Her Majesty the Queen has given permission for “The Queen Elizabeth unit” to be the official title of our bespoke critical care facility on the 14th and 15th floors of The Royal London hospital.
Use of a royal name is at the personal discretion of the Sovereign, who is the patron of The Royal London, and we are delighted at this designation for one of the biggest critical care units in the country.
Alwen Williams, group chief executive, said: “This is a fitting tribute to the unique contribution our staff are making to the specialist care of Covid-19 patients. The new name also reflects the history and traditions of a hospital that has served east London for 280 years.”
“We are enormously grateful to all our staff for the way in which they have risen to the challenges of Covid-19, and our thanks in particular go not only to our specialist staff in critical care but all those who are redeployed to boost those at the front line.”
The 155-bed unit will play a crucial role in supporting the wider Covid-19 effort at The Royal London, serving patients from all our local communities in east London as part of the London-wide Covid response.
Lucie Butler, the Royal London’s director of nursing, has stepped into the new role of managing director of The Queen Elizabeth unit, as part of The Royal London hospital executive. She will be supported by a dedicated management team to provide leadership to the unit for as long as is needed.
Jackie Sullivan, the hospital chief executive, said: “Our fabulous teams are offering critical care to patients on a larger scale than any other NHS provider, and working closely with our partners across north east London. I am grateful to Lucie for taking on the challenge of running the unit as an integral part of our group model.”
The Barts Health group is treating more Covid-19 patients than almost any other NHS trust, and we supply 5% of all critical care beds in England (equivalent to almost 15% of all those in London).
Last year we developed the 14/15th floors – which were left empty when the new hospital buildings opened in 2012 - as extra surge capacity for north east London.
With the numbers of Covid-19 patients now running at 50% higher than the first peak, the unit has come into its own as a vital part of London’s response to the pandemic. The unit and the hospital services provided within it will continue to bear the Queen Elizabeth title after the pandemic.
The new unit has enabled The Royal London to more than triple its critical care capacity, and a sixth ward in the unit opens this week to further increase the number of available beds.