July – September 2017

Site visits:

During July I enjoyed enormously getting out to visit a number of our sites. It is always a highlight of my job to meet staff and understand some of the opportunities and challenges we face across the Moorfields network. At St George’s it was particularly pleasing for me to see the work completed within the outpatient centre. Many of the patients I spoke with mentioned the increased feeling of privacy and dignity and how the better laid out reception desks and chairs improved their overall experience. I would like to thank everyone in the Moorfields estates team who very swiftly made the changes possible and to all the operational staff who helped design and facilitate the improvements. We now have the considerable and critically important challenge at St George’s to improve our inpatient and theatre facility. I am pleased to say we are making good progress to move these plans forward. 

I very much enjoyed the opportunity to meet staff and patients at Darent Valley Hospital, one of our newest networked sites. Perched between the border of Kent and south east London, the hospital provides important services to a growing community and population who greatly welcome the care we deliver. As often happens on my visits, I also witnessed innovation in action. On this occasion it was a theatre pathway flow that was efficient, effective and appeared to create a very enjoyable environment for staff in which to work.

Well done to all our staff involved in leading these sites, and all of our 32 sites in the UK and three in the United Arab Emirates. It really is a huge pleasure to spend time with you and to see the approaches in place to provide high quality and very expert eye care to our local populations. 

Five-year strategy:

During July 2017 we also launched our refreshed five-year strategy. This was an incredibly important process and I was delighted to see so many staff attend launch sessions at City Road and across our network of services. For me in particular, the emphasis on working together is what makes this strategy different. It was incredibly important to me and our board that the strategy refresh was co-led by Johanna Moss, our director of strategy and business development, and also by Professor Andrew Dick, director of the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. Both Andrew and I are absolutely clear that the future of Moorfields and the Institute will only be successful if we achieve all of our new objectives in a greater and more transparent partnership.

This will allow us to discover, develop and deliver for our patients and on a continued global scale. I would like to thank the many staff and external stakeholders involved in developing this strategy whose input has been rich and absolutely critical. 

Science of Sight:

The future of technology is ultimately hugely exciting. In August I was very lucky to be able to see consultant ophthalmologist, Mariya Moosajee’s, ‘Science of Sight’ exhibition at the Science Museum in London. It was a really important opportunity to showcase the work of Mariya and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre here at Moorfields and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.

It gave clear and simple explanations of the science of sight and attracted over 2,000 visitors, many of whom were children and will hopefully be our leaders of the future. Walking through the museum it was obvious again to me how far technology has come. Walking into the Tomorrow’s World gallery, where the exhibition was located, it was impossible not to be excited by the future and the role our organisation is playing.

Recognition of our care:

In August I was delighted to welcome Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers (an organisation that collectively represents NHS hospitals nationally). Chris was keen to see what was going on at Moorfields, how we are coping with the rising tide of demand and continuing to maintain a significant presence nationally and internationally in eye care and research. For those of you who follow Twitter, you may have seen that Chris was impressed by what he saw at Moorfields. He commented to me personally and shared on social media how impressed he was with the excellent healthcare delivery he observed, the global leading research underway, the constant and innovative focus on education and the desire we have to play a greater role in leading NHS and global eye healthcare policy. It was very humbling for me to hear from Chris how highly our organisation is regarded across the NHS, and the great esteem with which so many of our staff are held.

Not long after Chris’s visit, I was contacted by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) with the news that we have been shortlisted for the prestigious HSJ Provider Trust of the Year award. This really is the Oscars equivalent for the NHS and we can all feel very proud that our peers regard us worthy to join a shortlist of just seven national hospitals. To be recognised among such a strong peer group is an achievement we can already feel very proud of. Recognition from Chris and being in the running for awards like the HSJ Provider Trust of the Year make me feel even luckier to work in such a fantastic organisation. It is a reminder of the precious opportunity we all have to help ensure our future is well defined and progressive.

What a summer it has been, full of praise, commendation and of course… hard work from all our staff. Well done Team Moorfields, HSJ Provider Trust of the Year nominee, I’m a very proud chief executive.

David Probert

Twitter: @probert_david

Last updated: 22nd October 2018