We have identified three key clinical priorities which all our hospitals and sites will focus on to deliver the best possible care for our patients:

The Royal Free London (RFL) plays a leading role in treating these areas within north central London and beyond, and they have a significant impact on the health of our local populations which will continue to grow over the coming years.


By 2040, one person will be diagnosed with cancer every minute in the UK – when cases will have risen to half a million a year.

As one of the largest cancer care providers in the UK, the RFL is already at the heart of tackling this devastating disease.

We are

Haringey has significant levels of inequality and deprivation. Some wards
in Haringey are among the least deprived, whilst others are amongst the most deprived in England

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working in our communities to improve early diagnosis for patients

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leading the way in research which offers groundbreaking new treatments

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using the latest technology to deliver faster and more accurate results

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tackling some of the world’s rarest cancers such as neuroendocrine tumours and biliary tract cancer

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providing local care to more cancer patients than ever before

  • We host the largest skin cancer service in the capital.
  • We provide more first treatments for urological cancer and skin cancer patients than any other trust in London, and are second and third highest for lower gastrointestinal cancers and breast cancer respectively.
  • We’re recruiting to 131 clinical studies in 26 different cancer specialities.
  • We receive almost 500,000 suspected cancer referrals every year.
  • We’re the first trust in the UK to receive an £8 million PET scanner, speeding up diagnoses for thousands of patients.
  • One quarter of our budget – £270 million – is spent on cancer care every year.
  • We have some of the best survival rates for patients with hepatocellular carcinomas, renal cell carcinomas, and pancreatic cancer.
  • Largest theranostics (therapeutics) centre in north central London.
  • We were the first UK neuroendocine tumour centre to be awarded European Centre of Excellence status.


Cardiovascular disease remains one of the leading causes of death in the UK and within north London.

North central London has high rates of smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity, which all contribute to cardiovascular disease.

We are

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designated as a heart attack centre and vascular surgical hub for North Central London Integrated Care System (NCL ICS) which means we are treating an increasing number of acute and complex cardiovascular patients

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working with primary care, community services, and patients to improve diagnosis and treatment of heart failure. Our heart failure clinical practice group is providing patients with earlier access to diagnostics and heart failure expertise to improve their care

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a national centre for some specialist areas and have the lowest inpatient mortality for heart failure in the UK

  • Our vascular department is a leading unit in the management of complex aortic disease, specialising in keyhole and open surgery for aortic aneurysms.
  • The Royal Free Hospital has the largest standalone percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) site in London, and it carries out around 1,500 invasive procedures per year.
  • We are the hub of the NCL Vascular Network, providing an integrated service in partnership with our local hospitals.
  • Our vascular malformation service receives referrals from all over the country and beyond.
  • Our cardiology department undertakes a large amount of research and takes part in key national and international heart studies.

Organ failure and transplantation

Liver disease is on the increase nationally and moderate to severe chronic kidney disease affects around 6% of our population.

Our liver and renal services attract many patients from north central London and nationally.

We are

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nationally renowned for the treatment of organ failure and a specialist centre that plays a key role in care regionally and nationally

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a host for one of seven National Liver Transplant Centres, providing all renal services for north central London

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caring for more than 1,500 renal transplant patients, and providing dialysis to just under 1,000 patients

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delivering around 230 liver and kidney transplants every year

  • Outcomes for liver patients are excellent when compared nationally, with one-year survival at more than 94%, and five-year survival at 86%.
  • We care for 1,300 patients with advanced kidney disease, providing medication guidance, information and counselling.
  • In collaboration with the UCL Department of Renal Medicine we offer one of the broadest kidney research portfolios in the country, improving understanding and treatment of kidney disease.

How we'll deliver our plans

RFL - Icons_Future.svgEstate fit for the future

Investing in our hospitals and sites is integral to providing world class expertise and local care for our patients.

We are redeveloping Barnet Hospital’s emergency department and supporting various improvement projects across the trust to benefit staff and patients, such as the installation of an £8 million PET scanner for cancer patients.

RFL - Icons_Innovation.svgDigital innovation

Our digital work has a huge role to play in terms of how we work with our staff, patients and partners: whether that be through our Docman
work with GPs, our electronic patient record (EPR) patient portal.

We now have almost 400,000 people registered on the patient portal, and there is important work underway to use our EPR to look at bed occupancy and help manage and improve patient flow.

RFL - Icons_Quality.svgFocus on quality

Delivering high quality care in all of our services lies at the heart of what our people do on a daily basis, whether it is ensuring timely access to a particular treatment or pathway, delivering a baby or ensuring dignified care at the end of life.

While we excel in a number of areas, the RFL is committed to continuously improving and we know we still have more to do.

RFL - Icons_Measuring.svgMeasuring success

We will hold ourselves to account by monitoring and measuring our progress over the coming years to ensure our clinical vision becomes reality, supporting our teams and colleagues to introduce changes that will make a difference to the care we provide.

RFL - Icons_Support.svgClinical practice groups (CPGs)

Our ambition is to bring the best of the NHS to every patient – no matter which of our hospitals or services they visit.

Our CPGs are at the heart of this approach, putting clinicians in charge of improving care for all our patients.

RFL - Icons_Test tube.svgWorld class clinical research

Clinical research is extremely important to us and fundamental to providing excellent health outcomes – we will give staff and our patients the best opportunities to participate in work which could translate into the very latest, and most effective, treatments.

The more research we do, the better the care we can deliver to our patients.

RFL - Icons_Education.svgEducation, learning and development

You can’t have world class care without a world class workforce, which requires excellent education, training, learning and development.

We want to create the health practitioners of the future who can adapt to the needs of a changing population, and by nurturing them we can make the RFL a great place to work – attracting the best talent on an international scale.

Work is ongoing on our education strategy and Royal Free Academy which will play a vital role in our ambitions.

RFL - Icons_Sustainability.svgSustainability

We are committed to sustainable finances and environmental impact. Our trust green plan set outs our ambition to reduce carbon emissions and achieve net zero by 2040, creating healthier environments for both staff and patients.

We will use our resources in the most sustainable way while delivering the best care to our patients.

High quality patient care and sound financial management go hand in hand.

RFL - Icons_People-1.svgOur people

None of this would be possible without our staff, who all play a role in providing world class care.

We want to make the RFL the very best place to work and we have good foundations – talented people and a positive culture to achieve that.

We’re proud of our international and diverse workforce, bringing with them new ideas to improve patient care.