The Royal Free Hospital has the UK’s only high level isolation unit (HLIU), used for the treatment of infectious diseases.
The HLIU is run by a dedicated team of doctors, nurses and laboratory staff from the Royal Free London infectious diseases service. It was set up at the Royal Free Hospital in 2008 and has since looked after several cases of viral haemorrhagic fever.
Access to the unit is restricted to the team of specially trained medical staff. The HLIU is designed to ensure our medical staff can safely treat a patient with a dangerous infectious disease. A specially-designed tent with controlled ventilation is set up around the patient’s bed and allows the staff to provide clinical care while containing the infection.
There are various facilities in place including a specific entrance for the patient, autoclaves which decontaminate waste and a dedicated laboratory for carrying out tests, all of which help to ensure the patient can be treated safely and securely. All the air leaving the unit is cleaned so there is no risk to anyone at the hospital.
The high level isolation unit is always fully prepared to admit a patient with a highly infectious disease at very short notice.
Visit our gallery for photos of the high level isolation unit.