Read through the answers to some common queries about Oriel.

What is Oriel?

Oriel is our proposal to relocate all services from Moorfields Eye Hospital on City Road and the UCL IoO on Bath Street to a new purpose-built facility at a section of land at the site of St Pancras Hospital. This is a joint initiative between Moorfields Eye Hospital, Moorfields Eye Charity and UCL to deliver a leading integrated eye care, research and education facility.  

We are currently working on a number of different priorities within the initiative, including planning to undertake a CCG-led formal public consultation on the relocation in 2019. This consultation will allow further opportunities for patients, staff and stakeholders to have their say about the relocation.

Why are we planning to relocate?

The existing buildings on City Road are more than 100 years old and were built at a time when hospital care was provided very differently to how it is now. The ageing infrastructure of the hospital is growing increasingly difficult and costly to maintain, and the configuration of our existing buildings offers little scope for true integration between the clinical, research and teaching elements of our work. 

Although intermediate refurbishments go some way to improving the environment for our patients and staff, they are no substitute for purpose-built facilities that can modernise patient pathways and meet growing demand for eye health services. Creating a new facility, purpose-built for the future will provide patients with a place where they can experience the best care, and will enable trust staff to make ground-breaking discoveries that will radically improve eye care across the UK and beyond.

When are we looking to move?

Our current proposals would see construction beginning around 2021 with the new facility open to patients by 2026.

Why can’t we renovate City Road?

In planning the project, we assessed a number of options for improving services and facilities for our patients. A major renovation of City Road was assessed as an option but this was found to be more expensive and more disruptive (especially to patients) than building a new facility. This is due to the age and layout of the hospital and institute buildings; and ultimately it would not achieve our desired outcome of delivering a flexible, integrated, world-class facility. 

Why did we choose St Pancras as our preferred site?

St Pancras has been identified as the most attractive location for an integrated eye care, research and education facility for three main reasons:

• It is within the North Central London sector.

• Kings Cross/St Pancras/Euston is a major transport hub, allowing easier access to our facility for those travelling from inside and outside of London.

• Moving to this area will bring us closer to other important health and research partners, including University College London Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital, UCL, and the new Francis Crick Institute, making us part of an emerging scientific hub. 

What will happen to the current City Road building?

We are working very closely with Islington Borough Council and development partners to determine the future of the City Road site. No decisions have been made at this stage, and it has not yet been put on the market for sale. We will update you on the future of the City Road facility as the project progresses.

Has the new hospital already been designed?

In January 2019, we appointed AECOM with Penoyre & Prasad and White Arkitekter as the team who will design our proposed new centre for eye care, research and education. The images released are preliminary designs which were presented at a series of exhibitions to patients, staff and stakeholders.

The AECOM-led team will now be working closely with the project team to produce concept designs for this proposed new facility. Staff and patients will have opportunities in the coming months to input on these initial design elements.  


Will any clinical services remain at City Road?

We are planning for all services, including the Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre, Moorfields Private and the clinic on Cayton Street to relocate to the new facility. No services will remain at the City Road site. 

What will happen to the Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre?

We appreciate that the Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre is still a relatively new facility. However, in order to provide the very best eye care for all patients both now and in the future, it is important that the Children’s Eye Centre is an integrated part of the larger facility. Therefore, the current centre will be sold along with the rest of the City Road site.

We, together with Moorfields Eye Charity, have spoken with the leading donors that made the construction of this centre possible. They are comfortable with our plans and we will continue to keep them informed as to the status of the relocation project progresses

What will this mean for the rest of the Moorfields network?

Oriel proposes to relocate City Road services specifically and the plans will be factored in to ongoing strategic discussions regarding the Moorfields network which aim to deliver improved patient experience and work life for staff across all sites.

Will care be disrupted during the move?

Although the physical move is some years away, we have already established that we will continue to offer all services throughout the move process. A comprehensive plan on the logistics behind the move will be established with very close consultation with staff and stakeholders. All services available at Moorfields on City Road will be relocated and will continue at the new site. No services will be closed due to the move. 

Where can I get more information?

We have an Oriel inbox where you can contact the project team directly for more information: moorfields.oriel@nhs.net. If you provide your contact details you can sign up to receive future correspondence regarding Oriel, with further opportunities to get involved.