Welcome from Caroline Clarke

Since the Royal Free Hospital was established in 1828, we have been pioneers in medicine and clinical research. This tradition continues today across the Royal Free London (RFL).
In recent months our teams have been at the forefront of research and development. This includes:
  • The world’s first COVID-19 human challenge study at the Royal Free Hospital - the study provided new insights into the virus and paved the way for future studies to test new vaccines and medicines
  • Novartis ONWARDS study - Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital rheumatology research teams accepted the first patient in the UK onto this study. It will assess how the use of a protein has the potential to rebuild cartilage and slow or reverse osteoarthritis of the knee
  • Changes in diagnosing obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) - a device, which can be delivered by post, allows doctors to diagnose OSA at home as accurately as the standard diagnosis method
  • Rapsodi Parkinson’s study - a nationwide study, led by the RFL, aims to understand more about the link between Parkinson’s and a gene mutation which causes Gaucher’s disease.
The research being done across the trust is vital as it will help us provide better care for our patients. I am extremely proud of the RFL’s reputation for being a research-led trust and we are committed to making ground-breaking discoveries that could help patients worldwide.

Kind regards

Caroline Clarke

Group chief executive
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Hospital visiting: Online booking

Pre-booked visiting appointments can be booked online via the trust’s website.
The booking platform allows a patient’s designated visitor to book a visiting appointment online, rather than by calling the ward. The visitor will need to select the ward they are visiting and choose a time that suits them.

Visits will be limited to one hour for one visitor per day. Patients can have two named contacts as their designated visitors but only one person is permitted to visit each patient per day.
If visitors are unable to use the website, they should speak to ward staff to book a visiting appointment. Visitors can contact the ward via our switchboard - the details are here.
Visitors will need to take a lateral flow test on the day of their visit before they attend the hospital. They should record the result on the government website and present evidence of the negative test when they arrive at the hospital (to both security at the front entrance and to the ward when they arrive).
Pre-booked visiting is available on adult in-patient wards (except on wards where COVID-19 patients or very vulnerable patients are being cared for).
Full details can be found here.

Patient admitted to Royal Free Hospital with Lassa fever

A patient with Lassa fever has been admitted to the high level isolation unit (HLIU) at the Royal Free Hospital.
The Royal Free Hospital is a specialist centre for treating patients with viral haemorrhagic fevers, including Lassa fever. It is run by a specially trained team of doctors, nurses, therapists and laboratory staff and is designed to ensure our staff can safely treat a patient with Lassa fever.
Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness caused by Lassa virus. People usually become infected with Lassa virus through exposure to food or household items contaminated with urine or faeces of infected rats in countries where the disease is endemic.
You can read more on our website.

Tottenham Hale Kidney and Diabetes Centre: temporarily closed

The Tottenham Hale Kidney and Diabetes Centre was closed temporarily last week due to flooding.

Dialysis and out-patient appointments for this week have been moved to alternative locations, including the Royal Free Hospital.
Repairs are being carried out and the centre is expected to re-open for patients next week.

Two years on since the first COVID-19 patients

Last week the trust marked exactly two years since we started caring for patients with COVID-19 at the RFL.
Staff across the trust shared their experiences looking back at a series of photos taken during the pandemic. You can read about their reflections on the last two years on our website. Infectious diseases consultant, Dr Sanjay Bhagani, also shared his reflections of the pandemic. You can read Dr Bhangani's thoughts here.

Caroline Clarke, group chief executive, reflected on the milestone in a message to staff. You can read the message here.

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.

Supporting World Cancer Day at RFL

To mark World Cancer Day, the trust has shared the incredible range of treatment and care that we offer to people affected by cancer, as well as the latest developments in research.
This includes cutting edge trials at the RFL clinical research facility, the work we do with Macmillan Cancer Support and the construction of a new Maggie’s centre at the Royal Free Hospital.
Read more about the work being done across the RFL on our website.

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