Below are messages about our services from many of our patients. You can leave your own feedback here.
Brian John Says:
I am now into my 24th year of being positive.The help and support from this unit has always been the major factor in me remaining healthy.David White has always been on hand to help and guide me over the years;I would recommend Heartlands wholeheartedly. | Leave feedback of your own
I was diagnosed with HIV back in 1985 – in those days it was considered terminal, so I resigned myself to that fact and made certain arrangements for the few years I thought I had left to live – and here I am 31 years later – enjoying a normal, healthy life – all thanks to the Heartlands HIV Team and in particular Dr Steve Taylor – my guardian angel 🙂 | Leave feedback of your own
David W Says:
I would just like to thank Jo Logan in the HEP C care team for the amazing support she has offered me over the last few months while I have been having treatment for Hep C. It has been like having a friend at the end of the phone or text. Jo has got me appointments at the last minute to see consultants when I was in a bad mind space and needed some support. She has ran around trying to get me extra pills as I was away on holiday. She has called labs to try and get results for me to keep me going. When things have not been looking so good she got me an appointment with my HIV Doctor within 24 hours: its just totally amazing.
I can really say how my Jo and everyone else in the HIV / Hep C team have and go on helping me. It doesn’t really matter what happens everyone is personal, professional and just wants to help. The HIV service at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital is 1st class, it should be the model for all HIV care centres in the NHS. Anyone who thinks this services should be cut, changed or incorporated into something else is not understanding the needs of the community this service supports.
Other HIV services I have used are NOT like this and need to change. HIV Services at Heartlands are a shining example of success. And the work of Dr Steve Taylor should not be overlooked.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart: you are all doing amazing things. | Leave feedback of your own
Some five years ago I was diagnosed with HIV and cannot thank the wonderful non-judgemental staff at Heartlands. Every 3 months I now turn up for bloods and checks with Doctor Watson and each visit I tell the doctor I am fine and in good health and feeling great. Yesterday I went to my normal meeting and said ” I am not too good actually, I feel down, loosing confidence, dirty, letting my family and staff at the clinic down, etc etc etc.” “He said it is not uncommon and that he was a little concerned the last time I visited” he knew me so well!.
The support system kicked in immediately, I was met by the relevant professionals all of whom were very supportive and understanding. I had initiated a story about how I actually got HIV at the beginning of my visits and the truth plus everything “else” came flooding out.
Do I feel any better, today No!, I feel dreadful but the staff I have come to know and the staff I have just met, I know will be supportive and will definitely get me through this patch.
I love them all and apologise to them all for being so weak at times. I need to go now as I am not that good at writing and am starting to ramble. I just know I am in excellent hands and owe them so much.
Kisses to you all and my sincere thanks. | Leave feedback of your own
Thank goodness we have the HIV Clinic at the Heartlands Hospital! Having been HIV+ for 14 years I reside in a rural part of the country where services are virtually non-existent. The team at Heartlands saved my life some years ago and travelling a few hours to this Centre of Excellence is worthwhile. The staff are first class and Dr Steve Taylor is probably one of the best Consultants I’ve seen and I’ve seen quite a few! Dr Taylor treats me as an individual, is non-judgemental, approachable and most importantly he listens! This guy is one of the few people I have met who is passionate about HIV prevention and cure and in his own time has even set up a charity to do just that (Saving Lives).
Only recently I went to my GP with a problem only to be referred to A&E, who referred me back to the GP. The GP admitted he knew very little about HIV and suggested I get in touch with my HIV Consultant (Dr Taylor). Great teamwork at the Heartlands prioritised my appointment and once again Dr Taylor got to the root cause of my symptoms. The news wasn’t welcomed but at least it can be treated. My feedback relates not only relates to this recent example but the level of service provided by the 12 years I have been attending. Thank you!
P.S. I do worry about how I would manage if this service were ever taken away. | Leave feedback of your own
Having been a patient at this clinic for over 20 years since 1994 I can only say I have received nothing but a first class service from the department, my thanks also go to Dr Steve Taylor for his help and support over the years | Leave feedback of your own
I can only reflect those comments that Rod has made. I to was diagnosed in 1996 and have been living with HIV for 19 years. My viral load at the time of diagnosis was 467,000 copies and my CD4 count was 423. I moved to Heartlands on the suggestion of a Health Worker for another authority, who by her own admission felt that their HIV services were not up to scratch. I am glad that I listened to her advice and I have been under the care of Dr Steve Taylor and his team for these years. Not only have they shown empathy and support throughout this time but have also helped me through two bouts of cancer. Although I only go to the clinic twice yearly to have my bloods checked and to see the Consultant I feel that I can contact them with any concerns that I may have and it is always good to see Dr Taylor who discusses any advancements that have been made. An outstanding team who should continue to receive high praise for the levels of dedication and commitment that they demonstrate. | Leave feedback of your own
I am a veteran of over ten years at the HIV out patient service at Heartlands. I could not have been treated better by Steve, Maxine and the team. I value their judgement, advice and guidance and have seen my health and quality of life maintained to teh standard that it was prior to my diagnosis. Thank you all. | Leave feedback of your own
I wanted to add my comments to those above as I owe so much to the dedicated team of doctors and support staff at Heartlands.
I was diagnosed with HIV in 1996 and in fact was admitted to hospital with PCP which in those days was seen almost as a terminal illness in those days especially as my CD4 count was low and my viral load very high.
Almost 19 years on I am still alive and well having just retired from my full time teaching job which I returned to a few months after my diagnosis in 1996. I am now enjoying a full and active retirement and in fact am planning a move to Canada with my Canadain partner I met 8 years ago!!
When I reflect back on all this I feel so privileged to have been under the care of Dr. David White and Dr. Steve Taylor and the other support members of the HIV team at Heartlands. Their encouragement and constant attention to my needs has been truly remarkable and words cannot express how much I have appreciated their wonderful work done on my behalf. Without them I am convinced I would not be here to tell my story.
you have truly have been an inspiration to me and I am sure will be to many others in the future. With such care and attention I think I am a good example of what can be done when you have such a wonderful team of people surrounding you.
A BIG thank you to you all!! | Leave feedback of your own
I have been a patient at this nhs department for just over a year now and have to say that the care, support and attention that I have received from the ID team is highly commenable, from the reception staff, the nurses, the pharmacist, Clare Stradling and of coarse my savior Dr Steve Taylor has never waivered. Initially terrified, shocked and scared of the unknown, had it not been for the tremendous support of the whole ID team then I believe that I would not be in a good place today. Steve Taylor is much more than a doctor, he is extremely easy to talk to, he a good listener and has helped me understand and come to terms with my condition. You feel that you want to give something back for all that they do for you, Steve encouraged me to read various literature, and to get involved in Cholesterol diet trials and the whole ID department is an absolute credit to the NHS. Thank you all | Leave feedback of your own
Darren Church Says:
Please pass on my sincere appreciation for the care and attention I received yesterday at the HIV clinic, Heartlands Hospital. The service far exceeded my expectations and the department is a credit to the NHS. Maxine Owen went out of her busy schedule to introduce herself to me, even though I didn’t have an appointment with her. Gerry Gillem was kind enough to email me the day before my visit ensuring my prescription was ready without any wait. Nurse Rose and the nurse that took my bloods were delightful and considerate. There was a gentlemen shadowing Dr Taylor, whose name I cant remember, who also was delightful, friendly and fitted in well to the most professional NHS department I have ever seen.
Please also see below, which is a personal email thanking Dr Taylor. As stated, an absolute professional.
Good Morning Dr Taylor,
Firstly, I would like to apologise for not explaining to you in person about the photograph session I agreed to participate in yesterday. Because Im about to start training with BA, I had reservations after our consultation about my photograph being on the internet. As you know I am very comfortable with my diagnosis and in no way ashamed, but to cut a long story short my last employer, Singapore Airlines, discriminated against me, at the time I needed support for my role when starting medication. Due to there appalling, archaic HIV policies internally they attempted to dismiss me after be a documented outstanding employee for 12 years! After 13 years dedicated service I eventually took them to court in Australia and won, although obviously i couldn’t work for them again. They envisaged I would be ashamed and just leave quietly, but they misjudged me. It was an awful period but i stood up to a global, toxic company and won. I suppose thats another aspect of my HIV story that makes me a bit of a minority, a lot less tougher person than me would have cracked, it took 18 months to win. I believe to cull the discrimination that still exists in the community, these small actions help (I Hope)
British Airways do display the 2 ticks policy here in the UK so I know this shouldn’t happen again, but beginning a new job, I’m sure there are still nasty individuals out there willing to make life difficult if they were to see the website, even a gay man working for BA! I miss airlines terribly so at this stage I couldn’t be any happier, getting through the selection.
Secondly I would like to say what a pleasure it was to have actually found a specialist as you, professional, empathetic and extremely passionate about what you do, all delivered with outstanding professionalism and absolute confidence concerning the condition. You have an approachable manner including a sense of humour that I am accustomed too with my previous specialist, which I believe is also an important part of HIV well being. From reading about you on the internet you also assist in the point I made above, educating the community, contributing to breaking down stigma that unfortunately still exists.
When returning to the UK a couple of months ago, I visited two sites concerning my care and the continuation of the START study, I was somewhat disappointed and was anxious during this period as I didn’t have the confidence in them. My visit yesterday has reinstalled my absolute faith that I had previously in my care plan in Sydney. I knew it was going to be a challenge to find a Doctor that matched Dr Dayan in Sydney, but I can honestly say you both are great advocates and I’ve been very fortuitous in being directed to the Heartlands Hospital. After a visit to one site, I was considering pulling out of the trial, and what a waste of nearly 4 years study that would have been.
Sorry for the long email, but you need recognising for the above, a complete professional that the HIV community are lucky to have and a great ambassador in the fight against HIV disease. In fact you should look up Dr Linda Dayan, as you have similar qualities, and the same passion about HIV care. I am about to send feedback on the other card I have, but i just wanted to personally thank you.
Hope it doesn’t sound too over the top but coming from a customer service perspective I always give honest, concise feedback when Ive received outstanding service. A lot of individuals today are all too fond of writing when things don’t suit them.
Darren Church | Leave feedback of your own
Richard Stokes Says:
The staff at this unit are amazing. All helped my partner and I so professionally and with such humane care. My view is they are a model unit for any in the country.. Seriously superb service and consideration
Robert Kennedy Says:
I have been impressed from day one with high standard of care and felt moved to make a comment. My infection was picked up quite by chance at another hospital and I got referred, someone called me the same day whilst I was at work and was seen at clinic the next day, it was as if a small hole had opened up in the universe and id stepped through into a better world.
A note to the recently diagnosed, you may well be in a state of shock and quite upset as indeed I was but you really have arrived at a safe location, a bit of a home, and the good news is that there is every chance that your infection will become undetectable and unpassonable.
with love rob | Leave feedback of your own
I have been an outpatient for the last 9 years and have always been impressed by the high level of care extended to myself throughout this time. From the pleasant and professional receptionists to the well trained Medical team I cannot fault the attention I continue to receive. Special praise must go to Dr Steve Taylor who is the very human face of the NHS in my eyes.
Thank You everyone and Merry Christmas to you all! | Leave feedback of your own
The expertise of doctors in HIV and the attention to detail and checking of other health issues is amazing. Overall I was amazed at every member of staff in every way. | Leave feedback of your own
I started using the outpatient clinic at heartlands hospital about 8 years ago,i wasnt entirely happy with the clinic i was using and read an article in the gay press about heartlands.
From day one i have felt comfortable and extremely happy with the care,help and support which is always on hand from all the staff in the many different departments.
I had been on several different regimes of antiretroviral medication many which had failed so my cd4 and viral load counts were in a sad state and although i felt fine my overall blood counts were at pretty dangerous levels,but with the help of the consultants at the clinic and a bit of tweeting around with the meds here and there im doing extremely well with excellent cd4 and viral load levels,Dr Steve taylor who is my regular consultant has worked very hard with me to get the right combination to suit me,if i have a problem with anything he advises on what he thinks is the next best option,and so far hes been 100% right so a huge thankyou to him and the rest of the team.
THANKS TO EVERYONE AT HEARTLANDS ID OUTPATIENTS CLINIC YOUR ALL FANTASTIC | Leave feedback of your own
I have been visiting Heartlands ID clinic now for over 15 years. I contracted HIV in 1989. I have nothing but praise for the doctors & nurses & support staff – with special mention to my doctor, Steve Taylor. Nothing is too much trouble for them & I challenge anyone to find better care in the private health sector. I should have left this earth many years ago, but they have kept the virus at bay & I’m still here to tell the tale – I’m fit & healthy. I can’t thank them enough.
xxx | Leave feedback of your own
I have been an out-patient at this clinic for the last 9 years. I have always received the best possible care. In the early days after finding out I was HIV positive I received a great deal of emotional support. My health has been monitored and maintained by a great team of dedicated staff; everyone from the receptionists to the Nurses to my Dr., Steve. I have found the centralisation of all of the services I need: Dr., Nurses, counsellors, pharmacist particularly beneficial. The provision of clinical nurse specialists in the unit is a testament to the teams commitment to the best the NHS has to offer. I have friends who attend other clinics in the Midlands and, from conversations with them, it is clear that the standard of care they receive is not as good as mine.
May I take this opportunity to wish the whole team at this clinic a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.
John x | Leave feedback of your own
I am also a veteran use of ten years and whole heartedly support the comments of John above. The services provided are aimed at delivering an holistic approach to care that is vital for people who are often very vulnerable and potentially stigmatized by society. The support by the whole team is centered on the patient’s health and welfare, geared to ensuring that they are supported, prepared and ready to live life to the full. This is done with good humour, often under considerable strain as their services are so popular (yes, people will travel to get the best – I do! and I can honestly say I would not want to change even though moving to another clinic is possible now I have moved home.) The service they provide is the best quality which is often heard to measure and quantify, especially when someone wants to know about costs and I am sure these questions are being asked given the current climate that demands savings. Be assured that the service users think this is the most supportive and positive response to their needs which are complex and sometimes overwhelming. | Leave feedback of your own
I have been visiting the clinic for 17 years and can honestly say that in all this time I have always been treated with the upmost respect and courtesy. During the years I have seen vast improvements in the options available for HIV positive patients and have always been offered the various options available. I feel that this clinic is a centre of excellence and the support given by the whole team is second to none. Not only is Steve Taylor the most approachable doctor I have ever visited but his team all display an excellence knowledge and understanding of the issues that concern HIV positive patients. I would not dream of visiting any other clinic and I know that friends of mine travel a long way to visit Heartlands for the constant care, understanding, knowledge and compassion that is available at all times despite the obvious pressures on all the staff. Being HIV positive can be very stressful and lonely at times but the clinic makes life far easier and I have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone who may just need a friendly face or specific treatment. Keep up the good work! | Leave feedback of your own
well whats to say the treatment and knowledge is improving all the time. dr.steve taylor you have given me great support and advice over the past 16 years, i have had some serious operation and some stressful times. i thank you and the rest of the team for the great support in keeping me alive,during these coalition cutbacks you need support from us, p.s. i think dr.taylor should be honoured in the new year 2012. keep up all the great work and experiments | Leave feedback of your own
Having been diagnosed with HIV in 2003 I feel fourtunate to have been placed under the care of the team at Heartlands ever since. The reassurance, support and dedication to my health and wellbeing has been unwavering ever since, through the highs and lows in that time. I’d rather not be in the position I am, but since it’s a reality I’m glad at least to have the quality of service on hand that I receive at Heartlands. Each time I visit I see the warmth, friendliness and expertise of everyone there. No one is made to feel unwelcome or a problem, even when times are busy. Rather, the opposite is the case. From the warm greeting as you arrive, though to the banter as the routine checks are done and onto the doctor or pharmacist – each person lifts the spirits that little bit more – helping you to confront and see opptomism even in the bad times. Thankfully those bad times have been few and far between. At each step of my treatment, from diagnosis, to maintenance checking to deciding to move to medication the support has been there to let me make my own decisions and take control in an informed way. The underpinning quality of care from the whole team is outstanding so it seems unfair to pick out one person, but I must. Dr Steve Taylor is one of those rare people to meet who engenders trust, warmth and compassion, along with directness, expertise and honesty that is needed when dealing with the complex impact HIV has on a person. I rarely leave without a smile on my face and when I haven’t I’ve left with hope – what more can you ask for. These things don’t fit easily into an accountant’s value for money equation – how could they since they are the intangibles that separate an adequate service from an outstanding one for us patients. Thank you. | Leave feedback of your own
I was diagnosed with HIV in June 2004 by my GP. he referred me to Heartlands as a centre of excellence for HIV treatment and care. After my first consultation I was admitted for 5 days and was moved by every ones concern and professionalism with which they treated me. It felt human when my world had taken a sudden jolt.
Throughout my contact with the outpatients department and a further stay in hospital with pnuemonia, the one person that has kept the thread of care closely sewn together is Dr Steve Taylor. He is constant in his attention to you on each visit helping you to weather the vagaries of living with HIV.
Special mention to Gerry the research nurse who I have had regular contact with since commencing a drugs trial.
Birmingham may be a second city, but this service is second to none. | Leave feedback of your own
I have only been visiting the clinic for about 6 months now but the service and level of care I have received has been exceptional. From the moment you walk into the clinic, being greeted by the warm & friendly receptionists, though to the nursing staff, the pharmacy team & even your consultant you are treated as a person and they all have a genuine interest in your health & wellbeing. I cannot fault the level of support and care received at this clinic and I have to say a special thanks to Dr Steve Taylor and the pharmacist Kate and Lorraine who have been upbeat, positive, supportive and answered every question I’ve had. Thanks everyone. | Leave feedback of your own
I have been an outpatient for the last year and have always been impressed by the high level of care extended to myself throughout this time. From the pleasant and professional receptionists to the trained Medical team I cannot fault the attention I continue to receive.I feel that Dr Steve Taylor who is very human, and takes every little measure to ensure that I am cared for correctly, and everything is checked. This is a very different story in other GU clinics from my own personal experience, I feel that all GU services should look to heartlands for guidance on services offered, and how to do the basic patient care.
I am a unique human being, with individual needs and these are being meet at the heartlands, and I have restored faith in the NHS- Thank you to the heartlands team. | Leave feedback of your own
When I first attended Heartlands ID clinic in 1996 it was at the beginning of the combination therapy era and I was in a bad state with an array of worrying symptoms, very low CD4 count and high viral load, much like a late presenting patient would be today.
I was also co-infected with hepatitis C and presented the team with an unusual attack of arthropathy and wasting as well as the complication of Severe Haemophilia. I was so ill that I was bed bound with constant care in attendance and needed an ambulance to bring me to the frequent appointments.
From the moment I met the team they inspired confidence. Despite my unusual condition they recognised it and knew what to do. I was included in the discussions and decision making in a way that I hadn’t experienced before at the numerous other clinics I attend.
Together, we have met and overcome some substantial challenges and when things looked bleakest Dr.Steve Taylor and all the supporting team provided an attentive, caring, dedicated, resourceful service with a very human feel to it that helped me through.
They provide hope, a way forward, inspiration to play a part in the team effort and they deliver the very best outcome possible.
Although I can’t reverse the past damage, I know of many who would have given-up had this level of excellence not been available. Thanks to Steve and the team I can now boast a CD4 count over 1,000 and undetectable viral load. More importantly I’m no longer confined to a bed and am still alive to tell the tale.
In my opinion their service is second to none and I wish other parts of the NHS could follow their example. If they did we would truly have the world class NHS reform our politicians want. | Leave feedback of your own
As a newly diagnosed HIV patient I would advise anybody who has any qualms about going for a test to pay an early visit to Heartlands. At every step of the way I have been treated with care and respect, each person explaining things in simple terms so that what is happening is easily understood. This knowledge makes HIV seem a lot less frightening than it did before my first visit.
All the previous correspondents have already put into words what I was going to say about the doctors and nurses I’ve already met! Each person I have seen has had the gift to put me at ease and dicuss HIV in an honest, matter-of-fact way which makes the subject easy to deal with.
I will shortly be starting treatment, something which I originally felt rather apprehensive about, but with the care and support I’ve already received, I can now face the future with complete confidence. | Leave feedback of your own
Heartlands is the best, the staff are great always treating you with the greatest of respect, they are easy to talk to about anything and will do their very best and more to help with any concerns that you may have, my doc, Mr steve Taylor is a great guy, he’s put up with me for some years now, i know he works extreemly hard together with all the docter’s and nurses at hartlands to deliver the very best possible care to all his, and their patients. thanks so very much to everyone. | Leave feedback of your own
I have been going since last October, I did not want to go to my local City when I found out I was HIV. and I have been made to feel very welcome from the moment I walk in the door to the moment I leave. I have to say it not like going to a normal Hospital appointment these people get to know you and take time for you, by doing this you feel more confident and able to talk more open in hom you are feeling resulting in better care in my book. I have to say a big thank you to Dr Taylor and Kate the Pharmacist! I have to say I would not know how to improve the service as I believe everytime I go I am getting the best care. and I know the whole team is there if I need them.
I have also just started medication to in the last month. and anyone reading this dont worrie the team will talk to about everything and look after you!
Thanks to all the Staff!! | Leave feedback of your own
I was diagnosed 8 years ago with a very low CD4 counts. After my first regime, I had the worst reaction anyone could ever imagine but Dr Taylor was there and came up with a different combination which has successfully reduced and maintained my viral load to undetectable for the last 6 years.
Whenever I visit the clinic, all the staff make me know and feel that I am not a burden and they are there for me, which is the case for everyone who seeks medical care from there. The team are always on the lookout for new ideas to keep infection rate at bay and maintain high quality care for those already in receipt.
I would like to pass on my gratitude to Dr Steve Taylor who has been the rock in my health, the most approachable doctor, with a great doctor-patient relationship yet professional at all times, dedicated with most extensive knowledge in HIV field. The virus being a major aspect of my life, I feel blessed to have Dr Taylor as my HIV consultant, I could not ask for a better doctor.
Thank you to all the staff at Heartlands clinic. | Leave feedback of your own
Having been coming to the clinic now for several years and i would like to say what a stress free and easy going atmosphere is created when attending. From the always smiling reception girls to the helpful nursing staff and the knowledgable and friendly Dr.Taylor. Hats off also to the excellent choice of football team that Steve supports. | Leave feedback of your own
I have recently transferred by care to Heartlands from Cardiff. I can honestly say from only one visit that any anxiety/concerns I might have had are now put to bed! In particular I was highly impressed with Dr Steve Taylor and Clinical Nurse Specialist Maxine Owen. The care and time they spent with me was second to none! Heartland’s definitely make the future a brighter place!!! | Leave feedback of your own
I remember very clearly the day I first met Steve Taylor, there was an Aston Villa mug adorning his desk; I knew I was in good hands! I had done some background research, and was highly impressed with his impeccable academic and research credentials. Steve is at the forefront of HIV research in several areas, so I was looking forward to our first encounter, but what struck me most powerfully was his instant approachability, and ease of manner. Very quickly it became apparent that during the consultation my health and well-being were number one priority. I was made to feel that I was a dynamic part of the consultation process from the first minute, a feeling that persists every time I see him, nearly two years now. This professionalism extends to the rest of the staff, from the receptionists to the nurses and pharmacist. The team work together to provide a holistic framework of healthcare and management which prioritises the patient. I am very fortunate and have benefitted physically and psychologically from moving my care to Heartlands. | Leave feedback of your own
I have been an outpatient for the last year and have always been impressed by the high level of care extended to myself throughout this time. The whole team are very welcoming and patient, Medical team listen, and I feel that I am being Heard, most people listen, but I feel we are rarely ever heard, I cannot fault the attention I continue to receive.I feel that Dr Steve Taylor who is very human, and takes every little measure to ensure that I am cared for correctly, and everything is checked. This is a very different story in other GU clinics from my own personal experience, I feel that all GU services should look to heartlands for guidance on services offered, and how to do the basic patient care.
I am a unique human being, with individual needs and these are being meet at the heartlands, and I have restored faith in the NHS- Thank you to the heartlands team. | Leave feedback of your own