Chief executive of the National Health Service, Sir Simon Stevens, visited the Royal Free Hospital today to speak to staff ahead of the launch of the COVID-19 vaccination clinics tomorrow.  

Sir Simon spoke to some of the vaccinators who will be delivering the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine to patients and staff.

He also met with some of those who are in the priority group to receive the jab. Patients aged 80 and above will be among the first to be vaccinated, along with NHS workers who are at higher risk.

The Royal Free London has been named as one of 50 ‘hubs’ chosen to lead the way on the biggest immunisation programme in history.

Caroline Clarke, RFL group chief executive, said: “We were delighted to welcome Sir Simon Stevens to the Royal Free Hospital today, to meet with staff who are well prepared and ready to start vaccinating some of the most vulnerable groups. This is a very exciting moment for all of us who have seen first-hand the impact of COVID-19 on our hospitals and our communities.”

Our teams have been working hard to prepare for the launch of the programme, with the first COVID-19 vaccinations happening from tomorrow, Tuesday 8 December.

More hospitals will start vaccinating over the coming weeks and months as the programme ramps up.

The visit will be featured on BBC News at Six and across other news outlets throughout the evening.