Community to have say as Royal Free Hospital becomes Foundation Trust

The Royal Free Hospital has become a foundation trust giving it more freedom to tailor services to patients and the community, health bosses have said.

On Sunday, the hospital in Pond Street, Hampstead, achieved trust status, a process that all hospitals must undergo by 2014 under government reforms.

David Sloman, chief executive of the Royal Free, said: “We are delighted to have been designated a foundation trust. It reflects the quality and strengths of the hospital’s services and I’m thrilled that the hard work of all the staff over the years has been recognised.

“The main benefits are that we have more control over how we develop our services and how we meet the needs of people and patients, and local people will have much more say in how services will develop.”

Under a new constitution hospital bosses will be held to account by a council of 24 elected governors drawn from the community.

It will communicate the views of its 16,000 members, 10,000 of whom are members of the public and 6,000 are Royal Free staff.