Today, Monday 5 July, the NHS celebrates 73 years of providing essential health care to the nation. The COVID-19 pandemic means that the last 12 months have been a year like no other.

We would like to take a moment to say thank you to all of our staff across the Royal Free London. They have shown amazing compassion and determination over the past year and we cannot thank them enough for your continuing hard work. 

We'd also like to say a very big thank you to the Royal Free Charity who continues to stand by us shoulder to shoulder, providing essential support.

To mark the 73rd birthday of the NHS, group chair Mark Lam and group chief executive Caroline Clarke have written a joint letter to the local papers, to reflect on the remarkable achievements of our staff and share their praise with our local community. You can read their letter here

Our chief executives have shared messages of thanks to our staff. Watch their videos below.    


The COVID-19 vaccine has given us all hope. We are proud to have been part of the landmark moment in December 2020, when we were one of 50 hubs chosen to lead the way on the biggest vaccination programme in history.

Earlier this year, vaccine centres at Barnet Hospital, Chase Farm Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital, played a vital part in providing the life-saving jab to patients, staff and the public.

Following the success of our hospital hubs, in April this year, the Royal Free London opened a mass vaccination centre based at Saracens' StoneX Stadium. Thanks to our staff and volunteers, last week the centre delivered its 50,000th vaccine - an extraordinary achievement, with each dose helping to protect our communities. If you haven’t had your COVID-19 jab, it’s not too late. Book your jab online via the national booking system.

Get involved 

Follow us on social media, where we will be sharing messages to celebrate 73 years of the NHS. Get involved using the hashtag #RFL73 and #NHSBirthday, and tell us what the NHS means to you. If you’re taking part in fundraising for the Royal Free Charity by hosting your own NHS Big Tea party, tag us in your photos on social media @RoyalFreeNHS and @RoyalFreeChty.