Moorfields Eye Hospital’s proposed relocation to King’s Cross reaches a major milestone as it gets the green light for the next stage of planning.
Plans to build a world leading, innovative eye care and research centre in central London took a significant step forward after they were agreed at a special decision making meeting yesterday (12 February).
A Committee in Common – a group of 14 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) from in and around London – considered and agreed plans put forward by Moorfields Eye Hospital to create a new integrated eye health centre.
The decision means that plans for ‘Oriel’ – a proposal to bring together excellent eye care, ground-breaking research and world-leading education in ophthalmology on one site – can now move forward to focus on designing what the new centre could look like and how it works for patients and staff.
The proposal is a partnership between Moorfields Eye Hospital, the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Charity, which would see 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 will be built.
David Probert, chief executive of Moorfields, said:
“This decision is a significant step forward in our journey towards creating a new integrated eye-care, research and education facility.
“We know that our clinicians provide modern, efficient and effective treatment despite the limitations of our century-old City Road site but this new centre will allow us to work much more closely with research colleagues to develop further treatments for our patients.”
To help inform this decision, Camden CCG, in partnership with NHS England Specialised Commissioning, ran a public consultation to understand how patients, the public and a range of partners could be affected by the proposals. Around 3,500 people took part in the consultation and shared their views on the proposal.
“Throughout the consultation we have heard lots of ideas from our patients, staff and the wider public on what a new integrated centre could look like, and this decision means that we can now start to bring these ideas to life as we enter the formal design phase.
“We will take forward the insight from the consultation into our formal planning phase, particularly around accessibility and patient experience. Providing the best care and treatments is paramount in our vision for the new centre.”
Professor Andrew Dick, director of the Institute of Ophthalmology, said
“This decision represents another important step in our transformational joint project. By bringing together UCL’s powerful research base with the world-class healthcare delivery of Moorfields we will be able to better develop new treatments, and improve both patient outcomes and the staff and student experience.”
Final approval on the plans will be subject to approval of the full business case which is expected to be put forward for review and approval in 2021/22.
Robert Dufton, chief executive, Moorfields Eye Charity, added
“We’re delighted that Oriel is progressing to the next stage of the planning process. The proposed new integrated centre for advancing eye care globally will benefit from the charity’s support of research, education and patient care. The role of philanthropy is also essential to making this a reality. In partnership with UCL, we’re committed to raising £100 million to support Oriel. We’re very grateful for the pledges so far and are looking for further opportunities to achieve this ambitious project.”