RTT reporting at the Royal Free London

Update April 2021

During the past year, some of our services have been put on hold so we could provide care to the large number of critically ill COVID-19 patients admitted to our hospitals.

This winter, we expanded our intensive care capacity to three times its normal size in order to provide care to those who needed it.

As such, some of our patients are waiting longer to be seen than we would like.

As a trust are now working hard to restart those services as quickly as we can so we can treat patients who have been referred to us – patients are being prioritised in order of clinical need. We have a series of measures in place to ensure we can see patients as soon as possible, including:

  • Working closely with our partner trusts across north central London in order to use any spare capacity and improve efficiency.
  • Using our full surgical capacity at Chase Farm Hospital, which is designated an adult orthopaedic surgical hub. Since there is no emergency surgery here, elective work can continue at pace.
  • Edgware Community Hospital has also been designated as a cataract surgical hub, which allows us to fast-track patients who need this procedure.
  • Offering appointments and procedures at weekends.

We would like to reassure patients that we are accepting all referrals to our hospitals. If you are waiting for an appointment to be made we will be in touch with you as soon possible - we have not forgotten you and we would like to thank you for your continued patience and understanding.


You may know that in 2019, the trust took the decision to pause reporting our referral to treatment (RTT) figures because we could not be sure that our data was accurate.

RTT is the period of time from when a patient is referred to the trust to when they begin treatment. The standard trusts are required to meet is that 92% of patients should start their treatment within 18 weeks of being referred.

When the trust decided to pause reporting our RTT figures, a plan was put in place to resolve the issue with our data and we continued to keep local clinical commissioning groups and NHS England informed of our progress.

Following the completion of this work, we are now confident that the data we have is accurate and the board has taken the decision to resume reporting our RTT figures. These will be published from May.