Plans to build a new world leading eye care and research centre reach major milestone

Moorfields Eye Hospital’s proposed relocation to King’s Cross reaches a major milestone as it gets the green light for the next stage of planning.

Plans to build a world leading, innovative eye care and research centre in central London took a significant step forward after they were agreed at a special decision making meeting yesterday (12 February).

A Committee in Common – a group of 14 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) from in and around London – considered and agreed plans put forward by Moorfields Eye Hospital to create a new integrated eye health centre.

The decision means that plans for ‘Oriel’ – a proposal to bring together excellent eye care, ground-breaking research and world-leading education in ophthalmology on one site – can now move forward to focus on designing what the new centre could look like and how it works for patients and staff.

The proposal is a partnership between Moorfields Eye Hospital, the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Charity, which would see Moorfields Eye Hospital move its City Road services to the St Pancras Hospital site in Camden, where a new integrated facility housing the three partners will be built.

David Probert, chief executive of Moorfields, said:
“This decision is a significant step forward in our journey towards creating a new integrated eye-care, research and education facility. “We know that our clinicians provide modern, efficient and effective treatment despite the limitations of our century-old City Road site but this new centre will allow us to work much more closely with research colleagues to develop further treatments for our patients.”

To help inform this decision, Camden CCG, in partnership with NHS England Specialised Commissioning, ran a public consultation to understand how patients, the public and a range of partners could be affected by the proposals. Around 3,500 people took part in the consultation and shared their views on the proposal.

David Probert, chief executive of Moorfields, continued:
“Throughout the consultation we have heard lots of ideas from our patients, staff and the wider public on what a new integrated centre could look like, and this decision means that we can now start to bring these ideas to life as we enter the formal design phase.

“We will take forward the insight from the consultation into our formal planning phase, particularly around accessibility and patient experience. Providing the best care and treatments is paramount in our vision for the new centre.”

Professor Andrew Dick, director of the Institute of Ophthalmology, said:
“This decision represents another important step in our transformational joint project. By bringing together UCL’s powerful research base with the world-class healthcare delivery of Moorfields we will be able to better develop new treatments, and improve both patient outcomes and the staff and student experience.”


Final approval on the plans will be subject to approval of the full business case which is expected to be put forward for review and approval in 2021.

Robert Dufton, chief executive, Moorfields Eye Charity, added:
"We're delighted that Oriel is progressing to the next stage of the planning process. The proposed new integrated centre for advancing eye care globally will benefit from the charity's support of research, education and patient care. The role of philanthropy is also essential to making this a reality. In partnership with UCL, we're committed to raising £100 million to support Oriel. We're very grateful for the pledges so far and are looking for further opportunities to achieve this ambitious project."

ENDS

For full details of the proposed move, informed by consultation feedback, please see the committees in common documents on the Oriel website.
For media enquiries, please contact the Moorfields Eye Hospital team:
Email: moorfields.pressoffice@nhs.net
Phone: 020 7566 2628 (for out of hours please call 020 7253 3411)

For editors
About the consultation
The consultation was led by Camden Clinical Commissioning Group in partnership with NHS England (Specialised Commissioning). Over 1,500 people completed the consultation survey and more than 2,000 fed back through other ways, including emails, discussion groups, phone call, letters and the virtual assistant on the trust website; there were a total of over 4,600 contributions.
Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is one of the leading providers of eye health services in the UK and a world class centre of excellence for ophthalmic research and education. Our main focus is the treatment and care of NHS patients with a wide range of eye problems, from common complaints to rare conditions that require treatment not available elsewhere in the UK. Our unique patient case-mix and the number of people we treat mean that our clinicians have expertise in discrete ophthalmic sub-specialties.

In 2017/18, we received over 740,000 visits from patients to our outpatient, inpatient and A&E services, making Moorfields the largest eye care provider in the UK.
We treat people in 25 locations in and around London, the south east and Bedford, enabling us to provide expert treatment closer to patients’ homes. We also operate commercial divisions that provide care to private patients in both London and the Middle East.

With our academic partners at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, Moorfields is recognised as a leading centre of excellence in eye and vision research. Together, we form one of the largest ophthalmic research sites in the world, with the largest patient population in Europe or the USA. We publish more scientific papers than any other eye and vision research site and have an extensive joint research portfolio.

UCL Institute of Ophthalmology is one of a number of specialised research centres within UCL (University College London) and is, together with Moorfields Eye Hospital, one of the leading centres for eye research worldwide. The combination of the Institute’s research resource with the resources of Moorfields Eye Hospital, which has the largest ophthalmic patient population in the Western World, opens the way for advances at the forefront of vision research. For further information, please visit www.ucl.ac.uk.

Moorfields Eye Charity is the main fundraising and grant-making charity for Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and its academic partner, the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. It invests in life changing eye health by funding innovative research, education and care to improve people’s sight, both for Moorfields patients and people around the world. Alongside the trust and the institute, Moorfields Eye Charity is a partner in realising Oriel – the proposed centre for advancing eye health.

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