To mark the NHS 73rd birthday, 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 thank everyone across the Royal Free London for their hard work over the last year. You can read their letter below:

As we look towards the 73rd birthday of the NHS on 5 July, we are sure your readers would like to join us in sharing a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to staff at the Royal Free London, who have worked astonishingly hard over the past 15 months.  

The Royal Free London was one of the first trusts to admit COVID-19 patients in February 2020 and since that date we have treated more than 5,000 people with the virus. Our staff have stepped up in the most remarkable way – we cannot thank them enough for their efforts during this most challenging time. We have also been supported by the Royal Free Charity who have stood shoulder to shoulder with us, providing a free shop for staff, kitting out rest and recuperation areas and prioritising psychological support. 

Looking to the future, we would like to congratulate the many staff at the Royal Free London who lead research and continue to look for better ways to provide patient care. Since the Royal Free Hospital was established in 1828, we have been pioneers in medicine and that continues to be the case in 2021. That tradition will continue long into the future on the Royal Free Hospital campus with the opening of the Pears Building, the new home of the UCL Institute of Immunity and Transplantation, which will help to deliver new treatments for patients with covid, cancer and other immune-related conditions. 

The anniversary of the establishment of the NHS is the perfect time to reflect on all of its remarkable achievements and to recognise the extraordinary sacrifices made by those who work within it, at a time when we needed them most. 

Mark Lam, chair

Caroline Clarke, group chief executive

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust