Planning consultation launched on early designs for a new centre for eye care

Oriel will bring clinicians and scientists closer together to optimise developments in care and research

An indicative view of the spacious atrium at the heart of the new centre

The world-leading partnership of Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, UCL, and Moorfields Eye Charity is today launching a public planning consultation on the early designs for a proposed new integrated eye care, research and education centre on the site of the St Pancras Hospital in Camden.

The joint initiative, known as ‘Oriel’ will bring clinicians and scientists closer together to optimise developments in care and research for the benefit of patients.

If approved, it will relocate all NHS services from Moorfields Eye Hospital in City Road and at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology in Bath Street, Islington, to a new, purpose-built facility in Camden.

The feedback that we gain during this important consultation will help us to design this exciting new centre, ensuring that it is fit for purpose and accessible for all of our users

Moorfields and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology together have a long heritage of ground-breaking research, world-leading education, and outstanding clinical care.

And, looking ahead to the challenges and opportunities of a changing and more-digital world, they are seeking to both build on the past and adapt for the future for the benefit of patients and society.

David Probert, chief executive of Moorfields, said: “Through Oriel, we want to create an environment for innovation to flourish, inspiring advances in people’s sight.

“The feedback that we gain during this important consultation will help us to design this exciting new centre, ensuring that it is fit for purpose and accessible for all of our users.”

Alan Thompson, dean of the UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences, added: “Oriel is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to provide a flexible, purpose-built, patient-focused environment that will allow clinicians and scientists to work together to tackle the eye health problems that represent a growing global health and economic burden.

“With this improved integration, we will be able to increase the scale and speed of progress from scientific discovery to clinical practice, resulting in better clinical outcomes for patients.”

The plans involve developing two acres of the five-acre St Pancras Hospital site, with the remainder of the site development being brought forward by Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust’s development partner King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership.

The Oriel programme team is working closely with KCCLP to ensure a co-ordinated approach with its emerging masterplan and to ensure the two schemes knit seamlessly together.

And local residents and businesses now have an opportunity to find out more about the proposals and give their feedback on the early designs.

With this improved integration, we will be able to increase the scale and speed of progress from scientific discovery to clinical practice, resulting in better clinical outcomes for patients

Robert Dufton, chief executive of Moorfields Eye Charity, said: "Philanthropy has played an essential role throughout Moorfields Eye Hospital’s 200-year history.

“Along with our partners at UCL, we are committed to continuing this important work to secure the philanthropic support to fund this ground-breaking facility, which will improve patient outcomes and increase opportunities to develop eye research and education.”

More-detailed designs will be released in the autumn following the early consultation exercise, where residents will again have the opportunity to provide further comments, prior to a planning application being submitted to Camden Council later in the year.

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