Consultation Launched on Proposal to Move Moorfields Eye Hospital to King’s Cross

Consultation Launched on Proposal to Move Moorfields Eye Hospital to King’s Cross

  • Consultation runs from Friday 24 May until Monday 16 September
  • Public invited to give their views at www.oriel-london.org.uk 

A consultation on proposals to move Moorfields Eye Hospital to a new innovative eye care and research centre in central London was launched today (Friday 24 May).

Patients and the public are encouraged 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 the proposal is approved, Moorfields Eye Hospital would move its City Road services to the St Pancras Hospital site in Camden, where a new building housing the three partner organisations would be built. 

A new centre would 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 when hospital care was provided very differently.

Major advances in technology mean that with the right facilities in place, there is the potential for better diagnostic tests, treatments and information sharing, which could mean shorter waits for patients and less need for hospital visits.  

Here are the ways that you can get involved:

Dr Prag Moodley, a Hertfordshire GP and Chair of East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Many patients from Hertfordshire use the services at Moorfields so we would encourage everyone with an interest in eye health to have their say on this proposal.  Please complete the questionnaire to tell us what you think about the idea of the new centre of excellence being built at King’s Cross.  We’re keen to hear what key issues you think we should pay close attention to when all the CCGs and NHS England meet to decide next steps.  This proposal is about what happens to the central London Moorfields site and does not affect the outreach clinics Moorfields runs in other locations, such as Potters Bar.”

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.”  

After the consultation closes on Monday 16 September, commissioners from 14 London and Hertfordshire CCGs, as well as NHS England, 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. 

NOTES TO EDITORS

The CCG press office can be contacted on 01707 685140 or by email: enhertsccg.communications@nhs.net 

About the consultation
NHS East and North Hertfordshire CCG is one of 14 CCGs consulting with its patients on the future locations of Moorfields Eye Hospital. The consultation is being led by NHS Camden CCG together with NHS England, which commissions specialised services for the whole of England.

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.

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.

In 2017/18, Moorfields received over 740,000 visits from patients to outpatient, inpatient and A&E services, making it the largest eye care provider in the UK.

Moorfields treat people in around 30 locations in and around London, Hertfordshire, the south east and Bedford, providing expert treatment closer to patients’ homes. It also operates commercial divisions that provide care to private patients in both London and the Middle East.