Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
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Our history and archives centre

The Royal Free archive collections have been transferred to London Metropolitan Archives (LMA).

The collections are available for consultation in the LMA's reading room at 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R 0HB. Use the LMA's online catalogue to search the collections and plan which records you would like to see during your visit.

London Metropolitan Archives
40 Northampton Road
Tel: (+44) 020 7332 3820

The Royal Free Hospital was founded in 1828 to provide free hospital care to those who could not afford treatment. The title 'Royal' was granted by Queen Victoria in 1837 in recognition of the hospital's work with cholera victims.

For many years the Royal Free was the only hospital in London to offer facilities for clinical instruction to women. This began a close association with the London School of Medicine for Women, later renamed the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine.

The Royal Free moved to its present site in the mid 1970s, bringing together the old Royal Free Hospital in Gray's Inn Road with the Lawn Road, New End and Hampstead General hospitals.

In April 1991 the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust became one of the first trusts established under the provisions of the NHS and Community Care Act 1990.

On 1 April 2012 the trust was authorised as a foundation trust, under the name Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, by the regulator Monitor. Foundation trust status will give us greater freedom to provide the services that our patients and local community need.

More information about our history can be found at the Royal Free Hospital Archives Centre.

The Royal Free Association

The Royal Free Association is an organisation for former hospital staff and former students of the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine.

The Royal Free Hospital Nurses League

The Royal Free Hospital Nurses League (founded in 1910) provides continuing contact for League members with the Royal Free Hospital and with each other, and provides ad hoc assistance for League members.

To be eligible for membership you will have completed your training at the Royal Free Hospital School of nursing, or at the affiliated Middlesex University, or have been a member of the Royal Free staff for two years post-registration, or be nominated for honorary membership by the committee.

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page last reviewed: 19 December 2013