The Royal Free London (RFL) has this week signed a landmark agreement to provide training to student nurses, teaching staff and medical professionals from Japan.

On Tuesday 7 July, Eikei Suzuki, governor of Mie Prefecture, Japan, visited the Royal Free Hospital with a 15-strong delegation of public officials and academics from the Mie Prefectural College of Nursing to sign a memorandum of understanding with the trust.

The agreement, which is the first of its kind between the RFL and Japan, will see Mie Prefecture students attend classes and observe maternity, elderly and dementia care at the trust.

The memorandum of understanding was instigated by Royal Free International, which promotes and develops the trust’s international collaborations in areas such as training, education, hospital management and medical research.

All money generated by these services is re-invested in our hospitals and NHS healthcare services.

Addressing the Japanese delegation, Alison Shutt, the RFL director of international development, said: “It is very important for the Royal Free London that we have this opportunity to be working together. It is one of the key goals for the trust that we have these relationships and we hope that it will go on to be a successful programme with excellent results.”

Mie Prefecture has been identified as an area of high economic growth in Japan and next year its capital city, Shima, will host the 42nd G7 summit.

However on Tuesday Governor Suzuki, who is currently Japan’s youngest governor, said that Mie was falling behind other Japanese prefectures in its ability to recruit nurses and healthcare assistants.

He said: “With this arrangement, nurses training in Mie Prefecture will automatically be granted the opportunity to apply to study at the Royal Free London. By making working as a nurse in the prefecture appealing and attractive we hope to secure the number and quality of nurses needed to provide medical care in our community.

“I hope that today marks the beginning of an increase in the welfare and happiness of my constituency.”

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About the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

The Royal Free began as a pioneering organisation and continues to play a leading role in the care of patients. Our mission is to provide world class expertise and local care. In the 21st century, the Royal Free London continues to lead improvements in healthcare.

The Royal Free London attracts patients from across the country and beyond to its specialist services in liver, kidney and bone marrow transplantation, haemophilia, renal, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, vascular surgery, cardiology, amyloidosis and scleroderma and we are a member of the academic health science partnership UCLPartners.

In July 2014 Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital became part of the Royal Free London. Read our news story: A bigger trust, a better future.