A hospital’s board of directors have rejected full membership of a larger north London medical trust.

The board of North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust voted against full membership of the Royal Free London group (RFL) at a meeting last Thursday.

If North Middlesex Hospital in Sterling Way agreed, it would have followed in the footsteps of Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals, which were acquired by RFL in 2014.

Throughout June and July, patients and stakeholders were asked by community interest company Healthwatch Enfield for their views on the future direction of the hospital – including becoming a full member of the Royal Free group.

Peoples’ reactions were documented and used as evidence for the board to base its decision upon.

Patricia Mecinska, chief executive of Healthwatch Enfield, said: “We would like to recognise the leadership at North Mid for delivering on their commitment to involve patients in conversations about the future direction of the hospital.

“At Healthwatch Enfield, it is our job to bring the voices of local people to decision-makers and the report we presented does just that.

“We will continue to work with our residents and listening to their experiences to ensure North Mid develops in a way that responds to needs as it looks towards the future and any potential partnership models.”

After rejecting membership, the hospital instead reaffirmed its commitment to continuing as a partner and working alongside RFL.

An RFL spokesperson said: "The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust (RFL) is one of four trusts across the NHS to be chosen to develop a group model, enabling us to share services and resources more effectively across hospitals in order to improve the experience of patients and staff."

"Individual trusts are able to join the group under a range of membership options, from full membership to arrangements such as clinical partnerships and buddying.

"Our group is already delivering benefits – including reduced neonatal unit admissions and shorter length of stay for patients following knee operations.

"North Middlesex University Hospitals NHS Trust (NMUH) joined the Royal Free London group as a clinical partner in September 2017 with a view to potentially joining as a full member at a later date.

"NMUH have decided that exploring the possibility of becoming a full member – something which would require RFL board approval and be seen as a ‘significant transaction’ – is not the right option for them at this time."