Welcome from Caroline Clarke

One year ago, we announced our Green Plan and set out the Royal Free London’s (RFL) objectives to reduce our carbon footprint. With COP26 coming to an end this week, we have been reflecting on our environmental journey so far.

Over the past year our greener RFL sustainability network has grown. It now has over 160 members of staff who are passionate about creating a greener RFL. Sub groups within the network are driving change in numerous areas across the trust such as patient care, purchasing, food, energy and water.

We are making sustainable changes to our clinical practices to help create a greener NHS. We have made improvements in the following areas:
  • Reduced the use of Desflurane, an anaesthetic gas harmful to the environment, by 70%
  • More out-patients are seen in virtual clinics, which has reduced in-patient journeys by about 30%
  • From 2022, the trust will be using a renewable-only electricity contract
Our teams across the RFL are also developing exciting and achievable ways to transform the way we work.

As we look to the future, we pledge to take further action to create a greener NHS. As the world tackles the climate emergency, we will do more to care for our environment and play our part in helping the NHS reach net zero carbon emissions by 2040. 

We are committed to helping the fight against climate change – focusing on the way our staff and patients travel to our buildings, how we manage our estate and how we consume resources, to how we reduce waste and recycle more. We will be a role model organisation for everybody who walks through our doors.

You can read more about our commitment to create a greener NHS on our website.

Kind regards

Caroline Clarke

Group chief executive
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Advanced radiotherapy reaches important milestone

Stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR), which has been used at the Royal Free Hospital to treat early lung cancer, is being developed further to treat other types of cancers.

SABR has proved a highly effective targeted treatment for early lung cancer, giving patients who are frail or those who have cancer in more than one lung with an alternative to surgery.

The SABR treatment delivers a curative dose of radiation to tumours with far fewer sessions required – typically three to eight rather than the previous regimens of 15-30. This technique allows radiographers to target the tumour much more effectively and this, combined with the fact that fewer sessions are needed, means patients are likely to experience fewer side effects than standard radiotherapy.

The treatment is being developed to treat other cancer sites including bone metastases and lymph node metastases.

Further information can be found here.

Don’t delay your vaccination - one nurse’s story

Norma Berido, who is a junior sister at Barnet Hospital is urging everyone to book their winter vaccinations as soon as possible after spending 21 days last year in hospital with COVID-19.

Norma started feeling unwell at the end of March last year during a shift and was advised to go home. For the next eight days Norma battled the virus and as she realised she was struggling to breathe, she decided to go to the Barnet Hospital emergency department.

She spent a short time on the wards, but eventually the decision was made that Norma must go to ITU. 

After being discharged, it was to be a further four and a half months before she was well enough to return to work.

Eighteen months on, Norma was delighted to be one of the first members of staff at Barnet Hospital to receive her booster COVID-19 and flu jab at the end of September.

Read more here.

New non-executive directors

The RFL has appointed three new non-executive directors to its board.

Baroness Claire Tyler of Enfield, a life peer in the House of Lords, Dr Mohini Parmar, primary care lead and chair of North West London Clinical Commissioning Group, and Sarah Rapson, executive director of supervision at the Financial Reporting Council, will begin their new roles next month. Their appointments were confirmed by the trust’s Council of Governors at its most recent meeting.

Professor Sir Chris Ham, who has been a non-executive director of the RFL since January 2019, will stand down from the board in December.

Full details are on our website.

Latest information for the public

We have a dedicated COVID-19 section on our website. The latest information for patients and visitors, and our patient resources library, can be found here. This page is continually being updated to reflect the changing situation.

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