Finding peace

10 September 2020

Staff at the Royal Free London have been honoured "for their heroism as they fight to save the many lives in their care".

That's the inscription on a glass tile which has been unveiled at the World Peace Garden. The garden is located next door to Hampstead Heath railway station, close to the Royal Free Hospital.

The tile, which was created by artist Melissa Fairbank, was presented to the Royal Free Hospital's chief executive, Kate Slemeck, by Marc Hutchinson, chair of the Heath and Hampstead Society (pictured).

Marc told volunteers, supporters of the garden and members of the local community: "This tile commemorates the amazing sacrifice and hard work done by the Royal Free London at this extraordinary time."

Kate Slemeck thanked those gathered. She said: "Since the start of the pandemic the Royal Free London has admitted and treated 1,800 patients who tested positive for the virus. The challenge of COVID-19 called for a huge response from staff from all areas of the trust.

"Individuals and teams had to adapt quickly under enormous pressure and uncertainty, develop new ways of working, and respond at great speed to the situation as it developed. This is a wonderful opportunity to say thank you to everyone at the Royal Free London for all they have done and continue to do to look after our patients and keep them safe, and to also thank our local community for all the support they have given and continue to give, which made our staff feel cared for and valued. I very much hope staff can take a moment to visit the garden and take pride in what they have achieved."