Meet VR4REHAB Partners: Royal Free London NHS

The Royal Free began as a pioneering organization, established in 1828 by William Marsden, a newly qualified surgeon shocked that he could not find treatment for a penniless young woman. The Royal Free's founding principle was to provide free healthcare to those who could not afford medical treatment.

In the 21st century, The Royal Free London continues to lead improvements in healthcare and has some of the best clinical outcomes in the country.


The Royal Free London has an international reputation for clinical research and has a long history of pioneering, world-leading clinical research into disease which has had revolutionary outcomes for patients.

Clinical research is the key focus of the research activity, with world-class investigators and highly-trained clinical research staff that allow to attract and host the latest national and international clinical trials and deliver them to international regulatory and ethical standards.

The Royal Free London is dedicated to making research both relevant and accessible to patients, carers, families, and the general public. Working with commercial, academic, medical charities, NHS and government department sponsors to deliver over 450 clinical studies at any one time.

“Playing a leading role in the care of our patients, our mission is to provide world-class expertise and local care.”

Researchers at the Royal Free London are part of the ambitious international Interreg NWE VR4Rehab project, aiming to extend the scope of digital technology and virtual reality (VR) for rehabilitation in order to provide support for people with a variety of health conditions.

The Interreg NWE programme awarded funding of 2.4 million euros for the VR4Rehab project total budget of 4,01 million euros, to a partnership including Royal Free London’s Children’s Occupational Therapy, along with partners from universities, hospitals and industry in the Netherlands, UK, France, Germany and Belgium, and consumers.


Rehabilitation for movement disorders often requires changes in strategy alongside considerable practice. This is difficult to fit into daily lives, particularly for children and young people with cerebral palsy or brain injuries. Our motivation to join the VR4REHAB project was set by the challenges in therapeutic exercises that engaged individuals in sufficient practice to make a difference. The opportunity to work together with experts in computer sciences and digital technologies, researchers, and health professionals alongside the young people to develop meaningful and motivating environments for rehabilitation has been fabulous.  We are starting to see the ideas proposed through the series of Hackathons and Game Jams, come to fruition and will be testing out their feasibility for use within rehabilitation practices.


Dido Green

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