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Views sought in Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge on proposed Moorfields eye hospital move

03 June 2019

People in Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge are being asked for their views on a proposal to move Moorfields Eye Hospital from its century-old site at City Road to a new facility at St Pancras Hospital.

The consultation invites members of the public to have their say on the proposed move which will bring together excellent eye care, ground-breaking research and world-leading education in ophthalmology on one site, for the benefit of patients.

In 2017/18 nearly 34,000 people were referred from Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge to Moorfields and in that year alone, Moorfields had more than 740,000 visits in total from patients – making it the largest eye care provider in the UK. Every day 250 people in the UK start to lose their sight and almost 10 per cent of all NHS hospital appointments are for eyes.

The trust treats a wide range of eye problems, from common complaints to rare conditions that require specialist treatment not available elsewhere.

A new centre will bring doctors and scientists closer together to optimise developments in care and research. This cannot be done effectively at Moorfields’ City Road site which was built more than 100 years ago when hospital care was provided very differently.

Major advances in technology provide the opportunity for better diagnostics, treatments and information sharing, which could mean fewer waits and fewer hospital visits for patients. But the right facilities are needed to realise their full potential.

After the consultation closes on Monday 16 September, NHS commissioners will decide whether the proposed move should proceed to the next stage of planning.

If approved, Moorfields will begin the process of 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.

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 1600 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.”