Royal Free London group on film

12 January 2018

The Royal Free London (RFL) takes centre stage today in a film which celebrates the pioneering work of our new group model.

The ‘No Hospital is an Island’ report has been published by NHS England to reflect on the achievements of its 13 acute care collaboration vanguards. The vanguards were chosen in 2015 to test new ways for acute providers to work together to improve care quality, financial efficiency and workforce sustainability.

The report summarises the lessons learned so far, to support providers and systems considering similar models of collaboration. 

The RFL has been given the opportunity of a generation to improve the care we deliver to our patients through the vanguard programme.

We have been chosen to set up and lead a group of NHS providers who will share services and resources in order to improve the experience of our staff and patients. In July 2017 we moved to a group model structure when our new leadership teams at Barnet Hospital, Chase Farm Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital began their work. They have a common vision: to make the RFL the best place to work and be treated in the NHS and to become the best hospital group in Europe.

We are working with other hospitals in the group to share expertise and develop a pathway that is really easy to use for our staff to achieve the aim of keeping mothers and babies together.

Shanthi Shanmugalingam
consultant neonatologist

The film looks at the group model’s approach to improving patient care based on the shared experiences of clinical practice groups (CPGs). The aims of CPGs are to reduce variation and improve the care we deliver across all of our hospitals so that patients can expect the same high standards wherever they are treated. 
Filming took place at the three main hospitals which make up the RFL group.

The Royal Free London group chief executive, Sir David Sloman, said: “I think we are running the most profoundly important experiment in the NHS. I think if we get this right we can genuinely be setting the template about how services will be run well into the 21st century. I’m really proud and privileged to be given this opportunity.”

Consultant surgeon Jeff Lordan, who has been leading on a CPG for his area of expertise – hepato-pancreato-biliary and sarcomoa (soft tissue) cancers - at the Royal Free Hospital, said: “I’m so excited about CPGs. For the first time we as clinicians have been able to work together to truly map out the entire journey the patient takes from the moment they see their GP to their final diagnosis and final treatment. 

“We have been able to work out all the frustrations, inefficiencies, waste and repetition that patients have to deal with on a daily basis and with that in mind we have been able to entirely redesign all our pathways with patients in mind.”

Meanwhile, at Barnet Hospital, consultant neonatologist, Shanthi Shanmugalingam, said: “We are working with patients to help them understand why they need the extra support so they can care for their child, together with our maternity teams. We are working with other hospitals in the group to share expertise and develop a pathway that is really easy to use for our staff to achieve the aim of keeping mothers and babies together.”

Tosh Mondal, Royal Free London’s deputy chief information officer, was filmed at the building site of the new Chase Farm Hospital, which will open in autumn 2018. He said: “Our ambition is to make Chase Farm Hospital one of the first digital hospitals in the UK. In this new digital world we will be providing doctors and nurses with digital clinical pathways. They will have mobile clinical records and patients will have access to their appointments and other information at home.”