The Moorfields patient counselling service forms part of the patient support services available to all patients who attend the hospital. Our specialists counsellors are available to provide emotional support, information and advice for patients at the time of diagnosis, throughout treatment and during follow-up.

We are based in City Road and are able to offer confidential, face-to-face counselling to all adult patients over the age of 18yrs. The service is available Monday to Friday 9-5pm.


Why have counselling?

Counselling provides an opportunity to talk through difficulties in a safe and confidential space. Having time to talk things through may help you in your relationships with family, friends and colleagues. It can be useful in considering treatment options and adapting to any loss of vision.


How many sessions will I have?

You will be seen by appointment for an initial assessment and then offered further sessions as appropriate (usually between six to 12 sessions). A session will generally last for 50 minutes. If we think other support may be more appropriate we will be able to advise you on this.



Funding for the team is supported by several charitable organisations, including the Marie-Louise Von Motesiczky Foundation, the Friends of Moorfields and Action for Blind People.


Counselling for children and young people

Counselling at the Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre at Moorfields provides a safe and confidential space where children and young people from the age of three to eighteen can talk to someone who will listen, empathise and help them to better understand what they’re going through. It can lead to improvements in family relationships, friendships and self-esteem, as well as enabling them to better process their thoughts and regulate their emotions.


Information for parents/carers

Referrals can only be made by staff within the hospital. If think your child needs to see a counsellor, have a chat with their consultant, a nurse or a family support specialist and they can make a referral.


  • How will I know if my child needs counselling?

If you notice changes in your child’s mood or confidence, this could be an indication that they may benefit from counselling. It could be that your child is struggling to come to terms with a diagnosis and is particularly distressed. If you aren’t sure, have a chat with your consultant, a nurse, or one of our family support specialists and they’ll guide you in the right direction.

  • How many sessions can my child have?

The number of sessions your child has is dependent on the level of need.

  • Will this go on my child’s record?

For clinical safety, limited records must be maintained within the electronic medical records for counselling. Any more detailed information that needs recording in this manner will be discussed with your child before any records are made. Your child’s school or college does not need to know and other professionals within the hospital will only be informed on a need to know basis. There are exceptions to this, which will be discussed during the initial appointment.

  • Will you let me know what happens in counselling?

Confidentiality is a very important aspect of building a therapeutic relationship; this means that whilst you’ll be kept informed about how things are going, what happens in the room won’t be discussed with you without your child’s permission. You will be informed however if something arises that you need to know about.

  • What if my other children need support?

Counselling is available for patients of Moorfields. Having said that, if you think your other children are also being adversely affected it may be possible for them to be seen too.

  • Will I have to attend sessions with my child?

Sessions are available for children and young people, however counselling at the Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre takes a holistic approach, which means that the needs of the whole family are taken into consideration.

You will be asked to attend an initial assessment session as well as the occasional meeting todiscuss how things are going. There may also be times when you’ll be asked to join sessions if your child agrees.

  • What if I want to withdraw my consent?

Counselling is voluntary; therefore it’s okay to withdraw your consent. It would be advisable however to have a chat with your child’s counsellor or one of our family support specialists, in order for us to understand your reasons. It’s possible that we’ll be able to talk things through with you or point you in the direction of alternative support.


Information for children and young people

  • How many sessions will I have to attend?

The number of sessions you’ll need depends on how well you’re coping. Your counsellor will discuss this with you as the sessions progress.

  • What if I don’t want to talk?

Don’t worry if you’re not keen on talking too much, it’s the counsellor’s job to help you to express yourself in a way that feels comfortable. There are books, toys and art materials in the room so there are lots of ways to use the space.

  • Will my school or college know that I’m seeing a counsellor?

Sessions are confidential therefore your school or college needn’t know that you’re seeing a counsellor. It may be advisable for them to know in some instances but this will be discussed with you first. Other professionals within the hospital may be told on a need to know basis but only limited records will be kept in your electronic patient files.

  • Will my parents be told what we talk about?

The fact that sessions are confidential means that for the most part what’s said in the room stays in the room. There are exceptions to this, which will be discussed with you.

It’s important that your parents are involved in supporting your counselling, therefore, with your permission, they may be asked to attend some sessions and/or meetings.

  • Can I change my mind?

Sessions are for you and it’s your choice if you attend. If you decide not to continue we recommend that you speak with your counsellor or a family support specialist so that we understand your reasons. It’s possible that together we’ll be able to resolve things and if not, we may be able to help you find more suitable support.

  • When are sessions available?

Sessions are available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, between 9:30am and 4:30pm, and on Wednesdays, between 8:30am and 3:30pm.

  • How long are the sessions?

Sessions usually last between 45 and 50 minutes.