Royal Free London and West Herts Hospitals announce new clinical partnership

4 October 2018

Watford General Hospital, part of West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust

The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust have today joined forces as part of a new clinical partnership.

The partnership follows months of close collaboration between the two trusts. The Royal Free London approved the partnership at its board last week and West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust’s board confirmed their involvement today.

Ahead of the partnership being formalised, clinicians at both trusts have been working on a wide range of projects to improve patient care by sharing best practice. As a starting point, staff have been collaborating on ways to treat pneumonia, urgent gall bladder problems, induction of labour, early pregnancy, prostate conditions, anaemia and symptoms of wheeziness in children.

Becoming clinical partners does not change the status of either trust. West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust will continue to be a standalone organisation with its own board and leadership team.  

The RFL is one of four trusts across the NHS to be chosen to develop a group model enabling it to share services and resources more effectively across hospitals in order to improve the experience of patients and staff.

NHS trusts can join the RFL group under a range of membership options, from full membership to arrangements such as buddying.

Dominic Dodd, Royal Free London chairman, said: “We are very excited about working with West Herts. Bringing our clinical and non-clinical staff together to share knowledge is essential if the NHS is going to continue to improve.” 

Professor Steve Barnett, chairman of West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “An appetite to keep learning is at the heart of our vision; to provide the very best care for every patient, every day. Our clinicians have gained a great deal from their work so far with colleagues at the Royal Free London, who have also been impressed with our ways of working. This is a great way to bring benefits to our patients and we look forward to sharing details of this as our partnership progresses.”  

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About the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

The Royal Free London’s mission is to provide world class expertise and local care.

We attract patients from across the country and beyond to our specialist services in liver and kidney transplantation, haemophilia, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, neurology, Parkinson’s disease, vascular surgery, cardiology, amyloidosis and scleroderma. We are a member of the academic health science partnership UCL Partners, which brings people and organisations together to transform the health and wellbeing of the population.

The Royal Free London is one of four trusts across the NHS to be chosen to develop a group model enabling us to share services and resources more effectively across hospitals to improve the experience of patients and staff. More information is available here 

Barnet Hospital, Chase Farm Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital are part of the Royal Free London group, and North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust became its first clinical partner in September 2017.

For more information about our group structure visit and for general information about the trust visit 

About West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust serves people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three hospitals; Watford General, St Albans City and Hemel Hempstead. The trust has a catchment area of over 500,000 people and is one of the largest employers locally, with around 5,000 staff and volunteers.

For more information about our hospitals, visit You can also join our followers on Twitter ( and find us on Facebook ( 

For more information, please contact the communications team on: 01923 436280 or email: Out of hours, please call 07900 228031.