The Royal Free London (RFL) receives almost 50,000 cancer referrals every year, making it one of the biggest providers of cancer services in the NHS. We're proud of the amazing care our staff deliver every single day and this World Cancer Day we want to celebrate their dedication to our patients, our world-leading care and ground-breaking research.

We know that by 2040 one person will be diagnosed with cancer every minute and that means more and more patients will be using our services. Cancer care forms a key pillar of our trust’s new clinical strategy, our blueprint to deliver world-leading healthcare for all our patients and meet growing demands on our services over the coming years.

Cancer services at the Royal Free London facts and figures

  • We are one of the largest providers of cancer care in the UK, receiving almost 50,000 referrals each year.
  • We deliver treatment to our local population across north London and have specialist expertise in many cancers such as skin, hepatobiliary, kidney and neuroendocrine tumours.
  • We work with our charity to identify opportunities to develop our world-class cancer services, that are research driven and clinically led.
  • We have increased the number of patients receiving cancer treatment after diagnosis by 35% compared to before the start of the pandemic.
  • We are now one of the biggest kidney cancer centres in Europe and a European Centre of Excellence for neuroendocrine tumours.

What we're proud of

  • With funding from the Royal Free Charity, we have become the first in the UK to benefit from a revolutionary new PET scanner which will deliver more accurate and faster diagnoses.
  • Support for our cancer patients has further expanded through the new Maggie’s centre, opened by Her Majesty the Queen last week, which provides a welcome space to go for advice and respite away from a hospital environment.
  • We have launched PREPARE, a pre-treatment event for all cancer patients, giving them the information, understanding and support they need to get through their treatment pathways.
  • In north central London we have some of the best rates of cancer survival in England, and we are continually striving to improve on this by supporting earlier diagnosis, innovative therapies and better experience for all of our patients


Dr Roopinder Gillmore, consultant medical oncologist, said:

“Whilst we are making great strides in the diagnosis and treatment of different cancers in North Central London and beyond we continually want to do better. We have been working with the Royal Free Charity and have identified amazing opportunities to further develop our vision for a cancer centre.

“The focus for 2024 will be to build on our excellent work to ensure each patient feels valued and has the best possible experience with access to the latest treatments and to ensure excellent outcomes.”

Further support and information

Here at the RFL, our staff work closely with the Macmillan charity to offer holistic care for patients. To mark World Cancer Day, Macmillan is showcasing the important work of Cancer Hair Care.

Cancer Hair Care specialise in all aspects of treatment related hair changes, including dryness, thinning and hair loss in men and women. Events are taking place for staff at Chase Farm Hospital and Barnet Hospital:

Chase Farm Hospital

  • Monday 5 February, 9.30 to 11.30am - awareness stall outside the Macmillan Centre (ground floor, opposite the outpatients department)
  • Monday 5 February, 1.45 to 3.15pm - hair care workshop for patients. Book your space by contacting 0208 375 2247.

Barnet Hospital

  • Thursday 8 February, 10am to 1pm, awareness stall at the Macmillan Centre (inside the main entrance on level 1)

Learn more about Macmillan supports.

Learn more about our cancer services. You can access further information and resources about World Cancer Day on the official website.