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The Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre (RDCEC), which opened in February 2007, is the largest hospital anywhere in the world solely dedicated to the prevention, treatment and cure of children’s eye disease. It provides world-class treatment, from the routine to the most rare and complex conditions, to the 25,000 plus paediatric patient attendances each year, together with appropriate support and high-quality, flexible accommodation for their families.
The centre enables Moorfields, with the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, to undertake a world-class research programme in paediatric ophthalmology. In the future, this research will provide new hope for children with intractable eye problems, for whom there is currently little or no hope.
The new children’s eye centre is a ‘hospital within the hospital’. It has been built alongside the main City Road site in London, with a separate entrance for visitors on Peerless Street but with physical links to the main building. This means there is a direct route into the operating theatres and patients will not be aware they are leaving the children's centre.
The development is a state-of-the-art facility comparable to anywhere in the world. The design is exciting and child-friendly but makes the most of the extensive facilities already available in the main building.
The centre was designed by Penoyre & Prasad Architects in consultation with patients, their families and staff. These discussions mean that the building reflects the wishes and meets the needs of the people who use it.
About the centre
The centre creates space for three main functions: clinical diagnosis and treatment, research, and family overnight accommodation. There are also several play areas, a shop and cafeteria on the ground floor, and a child-friendly reception and waiting areas.
Play and relaxation areas
Play is part of the centre, rather than something tucked ‘out of sight’. Play areas, located on all clinical floors, are designed for the whole family during their visit, with different areas for different age groups. These play areas are important in helping children to adjust to a potentially upsetting experience, and help reduce stress and anxiety.
Family accommodation unit
Most ophthalmic surgery for children is done as day-case surgery. Our accommodation unit provides a 'home from home', which is both private and comfortable, free of charge to patients who have travelled from around the UK and the world to be treated at Moorfields. The family accommodation unit, funded by the Friends of Moorfields and Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities, covers the entire fifth floor and consists of 10 ensuite bedrooms together with a communal lounge and kitchen.
The second floor of the building is dedicted to research into children's eye disorders. The unit provides a direct link into the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology from the main hospital building which helps facilitate the rapid transfer of research results into clinical practice worldwide.
The physical environment
The physical environment has been specifically designed to assist a child’s
treatment and support their physical, emotional and spiritual recovery. A clear
layout gives a sense of security, and a feeling of space and light is provided
by the voids creating a sense of connection and continuity between floors.
Colour schemes and artwork, together with the play and relaxation areas, all combine to create surroundings that are vibrant, inspiring and inviting for children and their families.