We are aware that some patients are still feeling anxious about coming to hospital for care and treatment.
We have introduced a number of measures to ensure that our patients are as safe as possible. These include:
ensuring all patients wear a face covering at all times when in hospital. Staff must also wear a face mask
patients are being encouraged to wash their hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser as soon as they enter our hospitals. There are more hand sanitiser stations across all of our hospitals so everyone can clean their hands more frequently
we are cleaning frequently touched areas such as self-check in screens, door handles and handrails more often
To explain the steps we are taking ahead of any visit or surgery appointments, we have produced videos about what patients can expect.
It is important that we spread these messages as widely as possible to help ensure that patients feel comfortable visiting our hospitals to get the care that they need. We would be grateful if you could continue to share these through your communication channels.
I hope you find these updates useful. If you have any feedback, please let us know by responding to this email. We are keen to ensure that we are including information which you find helpful.
Group chief executive
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
Children and young people’s services
Barnet Hospital’s children and young people’s emergency department has reopened.
The emergency department is open for 24 hours, seven days each week. Anyone aged under 18 needing care for an accident or emergency can visit us.
Only one adult will be allowed to accompany a child visiting the emergency department.
A review of children and young people’s in-patient and emergency department services across north central London has been taking place. These changes were recommended by the working group.
You can read more about the other recommendations which includes the temporary closure of the Royal Free Hospital’s children and young people’s emergency department and in-patient unit here.
We will keep you updated on the implementation of the other recommended temporary changes.
Adult out-patient blood taking services
We are asking patients to book their adult blood test appointment online where possible.
Walk-in appointments are not available and patients need to pre-book their appointment online. If they are unable to book online, they can call the booking line: 020 7443 9757.
We are currently providing out-patient blood taking services at Chase Farm Hospital, Edgware Community Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital. The clinic at Barnet Hospital remains closed until further notice.
The clinics at Chase Farm Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital are open for urgent tests and for patients who need regular tests such as medication monitoring. The clinic at Edgware Community Hospital is open for routine blood tests only.
Patients will need to bring their confirmation text/email – they will not be able to enter our hospitals without this.
More information on how to book an appointment online can be found here.
Video appointments provide vital link for patients in lockdown
As part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we made temporary changes to keep our patients and staff safe. This included reducing the number of face-to-face appointments.
To help reduce face-to-face appointments, we introduced the Attend Anywhere system. This system offers secure video consultations for our patients.
Patients have provided feedback on the service saying that benefits include better convenience, saved time and money, and reduced stress. The benefits were felt particularly keenly by those who have been shielding, many of whom told us that they would like video appointments to become part of our standard service.
Walls of artwork filled with bright drawings and messages of support sent in by the local community have transformed the walls of Barnet Hospital.
More than 750 pieces of art were used to create the murals, which can now be seen by staff and members of the public in the main entrance corridor of the hospital and at the reception area of the therapies unit.
The project was inspired by the successful transformation of a plain corridor in the intensive care unit at the Royal Free Hospital. After hearing of the positive effect it was having on staff, the Royal Free Charity was asked to create a similar morale-boosting mural to inspire staff at Barnet Hospital.
The generous donations from the public to the Royal Free Charity’s COVID-19 fund have been used to provide new and improved spaces for ITU staff to take vital breaks during their shifts.
Four new team rooms and a wellbeing room have been opened at the Royal Free Hospital.
ITU matron Sinead Hanton, spoke to her staff about what they felt they needed to help them perform better and then worked alongside the estates team at the trust to make it happen.
You can read the reaction of the ITU staff 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.
New director of nursing at Barnet Hospital
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Bev Thomas as our new director of nursing at Barnet Hospital.
Bev replaces Julie Hamilton, who was appointed the new group chief nurse in July. Bev will join us on 1 October 2020.
She is joining us from Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust where she is currently divisional director of nursing for emergency medicine. Her nursing background is in critical care and neurosciences.
Our annual members’ meeting will take place online on Wednesday 16 September.
The meeting is an opportunity to hear about the performance of the trust over the last year, including a presentation on the financial performance of the trust, and to hear about future plans. You will have the opportunity to put your questions to both members of the council of governors and to the trust board.
The trust’s annual report and accounts for the year ended 31 March 2020 will be formally presented at the meeting.