Our journey

What’s happening now?

On 23 February 2023 a contract was signd with Bouygues UK to build Oriel. This follows the final approval received from the NHS and government in November 2022 and full planning permission from Camden Council granted in August 2022.

Our history

Learn about the history of each project partner and the future project phases by clicking through the timeline below.

What’s already been done?

Full Business Case approval

After the Moorfields and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology boards approved our full business case, it was submitted for regulatory approval. In November 2022 the NHS and government approved our final business case. This gave us the green light to proceed with our proposal.

Land Acquisition Business Case (2014- 2017)

A Land Acquisition Business Case was approved by Moorfields and UCL in 2014, which set out the case for identifying and purchasing up to two-acres of land in the Kings Cross / Euston / St. Pancras area. This was refreshed in 2017, when the opportunity arose to acquire part of the Camden and Islington Foundation Trust site in St Pancras and represented the Strategic Outline Case (SOC).

This SOC was approved by Moorfields trust board in June 2017 and NHS Improvement (NHSI) in January 2018. UCL also received commitment from their Finance Committee to progress Oriel in October 2017.

Pre-NHS consultation and engagement (2018-2019)

Between December 2018 and April 2019, over 1,700 contributions from patients, public and staff helped to frame the proposal for consultation, in the context of what is important to patients and families. This pre-consultation engagement with public, patients and residents was key to helping toshape the proposal that was published for public consultation in May 2019.

This pre-consultation engagement showed overall support for a move to the preferred location. Accessibility was also highlighted as the top priority for patients and carers.

NHS public consultation (2019 – 2020)

NHS organisations have a duty to involve people in planning services and service changes. To inform our decision to move Moorfields Eye Hospital’s City Road services to a brand-new centre, we needed to consider whether the proposed move is in the interests of the health of our populations. This is in line with long term plans to improve health and care in a way that makes the most effective use of public money. We needed to consult our partners, staff, patients and communities to give this proposal our full consideration.

We held a public consultation on the proposed move from 24 May to 16 September 2019. We listened to the views of patients, carers, staff and the public during this time. All of the documents relating to the public consultation can be found on the documents page.

In February 2020 our plans to build a world leading, eye care, research and education centre in London took a significant step forward as they were approved by our NHS commissioners. This milestone meant that we could move to the next phase of the project and finalise our Outline Business Case.

Outline Business Case (2020)

The Moorfields Outline Business Case (OBC) sets out the case for investment in relocating ophthalmology services from their current location at City Road, to a new integrated centre on the St Pancras Hospital site. Moorfields approved its OBC in February 2020. Oriel was subsequently confirmed as one of the New Hospital Programme (NHP) schemes announced by the Prime Minister in October 2020. The OBC was then approved by The Treasury, the Department for Health and Social Care and NHS England / NHS Improvement in December 2020.

The UCL Outline Business Case (OBC) sets out the case for investment in relocating research and education services from their current location at Bath Street, to a new integrated centre at the St Pancras Hospital site. UCL’s Governing Council approved the case in March 2021.

Approvals from both partners meant that the detailed work on designing the new centre could build momentum.

What’s next?

Demolition has started with construction to start later in 2023. View a timeline of our construction management plan.

Getting to the centre

In previous discussions, patients and their families have given us a wealth of information on how they approach their journey to and from a hospital service, including Moorfields. In response, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS foundation Trust has made a commitment to lead the work to support transport and access. Inspired by a quote from a patient during consultation, we have called this work ‘The Last Half Mile’.

We have appointed accessibility experts from consulting engineers and advisors, Buro Happold, to work with our design team, Camden Council, London Transport and others to improve accessibility over the last half mile. This work refers specifically to the journey and user experience between the public transport links or vehicle drop off area and entry to the proposed new centre.

For more information about how to get to the new location and work on the last half mile, please visit getting to the new centre.

Ongoing work on design

Design of the new centre will be further refined and is being developed in close collaboration with staff and clinicians from Moorfields and researchers from UCL as well as input from our patient groups and our charitable partners.

Please visit our proposed design for more information on the design progress we’ve made.

More information

All documentation on previous consultation work and background information on our proposal can be found on our documents page.

Stay up to date with Oriel

If you would like to remain up to date with the latest Oriel news and developments, you can request to join our mailing list by emailing our mailbox.