Moorfields’ Got Talent

The Friends of Moorfields began their 50th anniversary celebrations in style with an evening of entertainment at The Great Hall of St Bart’s Hospital on Thursday 21 March. The “Moorfields Got Talent” event saw staff from across the organisation perform acts ranging from poetry recitals to piano solos which included Chopin and the hospital’s chief executive John Pelly, who performed Liszt’s Liebestraum Nocturne No.3. Over 150 guests paid £10 a ticket to witness some outstanding performances.

Doctor Stacey Strong sang ‘On my own’ to a mesmerised audience, and Rushmia Karim-Lynch, accompanied by consultant ophthalmologist Gordon Plant and doctor Ronald Kam, sang ‘Ave Maria’ to rapturous applause.

The star of the show was Jay Adams, who performed Frank Sinatra’s ‘Ain’t that a kick in the head’ to a standing ovation that nearly lifted the roof off The Great Hall, with the help of his colleagues from Moorfields Eye Centre at Ealing Hospital.

Once all of the acts had performed, comperes Alex Ionides and medical director Declan Flanagan – otherwise known as Moorfields’ ‘Al and Dec’ - announced that to help the judges, the audience would participate in a ‘clap-o-meter’ to determine the most popular acts.

While all the performances were outstanding, the audience voted unanimously, and loudly, that Jay was to be announced as the winner of Moorfields Got Talent 2013, with Stacey Strong finishing second, and Gideon Bull finishing third.

There were also awards for Jose Rodrigues who was recognised for being the most original with a piece of music he composed called ‘A vision of excellence’, while Peter Sharif won the variety award for singing in six different languages before telling a range of jokes. Finally, Deborah Harris was singled out as the funniest act of the night for explaining her role as ‘the model of a modern non-executive.’

The judging panel was made up of director of strategy Rob Elek, director of nursing and allied health professions Tracey Luckett and chief operating officer Ruth Russell, who were all clearly impressed with what they saw.  “We knew Moorfields had talent,” said Ruth, “but we didn’t know just how much!”

Since it was first inaugurated in May 1963, the Friends of Moorfields have raised millions of pounds for Moorfields Eye Hospital which has gone to support research, clinical equipment and facilities to improve patient care, services and the overall environment of the hospital for staff, patients and the public. The Friends’ shop and their contribution to the Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre are all part of the heritage of the Friends of Moorfields.

In 2012 alone, the Friends provided over £150,000 for a variety of projects including: over £40,000 for the Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre, £30,950 for a project to provide patients with personal information online and £35,000 for a scanning laser for St George’s satellite.

Notes to editors

For their 50th year, Friends of Moorfields has agreed to support and target their fundraising on three special projects: 

£70,000 to support the costs of an eye clinic liaison officer (ECLO) for Northwick Park and Ealing satellite clinics for three years.  The ECLO will provide counselling, advice and support to patients about issues related to their sight. 

£80,000 over three years to support the development of an arts programme at Moorfields, including special events, improved artwork for the hospital and occasional music. 

£8,000 to support a programme to increase the employment of visually impaired people at Moorfields through the provision of specialist technology and improved advertising.

Moorfields is one of the world’s leading eye hospitals, providing expertise in clinical care, research and education. We have provided excellence in eye care for more than 200 years and we continue to be at the forefront of new breakthroughs and developments.  We are an integral part of one of the UK’s first academic health science centres, UCL Partners, and were one of the first NHS organisations to achieve foundation trust status in 2004.

We treat the entire range of eye diseases, from common complaints to rare conditions which require treatments not available anywhere else in the UK. We dealt with more than 475,000 patient visits in 2011/12 at our main hospital base in London’s City Road and at 19 other sites in and around the capital, enabling us to provide expert care closer to patients’ homes.

With our research partners at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, we run one of the largest ophthalmic research programmes in the world and have the highest measure of scientific productivity and impact in the world for our research activity.

For further information, please visit www.moorfields.nhs.uk.

Photo/ Copyright: Eleni Leoussi

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