This week marks one year since the first COVID-19 jab was given at the Royal Free London (RFL) and the biggest vaccination campaign in NHS history began.
In December 2020, the RFL was named as one of 50 COVID-19 vaccination hubs in the NHS chosen to roll out the first vaccine. The trust administered its first vaccines on 8 December at the Royal Free Hospital. Since then, across the RFL, a team of more than 300 vaccinators have given over 50,000 vaccines to staff and patients.
We went on to host a large-scale vaccination centre at StoneX Stadium, home to the Saracens rugby club. The centre, which was open from April to September 2021, played an important part in our battle against COVID-19. Staff and volunteers administered almost 90,000 doses of the vaccine, with each jab helping to protect our local communities.
I am extremely proud of the role the RFL continues to play in the fight against COVID-19 - our staff have been incredible and this evening we are celebrating their achievements in the trust's annual staff Oscars awards.
The success of the vaccination programme and the delivery of tens of thousands of vaccines is just one of many examples of their outstanding contributions over the past two years.
Group chief executive
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
Visiting: Online booking goes live next week
From Monday 13 December, pre-booked visiting appointments at Barnet Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital 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. Patients can have one designated visitor who can visit for one hour per day. The visitor will need to select the ward they are visiting and chose a time that suits them.
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.
The guidelines for pre-booked visiting remain the same and visitors will need to take a lateral flow test within 24 hours before their visit. 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 patients or very vulnerable patients are being cared for).
Full details can be found on our website - please share this widely through your channels.
Praise for RFL role in covid response
Dame Kate Bingham DBE, former leader of the UK vaccine taskforce, hailed the role of the RFL in the national response to COVID-19 during this years’ Marsden Lecture.
She praised the trust for its proud tradition as an innovator in the health sector and singled out its research work, including its part in the world’s first COVID-19 human challenge study.
At North Middlesex University Hospital (North Mid) and the RFL, we continue to strengthen our partnership to deliver better care for local communities and more opportunities for our staff.
North Mid has been a clinical partner with the RFL group since 2017, working together to design and deliver care based on the latest evidence of what works best. Collaboration between our trusts has been further strengthened during the pandemic, helping our hospitals to maintain services like surgery and cancer care.
We are now uniting our efforts so we can do more together for local people than we can achieve on our own. This will bring benefits to our communities, our staff and the wider NHS.
The partnership aims to generate savings from better efficiency to reinvest in new and improved services for local people. We anticipate being able to deliver reduced waiting times and more specialist care locally, as well as improved training and career opportunities and development for staff.
North London Partners Shared Services (NLPSS) officially launched on 1 December with the first corporate service to come under its management – transactional recruitment.
A corporate services partnership for 10 trusts across north central London, NLPSS will initially deliver recruitment services for eight of the 10 trusts in the partnership who have chosen to transfer this service to NLPSS, including the RFL.
Managing director of NLPSS, Robert Prince, said: “This new shared service is a huge achievement for partnership working across north central London.
“The aim of the partnership is to achieve better quality, more resilient, responsive, user-friendly and efficient corporate services. The pooling of resources also means we can prevent waste and duplication, co-invest in the latest technology, and most crucially for recruitment, reduce the time taken to hire someone, relieving pressure on the frontline.”
Transactional recruitment services are concerned with checks involved to make employment happen such as professional registration, IDs, references, right to work etc. Partner trusts can decide which services they decide to transfer to NLPSS, on a case-by-case basis.
The 10 trusts in the NLPSS partnership are:
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust
Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust
Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust
Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust
Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Whittington Health NHS Trust
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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