The Royal Free has a pioneering history. Established in 1828 by William Marsden, a newly qualified surgeon shocked that he could not find treatment for a penniless young woman, we were the first to provide care free of charge and the only hospital to stay open during the 19th century cholera epidemics.
In the 21st century, we continue to lead improvements in healthcare, from targeted cancer therapies to new kinds of surgery. We offer an exceptionally wide range of local and specialist services, including cancer, plastic and neurosurgery, blood disorders and infectious diseases. We are a regional centre for kidney and liver diseases and a major transplantation centre. Our patients come from all over the world.
We are a campus of UCL Medical School and conduct important medical research. We also train doctors, nurses, midwives and many other clinical and non-clinical professionals. We helped to set up the academic health science centre, UCLPartners.
On 1 April 2012 we were authorised as a foundation trust by the regulator Monitor. We believe foundation trust status will give us the freedoms we need be world class in terms of our services, research and teaching. We will measure ourselves against our five governing objectives: