department. Thanks for reaching out and supporting the campaign!

  7. Dr. Sue Dermit Brown Friday, 31 March 2023 at 08:38 PM

    Is there any way we could buy a copy of the giant map? I, and many others I am sure, would love to have one!

  8. Richard Lim Saturday, 22 April 2023 at 04:29 PM

    900 years! And I was there for only 5.5 years, starting my specialist cardiology training in 1989. Still gives me the warm n fuzzies. Thank you Barts and all my mentors and wonderful colleagues with whom I’ve had the pleasure of learning from and interacting with. Long live Barts!

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