A new chief executive has taken over the running of the Royal Free group of hospitals in north London in the face of the crisis facing the NHS.

Peter Landstrom has been appointed to run the group after filling in for the NHS Foundation Trust since May as its deputy chief.

“The challenges faced by the NHS are very real,” he warned. “But our commitment to clinical research is at the heart of everything we do, alongside best education and training for staff.

“But we have cause for optimism. I have been struck by just how much pride staff have in their services and by their dedication to patients.” 

He is now in charge of the UK’s biggest NHS foundation trust with a workforce of 10,000 and 1.6million patients a year.  

The trust has set its clinical strategy on cardiovascular care, cancer and organ failure and transplantation. It is also prioritising each hospital’s local needs, working with health and social care organisations in the community to improve public health care.

Foundation Trust chair Mark Lam said: “Peter has been setting a direction to ensure patients get the best of the NHS when they walk through our doors, with a relentless focus on our performance amid the ongoing pressures faced by our trust and the entire NHS.”    

Peter began his career in the City as a consultant at Price Waterhouse Coopers accountancy firm before joining the NHS in 2003. He ran Western Sussex Hospitals trust in 2015 as chief operating officer and was later appointed to oversee the merger of the Western, Brighton and Sussex NHS trusts in 2021.