We are delighted to announce that we were authorised as an NHS foundation trust on 1 April. The new name of the trust is the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.
To celebrate the announcement, members of staff from across the trust joined chief executive David Sloman for a balloon release outside the hospital on Monday 2 April.
Our new sign, displaying the new name of the trust, was unveiled at the front of the hospital by Mr Sloman and governors Dr Peter Woodford and Richard Lindley.
Dominic Dodd, chairman, said: “This is very good news for our patients and staff. The freedoms and accountabilities of foundation trust status will help us to accelerate our progress towards providing the very best care to all of our patients all of the time.”
David Sloman, chief executive, said: “I would like to thank the local community and our staff for their support in helping us reach this milestone. It is a real endorsement of the quality of the services we provide and of the strength of the Royal Free as an organisation.”
The independent regulator Monitor made the announcement following a thorough assessment process which took place over several months.
As a foundation trust, the Royal Free will no longer report directly to the Department of Health, although it will remain part of the National Health Service and provide free services to patients.
Notes to editors
1. For more information contact Juliet Eysenck on 020 7830 2963 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Monitor authorises and regulates NHS foundation trusts and supports their development, ensuring they are well-governed and financially robust. For more information, see Monitor’s website. A press release which confirms authorisation of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust can be found here.
3. The Royal Free provides a wide range of local services and attracts patients from across the country and beyond to its specialist services in liver, kidney and bone marrow transplantation, haemophilia, surgery for hepatopancreatobiliary (HPB) conditions, clinical neurosciences, renal, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, vascular surgery, cardiology, amyloidosis and scleroderma and is a member of the academic health science partnership UCL Partners. For further information, visit http://www.royalfree.nhs.uk
4. Since the Royal Free was founded by the surgeon William Marsden on 17 April 1828, it has been at the forefront of advancements within the medical profession. Marsden decided to establish a hospital whose only criteria for admission would be the need for medical or nursing care. This was after he found a young girl dying on the steps of a church in Holborn, from disease and hunger, after being refused admission at three hospitals. The forerunner to the Royal Free Hospital, which was named the London General Institution for the Gratuitous Cure of Malignant Diseases, opened its doors to the public in Greville Street, Hatton Garden.
5. During the cholera epidemic of 1832, when every other hospital in London closed its doors, the London General Institution remained open to treat cholera victims. In September 1833, after the cholera epidemic had subsided, the London General Institution changed its name to the LondonFreeHospital. When Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837, she became the hospital’s patron and commanded that it should be known as the Royal Free Hospital.
6. The hospital moved to new premises in Gray’s Inn Road in 1842. In 1877, in the face of opposition from the medical profession and from Queen Victoria, the Royal Free made medical history by admitting women to its medical school. Until 1947, when all medical schools in England became co-educational, the Royal Free Hospital was the only teaching hospital in London to have an all-women medical school. In 1948, when the NHS was inaugurated, the first two male medical students were admitted and the name was changed to the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine.
7. In 2009, the Royal Free became one of seven founder members of UCLPartners, the largest academic health science centre in Europe. Its purpose is to translate cutting-edge research and innovation into measurable health gain for patients and populations – in London, across the UK, and globally.
For more information, log on to the UCLPartners website.