The LSD unit at the Royal Free owes its presence to the historical strength of the medical school in the disciplines of haematology, liver disease and neurology, due to the pioneering work of Professors Hoffbrand, Sherlock and Thomas who worked at the hospital in the 1970, 80s and early 1990s. Diagnosis and treatment of these disorders was very perfunctory in the early stages. However, important advances in treatment for Gaucher disease were made in the early 1990s and similar treatments were developed for Fabry disease in 2000 to 2002.
The hospital was designated a National Specialist Centre for Gaucher disease in 1997 and has subsequently been designated one of six specialist units for lysosomal storage disorders throughout the UK. The unit is funded directly from central government via the National Commissioning Group.