The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has today announced that they have rated the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust ‘Good’ overall as a trust. 

All three of our hospitals, Barnet Hospital, Chase Farm Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital individually also received a rating of ‘Good’.

Further, each of the 21 core services inspected across our three hospitals received a ‘Good’ rating.

The trust received a rating of ‘Good’ in the four categories of effectiveness, care, responsiveness and being well-led.

We received a ‘requires improvement’ rating in the safety category, although the inspectors found examples of safe care in many of the services they inspected.

Eight core areas were subject to inspection: urgent and emergency care, medicine including older people’s care, surgery, critical care, maternity and gynaecology, end of life care, services for children, out-patients and diagnostic services and child and adolescent mental health services at the Royal Free Hospital.

Inspectors noted outstanding practice in some parts of the trust including Larch Ward (a dementia-friendly ward at Barnet Hospital), dynamic nursing leaders modelling best practice, excellent outcomes for patients at Chase Farm’s urgent care centre and exemplary work by the paediatric practice education team at the Royal Free Hospital. 

The CQC highlighted a number of areas of practice where we can do even better. We have already started that work.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, chief inspector of hospitals, said of the trust: “We saw a strong focus on the patients’ needs and preferences and we saw many examples of person-centred care and treatment during our inspection.

“Across the organisation, staff demonstrated compassion, kindness and respect for the patients and families they worked with.

“Staff told us they were proud to work at the Royal Free and were enthusiastic about the service they provided.”

Professor Ted Baker, deputy chief inspector of hospitals, said: “As one of the largest acute trusts in England, the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust sees 1.6 million people a year. The trust and its staff should be proud of the fact that all three hospitals in London were rated ‘Good’ by CQC inspectors. This is a considerable achievement.  Overall, the service patients receive is effective, responsive and compassionate.”

Royal Free London chief executive David Sloman said: “We are delighted to receive a rating of ‘Good’ across all our hospitals and I am proud that the report highlights many areas of practice where we are delivering outstanding treatment to our patients. 

“This is a fantastic achievement given that Barnet and Chase Farm hospitals only joined us in 2014. Staff should be incredibly proud of how well this reflects on their professionalism and the care and compassion they demonstrate every day.

“This is a significant expression of confidence in our progress as a trust and we look forward to going from strength to strength as we build on this success.”

A copy of the report is available on the CQC website.


Image: Larch ward, which was rated 'outstanding' by CQC inspectors.

Notes to editors

The Royal Free London was inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) between 2 and 5 February 2016, followed by two weeks of unannounced visits. 

The inspection covered the trust’s three acute sites: Barnet Hospital, Chase Farm Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital. 

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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 and kidney transplantation, haemophilia, renal care, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, Parkinson's disease, 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 'A bigger trust, a better future'.