Welcome from Caroline Clarke

I am delighted to let you know that the Royal Free London (RFL) has opened a dedicated centre for elective adult orthopaedic surgery in a partnership with North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust (NMUH). 

This centre is part of the north central London (NCL) elective orthopaedic network. Surgeons from NMUH, supported by RFL staff, have been carrying out operations at the centre which is located at Chase Farm Hospital.

Working in this way provides an opportunity for both teams to share knowledge and learning. It will help ensure patients receive the very best care and experience when having an orthopaedic procedure.  

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our staff and partners who have been involved in setting up this centre.

You can read more about the elective orthopaedic centre and what that means for patients in this week’s update.

Kind regards

Caroline Clarke

Group chief executive
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Service changes

Chase Farm Hospital elective orthopaedic centre opens

Chase Farm Hospital has opened a dedicated centre for elective adult orthopaedic surgery in a partnership with NMUH.
This is part of the North Central London Elective Orthopaedic network which was set up following a public consultation led by North London Partners in Health and Care last year on the future of elective adult orthopaedic surgery across the sector.
This partnership means patients at Barnet Hospital, Chase Farm Hospital, the Royal Free Hospital and NMUH will have out-patient appointments at the hospital of their choice and surgery requiring an overnight stay will take place at Chase Farm Hospital. Day surgery will take place at both Chase Farm Hospital and NMUH.
Initially, every week, up to six NMUH surgeons, supported by RFL colleagues, will operate in Chase Farm Hospital’s state-of-the-art theatres.
The NCL elective orthopaedic network brings together two partnerships for orthopaedic surgery with the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, to form a single network. One partnership is RFL and NMUH and the other is University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Whittington Health NHS Trust.

You can read more here.

Call NHS 111 first

Our emergency departments and urgent treatment centres are extremely busy. Please encourage members of the public to call NHS 111 first if they think they need to attend our emergency departments for an urgent, but not serious or life-threatening, medical need.
NHS 111 aims to make it easier and safer for patients to get the right treatment at the right time. It means that if patients need to be seen at an emergency department, an appointment can be booked via NHS 111.
By contacting NHS 111 first – whether online or by phone – for an urgent, but not serious or life-threatening medical need, people will:

  • speak with a healthcare professional earlier, and get the right treatment first time
  • be able to arrange an urgent face-to-face appointment, if needed
  • avoid waiting for a long time in emergency waiting rooms
  • NHS 111 can also make direct appointments at GP surgeries and urgent treatment centres. They can also despatch an ambulance if the patient’s condition is serious or life-threatening.

 Arrangements have not changed for people with serious or life-threatening illnesses or injuries, who should continue to dial 999 without delay.
Find out more on our website.

Best ever year for recruitment to NIHR studies

More than 8,000 patients at the RFL have been recruited to National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) studies in the past year. This is the highest number recruited to date – thanks in part to a more streamlined process driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Specialities recording increases in recruitment compared to the previous year include dementia, blood disorders, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and infectious diseases.
To read the full story, click here.

RFL in the news

ITV London News reported on an artificial intelligence-driven keyhole procedure used to fit cardiology stents carried out at the Royal Free Hospital. The procedure was the first of its kind in the UK and means cardiologists are able to make quicker and more accurate decisions while fitting a stent.

The report features Sundeep Kalra, consultant interventional cardiologist at the Royal Free Hospital, Jonathan Hill, consultant interventional cardiologist at the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals, and patient, Keramat Neman.

You can watch the report here and more information about the new procedure can be read 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.

Royal Free Charity (RFC) Presents

The latest event ‘Learning from COVID’ is available to watch on YouTube.
The event was part of a series of virtual health talks curated by the charity, and featured health policy expert Professor Sir Chris Ham.
A non-executive director of the RFL, Sir Chris is currently co-chair of the NHS Assembly and chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Health and Care Partnership.
Sir Chris is a renowned author and speaker on health policy and management. A former chief executive of the King’s Fund and government advisor, he was knighted in 2018 in recognition of his services to health policy and management.

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