I am incredibly proud of the role the Royal Free London (RFL) has played over the past year – not only in treating thousands of patients during the pandemic but in protecting our staff and the public from COVID-19.
We were one of the first staff vaccination centres to open in December and we are delighted to be continuing that journey by partnering with StoneX Stadium, home to the Saracens rugby union teams, to open a large-scale COVID-19 vaccination centre in Barnet.
The centre, which opened this week, is a true partnership – we are delighted to be working with Saracens and I would like to once again thank the wonderful Royal Free Charity who will be providing on-site volunteers to help visitors when they arrive for their jabs. The centre is another important step forward in our battle against COVID-19. It builds on the success of our hospital vaccination hubs, which have provided around 40,000 jabs to NHS staff and the public.
You can find out more about the centre and how to book below.
In other news, we were really privileged at the RFL to be able to showcase the work of the NHS during the pandemic via the BBC Two documentary Hospital. It’s a real testament to our amazing staff and their dedication and commitment that the two-part Hospital Special: Fighting COVID-19, has been nominated for a BAFTA. I’m sure that all of those who watched the programme will agree it is a richly deserved acknowledgement of the work which has taken place across the NHS over the past 14 months.
Group chief executive
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
StoneX Stadium running track transformed in fight against COVID-19
A large scale vaccination centre has opened at StoneX Stadium, home to the Saracens Rugby Club, in Barnet.
The vaccination centre, which is run by the RFL, is capable of delivering thousands of the life-saving jabs each week and offers another alternative to the GP and pharmacy-led services that are already set up in the area.
People who have an appointment at the StoneX vaccination centre will be greeted by volunteers who will be marshalling the car park and register them when they arrive.
Letters and text messages are being sent to people in the priority groups as set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, and people eligible for the vaccine can book an appointment online or by calling 119. Bookings are staggered to allow for social distancing.
People will be contacted by the NHS when it is their turn to get the vaccine and should not seek a vaccine before then.
Full details can be found on our website, please share this widely through your channels.
New facility will create vital link for researchers
A new clinical research facility (CRF) has opened at the RFL, thanks to funding from the Royal Free Charity.
The facility, which is based at the Royal Free Hospital, provides the space, facilities and resources for the trust to carry out cutting-edge early phase research, testing new and innovative approaches to medicine to ensure that they are safe for patients.
The CRF will see the advancement of research into areas such as renal diseases, liver disease, respiratory conditions, neurological conditions including Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer treatment and diagnosis.
A patient who was treated at Barnet Hospital after contracting COVID-19 has cycled 52.4 miles to raise £6,500 for the hospital.
Gary Colet was admitted to Barnet Hospital in March 2020 and spent three months being treated for COVID-19, including five weeks on a ventilator. When Gary was discharged from the hospital, he had wanted to do something immediately to thank the staff on the intensive care unit and donated £3,000 for an information mural for patients.
Gary, from Mill Hill, was joined by his neighbour, who was raising money for the cancer centre at Guy’s Hospital.
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.
Leadership changes at the Royal Free Hospital
Kate Slemeck, chief executive of the Royal Free Hospital will be leaving the RFL, after 10 years at the trust, to take on a new role as managing director at University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust.
Kate joined the RFL as director of operations in 2011 before being appointed as chief operating officer in 2012 and then chief executive of the Royal Free Hospital in 2018.
Kate will be leaving the Royal Free London at the end of July. Dr John Connolly, Royal Free Hospital medical director, will be interim chief executive while an external recruitment process takes place.
Access to radiotherapy department at the Royal Free Hospital
The external entrance to the Royal Free Hospital radiotherapy department will be closed from Tuesday 5 May – Tuesday 25 May, due to construction work taking place.
Patients will need to access the radiotherapy department via the main hospital entrance. Signage will be in place to direct patients via the alternative route.