Welcome from Caroline Clarke

The team behind the BBC Two series Hospital has returned to the Royal Free London (RFL).

The producers, Label1, will be filming a one-off episode that will look at how our trust is responding nearly two years after we started admitting patients with COVID-19. The episode will explore how the trust is keeping elective work going despite the challenges of COVID-19 and the usual winter pressures. 

The RFL is the only trust to have worked with Label1 on Hospital on three separate occasions – they previously filmed a BAFTA-nominated, two-episode special in March and April 2020 and then produced a six-part series which was filmed in the autumn that year.

The episode will capture the fantastic work and dedication of our staff, and celebrate the phenomenal patient care they provide day in, day out, across the trust.

Kind regards

Caroline Clarke

Group chief executive
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Keeping our hospitals safe

Everybody who enters our hospital buildings must continue to wear a face covering unless they are exempt.
The government’s Plan B restrictions will be eased from 27 January. These changes do not apply to NHS buildings – meaning everybody accessing or visiting the RFL’s hospitals or our community sites must continue to wear a face covering and continue to social distance.
More information on how the trust is keeping patients and staff safe is available on our website. Please share this information widely through your channels.

Sky News coverage

The RFL and our incredible staff were featured on Sky News.
Jason Farrell, Sky’s home editor, visited Barnet Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital, where he reported on the pressures faced by staff and services and how the trust is keeping services going despite the challenges posed by COVID-19.
You can read the reports here and here.

Patients now benefitting from radiotherapy to eliminate cancer in bones and lymph nodes

David Page is one of the first patients at the Royal Free Hospital to receive stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR) treatment, which is now being used to eliminate cancer detected in bones and lymph nodes.
SABR treatment delivers a curative dose of radiation to the tumour with far fewer sessions than conventional radiotherapy. This technique allows radiographers to target the cancer much more effectively and this, combined with the extremely precise planning technique, means patients are likely to experience fewer side effects than standard radiotherapy.
David was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer at the end of 2020 and was treated successfully with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. However, a follow-up scan at the end of 2021 showed the cancer had returned. The limited development of the secondary malignant growth made David an ideal candidate for SABR.
Full details can be found 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.

Diversity matters

The RFL renal team is prioritising recruitment to studies adversely impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the H4RT trial, a study for people with highly advanced kidney disease who need dialysis treatment.
H4RT is a study comparing a form of haemodialysis that filters and replaces high volumes of blood water during each treatment (high-volume haemodiafiltration) with a form of haemodialysis that doesn’t (high-flux haemodialysis).
Initially, the trial struggled to recruit patients, as patients were more anxious about changing their dialysis treatment and the implication on their health, than before the pandemic. The cohort of dialysis patients is also ethnically diverse, with some who can speak English, but may lack confidence to communicate in English, if it is their second language.
To overcome this barrier, the ethnic balance of the team working on the H4RT study changed. The team brought in delivery staff from different ethnic groups, who could speak the languages used by dialysis patients at sites.
Read the full story here

Life-saving research at the Royal Free Hospital

Scientists at the Royal Free hospital have helped develop a new treatment for patients with relapsed B cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
The treatment - known as CAR T-cell therapy – works by programming the body’s immune cells (T cells) to recognise and destroy cancerous cells. Researchers at University College London Hospital have just completed a successful phase 1 clinical trial, the first step in human testing.
The CAR T-cell products used in the trial, known as ALLCAR19, were produced at the Centre for Cell Gene and Tissue Therapeutics (CCGTT), based at the Royal Free Hospital.
Read more here.

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