St. Aidan's Royal Free Hospital, better known as The Royal, is a fictional hospital that first featured in a series twelve episode of Heartbeat, called 'Out of the Blue'. In that episode, the character of Vernon Scripps was admitted to hospital. It also introduced many of the characters in The Royal, such as Dr Gordon Omerod and Dr Jill Weatherill. In the first two series of The Royal, some of the characters in Heartbeat such as Claude Jeremiah Greengrass and Oscar Blaketon. PC Phil Bellamy and Gina Ward also made their first appearances in the first episode.