Moorfields Eye Hospital has celebrated the twelfth anniversary of the pioneering Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre (RDCEC). The centre, which is the world’s largest children’s eye centre, has transformed the way in which paediatric services are provided at Moorfields Eye Hospital since it opened on 24 February 2007.
The development of the centre was made possible through a £2.5 million donation by businessman and philanthropist Richard Desmond, who supported the centre’s development following his own experience as a patient at Moorfields. His donation, and those of many other generous donors, has enabled the establishment of a world-leading children’s eye facility at Moorfields.
A 2017 report published by Moorfields Eye Charity, the main fundraising and grant-making charity for Moorfields Eye Hospital, found that since the centre’s unveiling over 100,000 children have been treated for more than 70 different conditions.
Richard Desmond, principal donor to the Children’s Eye Centre said:
“The world class, professional services of The Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre deserved a state-of-the-art, world class building to match the superb, award-winning treatment offered to patients and their families. I was extremely happy to put my name to this building and help them financially. It gives me the greatest pleasure seeing the children and their parents’ smiling faces.”
“I will continue to help Moorfields for the rest of my life and beyond. This hospital, together with Professor Sir Peng Khaw, Professor Paul Foster and the National Health Service saved my eye sight and I will forever be grateful.”
David Probert, chief executive for Moorfields Eye Hospital, said:
“The Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre offers patients and their families outstanding paediatric care and it’s our aim that the centre will always deliver world-leading clinical services and research. The centre’s success over the past twelve years has only been made possible thanks to Richard’s generosity, commitment and support, which has enabled the centre to be at the forefront of paediatric ophthalmic care.”
Professor Sir Peng Khaw, director of research and development at Moorfields Eye Hospital, said:
“It seems like only yesterday we were delivering children’s surgical services from the old Victorian ward and I remember thinking how much more we could do for our patients and their families if we had a children’s centre that would meet our high expectations. The achievement of this dream was made possible by Richard, who felt that he could help us realise our ambitions.”
Robert Dufton, chief executive for Moorfields Eye Charity, said:
“The Children’s Eye Centre was created through charitable funding thanks to Richard Desmond and many other generous donors. Moorfields Eye Charity, thanks to its many supporters, continues to invest in the work of the centre, to ensure that it remains the world’s leading place for pioneering research to prevent and treat children’s eye diseases.”
The RDCEC is the world’s largest specialist centre dedicated to the treatment and research of blinding diseases in children. It combines the clinical experience of Moorfields Eye Hospital with the research base of the adjacent UCL Institute of Ophthalmology to promote the rapid translation of research findings to better treatments for patients.
The RDCEC was designed to dispel preconceptions of hospitals, in order to create a welcoming and child-friendly patient environment. It has been widely commended for its clinical excellence, which saw the Care Quality Commission rate it as ‘Outstanding’ for care services for children and young people in 2016.
The centre houses outpatient consulting rooms, a day care ward and a children’s A&E department, alongside research laboratories and overnight accommodation for parents and children.
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