Consultation launched on proposal to move Moorfields Eye Hospital to King’s Cross

A consultation to build an innovative eye care and research centre in central London was launched today (Friday 24 May) to ensure that patients and the public have their say on exciting proposals to move Moorfields Eye Hospital.

The consultation, led by NHS Camden Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) on behalf of all CCGs together with NHS England Specialised Commissioning, which commissions specialised services for the whole of England, invites the public to have their say on “Oriel” – the proposal to build the new facility at St Pancras Hospital that brings together excellent eye care, ground-breaking research and world-leading education in ophthalmology on one site.

The proposal is a partnership between Moorfields Eye Hospital, the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Charity. If approved, it would mean 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 would be built.

A new centre will bring clinicians and scientists closer together to optimise developments in care and research for the benefit of patients. This cannot be done effectively at Moorfields’ City Road site which was built over a century ago at a time when hospital care was provided very differently from how it is now.

Major advances in technology are bringing the potential for better diagnostics, treatments and information sharing which could mean fewer waits and fewer hospital visits. But the right facilities are needed to realise their full potential.

After the consultation closes on Monday 16 September, commissioners from 14 London and Hertfordshire CCGs, as well as NHS England Specialised Commissioning, will decide whether the proposed move should proceed to the next stage of planning.

If commissioners approve this proposal, Moorfields and UCL would develop their plans and related business cases reflecting views received during the public consultation. If approved, these business cases would result in Moorfields and UCL selling the current City Road site, buying land at St Pancras and appointing a construction firm. The new facility could open to patients in 2025/26.

David Probert, chief executive for Moorfields Eye Hospital, said:

“This is a crucial milestone in our ambitious proposal to design, build and operate a new, integrated eye care, research and education facility.  Our ability to provide modern, efficient and effective treatment is achieved despite the limitations of our century-old City Road site, which sometimes means that patients do not always get the best care, delivered in modern ways. 

“That is why we are looking at moving the hospital to a new purpose-built centre where we would be able to transform lives, turn research into new treatments faster and share our knowledge and understanding with the clinicians of tomorrow.

“We’ve already had feedback from over 1,600 people across the country through earlier public engagements and want to make sure that any future decision is made based on the involvement of those who use and provide our services.  I strongly encourage patients, staff and the wider public to use this consultation to send us their views.” 

Sarah Mansuralli, Chief Operating Officer of Camden CCG said:

“We are launching the consultation today in partnership with NHSE (Specialised Commissioning) and on behalf of those CCGs across England that commission services at the City Road site.

“We will continue to listen to local people’s views, ideas and any concerns they may have.  A number of meetings and events are planned between now and September where local people can have their say and I would encourage them to do so.”

“Ophthalmology is a clinical speciality where services and care could be provided more efficiently in partnership. Camden Clinical Commissioning Group and all other clinical commissioning groups, are keen to ensure that the opportunities presented from any proposed new purpose-built integrated facility will enable more efficient eye health care.”

Professor Andrew Dick, director of the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, said:

“We would strongly encourage participation in this consultation. Oriel is a fabulous opportunity for us to deliver research and education in vision and eye disease that truly affects people’s day to day lives.

Oriel will help us to develop our fundamental and discovery research excellence. A clear understanding of the needs of patients and staff will be vital to the development of a flexible, patient-focused environment that maximises the opportunities to translate science into experimental medicine and trials in patients, leading to new medical technologies, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and digital products.”

Robert Dufton, chief executive of Moorfields Eye Charity, said:

“We welcome the public consultation about the proposal to move Moorfields Eye Hospital services from City Road to a new site near Kings Cross. Thanks to generous support from donors in the past the hospital moved in 1899 from its previous site on the street Moorfields to the current site on City Road.  We are confident that many generous donors of today will support the creation of Oriel - the centre for advancing eye health - which is now being proposed.  We encourage people to respond to the consultation.”

Notes to editors

About the consultation

This consultation is focused on the proposal to move Moorfields services and the Institute of Ophthalmology from its site on City Road, Islington, to the St Pancras Hospital site in Camden, including the important issue of access.

Moorfields is also seeking views on whether the public has suggestions for alternative suitable sites for the proposed centre.

Here are the ways to get involved:

  • Come along to one of our open discussion groups. The dates and venues are listed overleaf.
  • Visit the Oriel website www.oriel-london.org.uk, which hosts a consultation document and other information, including a summary of the proposal, text only and audio versions, and Easy Read
  • Views can be submitted by completing the feedback survey available online at:  http://oakhamwarp.dinksurveys.com/Moorfields.  Copies can also be downloaded and returned by email or freepost (no stamp needed).
  • People can also write and send their views to the consultation team by post or email:

Email: moorfields.oriel@nhs.net

Phone: 020 7521 4684

Mail to: Freepost ORIEL (No need for a stamp or any other address details)

  • If a group or organisation would like to meet to discuss the proposed move, please contact the consultation team:

Email: moorfields.oriel@nhs.net

Phone: 020 7521 4684

Mail to: Freepost ORIEL (No need for a stamp or any other address details)

  • The team can also arrange printed copies, other formats (including braille) and language versions of the consultation document or summary.

 For media enquiries, please contact the Moorfields Eye Hospital:

About Oriel

Oriel is a proposal to create a new, purpose-built centre of excellence for eye care, research and education. It is a joint venture between Moorfields Eye Hospital, UCL and Moorfields Eye Charity. If approved, together we propose to relocate all services from Moorfields Eye Hospital on City Road and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology (UCL IoO) on Bath Street, to this new, integrated centre.

The proposed new facility will be flexible and modern, enabling us to bring together eye care, research and education for the first time, while focusing on patients, and attracting and retaining the best ophthalmic scientists, educators and clinicians.

The new centre will house Moorfields Eye Hospital, the UCL IoO and Moorfields Eye Charity, bringing together clinical care, research and education expertise in one flexible, fully integrated facility. Our vision is to create an environment for innovation to flourish, inspiring improvements in people’s sight.

RIBA launched a competition in June 2018, encouraging architect and design teams from around the world to apply to design Moorfields’ proposed new centre for eye care, research and education.

In August 2018, five shortlisted teams were announced. These teams produced preliminary designs, which were presented to stakeholders, staff and patients at a series of exhibitions. An evaluation panel comprising 12 representatives from Moorfields, UCL, Moorfields Eye Charity and RIBA selected the AECOM as the winning team based on set criteria.

In December 2018, Moorfields announced that it has successfully bid for government funding to support Oriel. Moorfields has managed to secure nearly £20 million of funding as part of the Department of Health and Social Care’s major investment in the long-term future of the NHS.   

The new centre would also be nearby other important health and research institutes such as UCLH, Great Ormond Street Hospital, UCL and the new Francis Crick Institute, making Oriel part of an emerging scientific hub.

Facts and figures

Every day 250 people in the UK start to lose their sight and almost 10% of all UK NHS hospital appointments are for eyes. And the problem is set to worsen – by 2050 it’s estimated that four million people will be living with sight loss because of our ageing population and rising incidence of diseases like diabetes and obesity

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 around 30 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.

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology was established in April 2007 and has recently been awarded a third five-year term by the NIHR from April 2017. Its purpose is to conduct ‘translational research’ that is designed to take advances in basic medical research from the laboratory to the clinic, enabling patients to benefit more quickly from new scientific breakthroughs.  Our centre is currently one of 20 biomedical research centres that have been awarded from April 2017 to NHS/university partnerships with an outstanding international reputation for medical research and expertise, and experience of translating that research into the clinical setting. For further information, please visit www.brcophthalmology.org 

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 and its academic partner, the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, investing in life changing eye health.

It provides targeted funds, above and beyond the responsibility of the NHS, to research cures and find treatments and provide the best care for Moorfields’ patients and millions of people affected by eye disease in the UK and around the world.

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

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