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Welcome from Caroline Clarke


As part of north central London’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we temporarily closed our children and young people's emergency department and in-patient services at the Royal Free Hospital in September 2020.

The children and young people’s emergency department and general in-patient wards will re-open at the Royal Free Hospital at 9am on Monday 12 April. Until the emergency department reopens, children and young people should continue to access emergency care through other local services.

You can read the full details below. Please share this update widely through your channels.

Today we welcomed Mark Lam as the new chairman of the Royal Free London (RFL). I am so pleased that Mark has joined the trust, he has a wealth of experience within the NHS in London and we look forward to working closely with him as we navigate the challenges of the next few years.

Mark replaces Dominic Dodd, who stood down after serving his maximum term. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dominic for his enormous contribution to the RFL over the past 12 years, his support has been invaluable.

Kind regards

Caroline Clarke

Group chief executive
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
 

Service changes


Reopening our children and young people's services

The emergency department and general in-patient wards for children and young people will re-open at the Royal Free Hospital from 9am on Monday 12 April.
 
Until the emergency department reopens at the Royal Free Hospital, children and young people should continue to access emergency care through other local children and young people's emergency departments. More information about how to access these services is available here
 
Further information can be found on our website.

Research paves the way for ‘customised’ kidney transplants


Doctors at the Royal Free Hospital have identified a biological marker which can help them predict whether a patient is likely to reject a donated kidney.
 
Researchers in the US, Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust and at the Royal Free Hospital studied samples which had been collected before and after transplant surgery in the UK and the US, and were able to identify a biomarker which corresponded with patients at high risk of renal transplant rejection.
 
The findings mean that in the future doctors should be able to provide better management of patients’ medications and improve long term kidney transplant outcomes.
 
Full details can be found on our website.

Sky News documentary


The Royal Free London and our incredible staff were featured in a brand new documentary, Through the Storm: Inside the COVID wards, which was broadcast on Sky Documentaries last Thursday.

A small crew, including Sky’s home editor Jason Farrell, spent around one month at Barnet Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital at the height of the second COVID-19 wave, interviewing a range of staff including clinicians, domestics, porters and mortuary staff.

You can watch Through The Storm: Inside the COVID Wards on Sky News’ YouTube channel.

New MRI machines offer a “lighter and brighter” experience


Three new MRI scanners have been installed at the Royal Free Hospital, as part of a project to improve the quality of medical imaging at the trust.

The new state-of-the-art scanners have replaced two older MRI machines, increasing the department’s scanning capacity and ensuring that patients can be seen sooner. The new equipment offers reduced scanning times, increased image quality, and a range of advanced scanning techniques.

The RFL imaging upgrade project began in 2019, and alongside the new MRI scanners has brought upgraded x-ray equipment and new nuclear medicine gamma cameras to the Royal Free Hospital. Work has also begun to replace our interventional radiology and cardiac catheter labs.

Further information can be found here.

“I needed to show up and do my part”


Last month, Dorcas Boamah, a nutrition clinical nurse specialist at the Royal Free Hospital, who was redeployed to the Nightingale Hospital, spoke to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, for GLAMOUR Magazine.
 
To mark the one year anniversary of the first lockdown, Dorcas took part in a special edition of the magazine’s GLAMOUR unfiltered interview series to discuss her experiences of treating patients during the pandemic.
 
You can watch the interview on GLAMOUR Magazine’s 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.

First volunteers in COVID-19 human challenge study leave hospital


The UK’s COVID-19 human challenge study has administered the virus to three volunteers in a controlled clinical setting at the Royal Free Hospital.
 
The participants were inoculated with a low dose of COVID-19 and carefully monitored by clinical staff in a controlled environment over a two-week period. The team has reported no complications, confirming the participants are in good health.
 
The three volunteers have now completed a period of quarantine and left the hospital. They will continue to be monitored by the clinical team.
 
Read more here.

RFC presents


The Royal Free Charity’s latest RFC Presents event took place on Monday 22 March.
 
Guest presenter Derralynn Hughes, professor of experimental haematology at UCL and consultant at the Royal Free London, explained why clinical research is an essential part of a healthcare strategy.
 
You can watch the event on the Royal Free Charity’s YouTube channel.

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