About Oriel

Oriel is the joint initiative between Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology (IoO) and Moorfields Eye Charity that would see services move from Islington to a new, integrated centre on part of the St Pancras Hospital site in Camden.

This is our opportunity to create a world-leading centre for advancing eye health that is keeping with the excellence of our talented workforce. Harnessing the expertise of the partners under one roof will enable us to deliver the highest-quality care, research and education.

Moving to this area would bring us closer to other important health and research partners including the Bloombsury campus of UCL, the Francis Crick Institute, University College London Hospital, and Great Ormond Street Hospital. We also would seek to become a member of London Knowledge Quarter – organisations that are within one-mile radius of King’s Cross that are actively engaged in the advancement and dissemination of knowledge.

Oriel, a word for a bay-window, was chosen as an appropriate name for our programme, referring to the central, light-filled space in the design of our new centre.

Timeline of the Oriel programme

The partners

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is the leading UK provider of eye health services and a world-class centre of excellence for ophthalmic research and education. Its reputation for the highest quality eye care has developed over 200 years. About 2,400 staff provide services to more than 750,000 people each year at a network of sites across London and the southeast. Moorfields’ largest site is located at City Road in Islington.

UCL’s Institute of Ophthalmology (IoO) opened in 1948 as a training facility specialising in ophthalmic research. By the 1990s the IoO had moved to Bath Street, next to Moorfields on City Road, which helped to strengthen its links with the hospital. Today it conducts cutting-edge science, attracting research workers of the highest international calibre, working in partnership to lead the way in vision research. www.ucl.ac.uk/ioo
Moorfields Eye Charity is the main fundraising and grant-making charity for Moorfields Eye Hospital and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. It provides targeted funds, above and beyond the responsibility of the NHS, to research cures and find treatments for millions of people affected by eye disease in the UK and around the world. moorfieldseyecharity.org.uk

Our vision

Our vision is to create an environment for innovation to flourish, inspiring improvements in people’s sight. The new centre would be accessible and flexible, enabling us to deliver the highest clinical care and attract and retain the best ophthalmic scientists, educators and clinicians.

The design of the building would optimise this integration of eye care, research and education to create a shared space for scientific discovery and patient treatment. This innovative approach has the potential to facilitate greater collaboration between clinicians and scientists, augmented by enhanced patient participation in research, to speed up the delivery of new treatments and therapies.

An infographic of the Oriel vision. 

Our work

Oriel is about more than a building. It will allow greater interaction between patients, clinicians and researchers by removing the physical barriers that exist in the current facilities. We believe this will reduce the time taken to implement new treatments and therapies and increase the number of patients taking part in clinical trials, inspiring improvements in people’s sight.

Oriel, a word for a bay-window, was chosen as an appropriate name for our development programme, referring to the central, light-filled space.

Patient care

 Moorfields’ ability to establish modern, efficient and effective treatment pathways is achieved despite the limitations of its current site on City Road, where some of the buildings are over 122 years old. Our proposal to move Moorfields Eye Hospital services from City Road to a new, fit-for-purpose centre would result in a streamlined and more comfortable experience for patients. The new centre has the potential to be a national exemplar for accessibility, providing our patients with an environment that’s designed to accommodate their needs.


Moorfields Eye Hospital and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology (IoO) are working together to develop world-leading eye care research. The partnership is top-ranked internationally in the field of ophthalmology and is the only hospital-university partnership in the UK that is ranked number one globally in any medical field. Moorfields Eye Charity is the main grant-making and fundraising charity for Moorfields and the IoO, investing funds in vital research above the responsibility of the NHS.

Together, Moorfields and the IoO provide globally recognised research, excellent education and outstanding clinical care. This impressive reputation has secured prestigious funding and awards and has brought the status of National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre to the joint partnership.

Our research spans from developing gene therapies for inherited eye diseases to stem cell treatments for age-related macular degeneration, which is part of the London Project to Cure Blindness. We also have an exciting partnership with Google DeepMind where we are using artificial intelligence to improve retinal diagnosis.

Oriel would allow scientists and clinicians to collaborate more closely to convert research insights into patient treatments more quickly, changing people’s lives and bringing the best care to more people.


Improved outcomes for patients are closely tied to the ability to train and recruit the best possible workforce, equipped with a breadth of critical skills. Through Oriel, we want to improve our ability to educate the ophthalmologists, nurses, optometrists and other healthcare professionals of tomorrow. This would improve future patient care not only for patients attending Moorfields but also worldwide.

Although Moorfields and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology work together on a number of research and education initiatives, the current facilities are housed in two separate buildings and are not integrated. Current feedback from students and educators is that the quality of lecturing and teaching is of a very high standard, but the physical facilities could be improved.

The proposed new centre would also be configured to deliver education programmes to members of the public, including patients and their carers. We are ensuring the new centre would be accessible, equipping the education facilities with technology for those with a disability, which will enhance our capacity to run improved education and engagement programmes for all.

Students will benefit from the use of exciting, new technologies and modern equipment. This would ensure our students are trained to the highest calibre.

As well as improving the students’ experience, this proposed new facility could support a significant increase in the number of students. It is clear that there will be a need for this in the future, given the likely increase in demand for eye services.

Help us fundraise

Philanthropy, through Moorfields Eye Charity and UCL, plays a critical role in ensuring that Moorfields Eye Hospital and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology remain at the forefront of eye care, research and education and has a transformational impact on the growing number of people with eye disorders in the UK and around the world.

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