Welcome from Caroline Clarke

This week, we were delighted to welcome Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of NHS England, Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England and Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, chief midwifery officer for England, to the Royal Free Hospital.

Amanda, Ruth and Jacqueline visited the hospital's maternity department and neonatal unit. They met with staff and heard about the work our teams have been doing to ensure women and babies receive the very best care possible.

We continue to share our story - the story of the NHS - by working closely with the media and other stakeholders, so they are able to see the incredible efforts of our staff.

Label1's award-winning series, Hospital, is returning for a one-off special this month. 'Road to Recovery' will showcase the incredible journeys of patients and the staff who are caring for them as the NHS grapples with the challenge of recovery following two years of the pandemic.

The episode will capture the fantastic work and dedication of our staff, and celebrate the phenomenal patient care they provide day in, day out. You will be able to watch the episode on BBC Two on Thursday 24 March at 9pm and will then be available on BBC iPlayer.

Earlier this month, the work of the Royal Free Hospital was also featured in the Daily Mail when features writer Robert Hardman returned to the hospital, a year after his initial visit in February 2021.

During Robert’s first visit, the hospital was close to capacity, with nearly every bed occupied with a patient being treated for COVID-19. It's a credit to the amazing resilience of our staff that he found "a palpable buzz, a strong sense of professional pride and a recognition that priceless lessons have been learned" when he returned a year later.

Kind regards

Caroline Clarke

Group chief executive
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Overseas vaccine record validation service

An overseas vaccine record validation service is available at the Royal Free Hospital.
The service allows members of the public to book an appointment to show evidence for any COVID-19 vaccinations they’ve had outside of England. The NHS can securely update their vaccination record.
Further information can be found on our website.

Lassa fever patient discharged

A patient who was treated for Lassa fever in the high-level isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital was discharged earlier this month.

We are delighted that the dedication and expertise of our staff, across many areas of our trust, means the patient can return home.

Read more on our website.

Support for the people of Ukraine

The Royal Free London is co-ordinating efforts across north London to share vital medical supplies with people that need them in Ukraine.
Chalkmill Drive decontamination unit in Enfield – the largest facility of its kind in the UK – is acting as a hub for equipment from hospitals which will then be shared with those affected by the war.
The unit was a focal point for the collection and distribution of personal protective equipment in parts of north London during the COVID-19 pandemic and staff there will be using their experience to collect items including bandages, tourniquets and syringes to support the relief efforts.

AI tool detects heart disease in 20 seconds

New artificial intelligence (AI) technology is being used at the Royal Free Hospital to detect heart disease and improve patient care.
The first-of-its-kind AI tool analyses heart MRI scans in just 20 seconds whilst the patient is in the scanner. This compares to the 13 minutes or more it would take for a doctor to manually analyse the images after the MRI scan has been performed. It also detects changes to the heart structure and function, with 40 per cent greater precision and extracts more information than a human can.
The results of the research, funded by the British Heart Foundation, have been published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance.
Read more 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.

Update on our partnership with North Mid

At North Middlesex University Hospital (North Mid) and the Royal Free London (RFL), we continue to strengthen our partnership across a number of projects to deliver better care for local communities and more opportunities for our staff.
During the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases over the winter, the partnership enabled us to implement changes to maintain safe services for local people. These included increasing capacity for North Mid patients at Chase Farm Hospital, minimising the cancellation of elective surgery and maintaining access to cancer care. We are now building upon this to develop a joint elective strategy to further reduce the number of cancelled surgical appointments for people living in the north of our area.
The partnership has also appointed a joint head of learning and development to enhance staff development across both organisations and has secured funding from the North Central London Inequalities Fund to expand a community mentoring scheme for young people. The scheme was established by North Mid in 2021 and is run in collaboration with Whittington Health NHS Trust and Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust.
Find out more on our website and the North Mid website.

Chase Farm Hospital leadership

Dr Alan McGlennan, has been appointed to the substantive role of chief executive of Chase Farm Hospital and group clinical services.
In addition to his new role, he remains as medical director of Chase Farm Hospital.

Chase Farm Hospital awarded HIMSS level 7

Chase Farm Hospital has achieved the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) Stage 7 and is recognised as one of the most digitally advanced hospitals in the UK. It is one of only four NHS hospitals to achieve this accolade.
This is an international benchmark for the use of advanced IT to improve patient care and is the highest level an organisation can achieve.
This achievement means the trust has improved patient safety by providing critical
information when and where clinicians need it, reduced time and errors in care delivery and increased patient satisfaction.
Read more here.

Occupational health to transfer to shared corporate services hub

North London Partners Shared Services (NLPSS) will deliver occupational health services on behalf of eight of the 10 trusts in its partnership after the transfer was given the go-ahead last week.
NLPSS is a partnership between 10 North Central London NHS trusts. Its partnership board, made up of representatives from each of the 10 trusts, has agreed occupational health will be the second corporate service to come under its management after it launched with recruitment in December. University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust have chosen not to transfer their occupational health services at this time.
A month-long consultation with staff who work in occupational health has begun, with the service expected to go live in May 2022. Staff involved will be consulted on the transfer of their employment to the Royal Free London, which is the host for NLPSS.

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