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Publication Date: 05 February 2007
Press contact: Martin Spencer
Telephone: 020 7566 2628
Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is proud to announce The Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre is set to welcome its first patients.
After over two years of construction, the world’s largest eye centre dedicated to children’s eye diseases will open its doors on 7 February.
The purpose built facility with its unique ‘bird in flight’ façade is situated on Peerless Street, adjacent to the world renowned Moorfields Eye Hospital on City Road, EC1. Children aged 16 and under who previously had their appointment with the paediatric service at City Road will now be seen at the Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre.
As well as treating eye conditions, the centre will enable Moorfields Eye Hospital, together with the Institute of Ophthalmology, to establish a world-class research programme in paediatric ophthalmology. In the future, this research will provide new treatments for children with intractable eye problems, for whom there is currently little or no hope.
The ‘hospital within a hospital’ has been built alongside the City Road site, but with physical links to the main building. There is a direct route into the operating theatres and patients will not be aware they are leaving the children's centre.
Ian Balmer, Chief Executive comments: “It’s very exciting, and everyone is looking forward to the opening day. Moorfields will have a fantastic facility to be proud of, and we can continue helping children, not only in the UK, but around the world.”
“It’s been a very long wait as it has taken six years to become a reality, however, I am convinced the wait will be worth it as the building looks absolutely amazing. When the Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre does open, Moorfields will have the largest unit anywhere in the world for the sole purpose of preventing, curing and conducting research into children’s eye diseases, and we will strive to find cures for conditions which are currently untreatable.”
The six floors of the centre are colour coded; each with their own unique design features such as a giant games pod, and viewing platform. The building contains outpatient clinics, a daycare unit, a research facility, a storage area for medical records and the Ronald Macdonald Family Accommodation Unit which is a floor dedicated to families with space for them to relax and the option of staying overnight.
Staff from the existing children’s ward and paediatric clinic will be moving into the new centre. Over 2000 patients with forthcoming appointments have been written to and notified of the changes.
In excess of £15 million has been raised to fund the cost of the centre.
Notes to editors
- The Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre will open to patients on 7 February. It will be officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen on 23 February 2007.
- The building is named after Richard Desmond, the owner of Express Newspapers, who donated £2.5 million to the fundraising appeal.
- Moorfields currently treats over 20,000 paediatric cases each year.
- The centre was designed by Penoyre & Prasad Architects and constructed by Balfour Beatty.