History of Haste

Its Concept

One afternoon in 2002, sipping a cup of tea in the conservatory at Wintershall, the home of Surrey's religious plays seen by so many people from all over the world, Peter Hutley OBE KSG listened to my story about their being a need for a local charity devoted to cardiovascular medicine and, after a pensive moment, cut a deal:

"I will agree to form a new fundraising charity with you on one condition", he paused, looked me straight in the eye and said "it must be for both heart disease and stroke, since, for the man in the street they seem like the same thing".

It turned out that Peter and Ann Hutley had just witnessed devastating strokes in several of their friends and were thus inspired to help our cause.

Call to action

A year later in July 2003 Heart and Stroke Trust Endeavour (HASTE) was incorporated as a UK Charity and in June 2005 following 2 years of very active fundraising Peter Hutley and his team were smiling as HRH Countess of Wessex officially opened the new Cardiovascular wing at the front of Guildford's Royal Surrey County Hospital.

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What makes this story more remarkable was that Peter Hutley, who had previous experience of delays in NHS projects didnt just hand over the cash to the NHS to build it, he formed his own construction company, leased the land from the hospital and built it in under two years!

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Thanks to his confidence and faith Mr Hutley actually borrowed the money to finish the construction before its main fundraising event, held at Wintershall in June 2006. The event, entitled 'Concert by the lake' featured Eric Clapton, Katie Melua and Gary Brooker was a great success, so the loan could be paid off; no doubt improving both Mr Hutley's and his Bank Managers blood pressure!

Next Steps

NHS medical teams moved into the new HASTE wing, and the Royal Surrey County Hospital and local people benefited from both the expansion of the Cardiology Department and from having an NHS-owned and run MRI scanner housed within the HASTE Wing.

It wasnt long before Mr Hutley was talking to the Chancellor of the University of Surrey about raising more funds to establish a research program.

Another Concert in aid of HASTE to research Atrial Fibrillation

On June 4th 2011 Mr Hutley, along with his family and friends staged another spectacular concert at Wintershall.  This time any profits from ticket sales were specifically for research into atrial fibrillation.

On a wonderful english summer evening the faithful and generous audience were entertained by celebrated musicians Eric Clapton, Roger Taylor, Brian May and Gary Brooker with profits from this one evening reaching a  staggering £360,000; boosting the Haste grant to the University of Surrey to over £450,000.

Following the gift, there were talks between University Academics and Clinicians at the Royal Surrey County Hospital on how the research into atrial fibrillation would be conducted and locally raised monies best spent.

It was decided that the grant would be divided between an Atrial Fibrillation research group based in the laboratory of Professor Christopher Fry  who is Director of the Insitute of Biosciences at Surrey University and a research project that would examine ways of improving detection rates and stroke prevention in people with atrial fibrillation- a heart  condition that causes over 20% of strokes.

In the summer of 2012  The Haste Trustees, joined by Edward Hutley (Peter and Ann Hutley's son), local Lawyer Gerald Bland and senior GP Dr Graham Tyrrell created a sister Charity called "The Haste Academy" that shared similar objects and logos with HASTE but, which would concentrate on more corporate sponsorship with predominantly educational objectives: required, in the first instance to oversee the PR and education campaign that would be needed as part of HASTE Network in Guidford and Surrey (HASTENINGS). 

It was envisaged that because of the need for major public and Medical education on this topic, the Haste Academy would  also house the professional teams and eventually might help deliver the specialist medical care that was need across Surrey.

Related stories
Haste Academy
Peter Hutley MBE
Concert by the Lake 2006
Eric Clapton



Written by

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Edward Leatham is a Consultant Cardiologist in Surrey and a Trustee of Haste and Haste Academy.

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