Letter: Praise for staff at Royal Free as NHS turns 73

The Royal Free Hospital

The Royal Free Hospital - Credit: Archant

Astonishing service

Chair Mark Lam and group chief executive Caroline Clarke of Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust:

As we look towards the 73rd birthday of the NHS on July 5, we are sure your readers would like to join us in sharing a heartfelt “thank you” to staff at the Royal Free London, who have worked astonishingly hard over the past 15 months.  

Intensive care doctor Sarah Bigham, from the Royal Free Hospital in Camden, in front of a wall of ar

Intensive care doctor Sarah Bigham in front of a wall of artwork sent in by well-wishers during the coronavirus pandemic - Credit: Royal Free London NHS Trust

The Royal Free London was one of the first trusts to admit Covid-19 patients in February 2020 and since that date we have treated more than 5,000 people with the virus. Our staff have stepped up in the most remarkable way – we cannot thank them enough for their efforts during this most challenging time. We have also been supported by the Royal Free Charity who have stood shoulder to shoulder with us, providing a free shop for staff, kitting out rest and recuperation areas and prioritising psychological support. 

Looking to the future, we would like to congratulate the many staff at the Royal Free London who lead research and continue to look for better ways to provide patient care. 

Josephine hopes she'll be able to hug her family after her second dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccin

Josephine getting her Covid vaccine at the Royal Free Hospital - Credit: Royal Free

Since the Royal Free Hospital was established in 1828, we have been pioneers in medicine and that continues to be the case in 2021. 

That tradition will continue long into the future on the Royal Free Hospital campus with the opening of the Pears Building, the new home of the UCL Institute of Immunity and Transplantation, which will help to deliver new treatments for patients with Covid, cancer and other immune-related conditions. 

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The anniversary of the establishment of the NHS is the perfect time to reflect on all of its remarkable achievements and to recognise the extraordinary sacrifices made by those who work within it, at a time when we needed them most.