Category Archives: Home News


Posted By: Angela Smith

Date 02-10-18

Association of Optometrists ‘Charity of the Year’ Award shortlist


Association of Optometrists Logo

Friends Shortlisted for Association of Optometrists ‘Charity of the Year’ Award.

Friends of Moorfields have been shortlisted for Association of Optometrists ‘Charity of the Year’ Award. This award recognises charities from all corners of the eye health sector, including those who are dedicated to research, raising awareness of optical issues, or supporting people with vision impairments. Nominees for of this award will be able to evidence an outstanding and successful initiative from the past 12 months, which demonstrates innovations in research, education, campaigning or profile-raising activities.

In November 2017 Friends took over management of the Health Hub at City Road and employed a full time Health Hub Support Officer, who is also a qualified Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO). The objective of the project is to provide accessible, non-medical Moorfields approved information for patients and carers. We have also developed a team of trained and uniformed volunteers based in the Hub and entrance corridor at all times.

Friends argued that a properly resourced and managed Health Hub would free up time for clinic staff as they could recommend that patients visit the Health Hub to talk generically about their conditions. These are conversations which can be very time consuming, and often repetitive; but are essential to the patient’s emotional support. This allows clinic staff to focus more on a patient’s physical/medical wellbeing in the clinics themselves. The Hub is a clear and visible access point for patients.

The Health Hub Support Officer underwent an intense and detailed induction, and started seeing patients in the Hub from January 2018. Since then we have handled over 3,000 patient enquiries.

Patients have the opportunity to talk with our ECLO qualified Support Officer or one of our trained volunteers. They are signposted to Moorfields approved information leaflets about their conditions, and are also given information about other areas where they can receive further support (e.g. The International Glaucoma Association; The Macular Society; RNIB etc.)

The most common areas of enquiry are about AMD, Glaucoma and Cataracts, but the team also supports patient with advice about assistive technology and daily living aids, and have received RNIB training to do this. We give out general health information about conditions that can affect eyes and vision, such as diabetes. We also signpost patients to befriending groups, or the Moorfields’ counselling service

We have also held a number of successful awareness raising events at the Hub in partnership with other colleagues at Moorfields: These include the Clinical Research Facility Open Day as part of International Clinical Trials Day. Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Week; International Glaucoma week/’Know Your Eye Drops’; Learning Disability Awareness Raising; Macular Week, (with the Macular Society); Organ Donation Week, and ‘Jeans for Genes Day’.

Please support us, and vote for Friends to win here

or come to The Friends Shop (opposite Clinic 2, City Road) or the Health Hub to sign a voting form.





Posted By: Angela Smith

Date 26-09-18

Optometry Student Volunteer


Optometry Student Brooke talks about volunteering at Moorfields.

Brooke Hutchins has been a volunteer for Friends of Moorfields for the past year. She spends Wednesday afternoons helping with patient guiding, meeting and greeting patients at A&E, getting patient feedback, and more recently supporting people to use the Self Check In kiosks.

“Alongside volunteering for the Friends of Moorfields, I am an Optometry student at City, University of London, where I have just completed my second year of the undergraduate course. I chose Optometry as I find the study and profession so varied and fascinating. Despite the challenges and intense hard work required on the course, I could not have chosen one more interesting!

This was not a career that I had thought of at all during my school and sixth form years but after working for a couple of years in healthcare, and a bit of exploring and research, I became sure that I wanted to be an eye care professional.

The course itself is made up of a broad range of modules, which reflect the depth of knowledge needed within the profession, and the combination of practical lab work and lectures make every day different.

The first year is mainly theory and introduction to the core clinical techniques; then as you progress within the degree, you cover all the fundamental optometric skills and knowledge such as eye disease and pathology; contact lenses, and binocular vision.

Alongside testing, it is also essential for an optometrist to be able to dispense the appropriate spectacles or contact lenses to patients that they see. I am particularly looking forward to my third year, when I will begin to conduct eye examinations and contact lens appointments on the general public, within the university sight clinic.

I have found volunteering at Moorfields extremely complementary to my university studies. I really look forward being able to communicate with and assist patients around the clinics, and the experience of being within an eye hospital itself is a bonus.

There is a huge volunteer team of all ages and backgrounds which makes the experience really enjoyable. What has been so beneficial for me personally, is that alongside the patients that I guide, I have also met many people with specific eye conditions and being able to speak to them about their individual experiences is also a wonderful learning opportunity for an optometry student.”

Photo of Brooke outside Moorfields wearing green volunteer jacket




Posted By: Angela Smith

Date 09-08-18

We Climbed the 02 Dome!


Team of climbers in front of the O2 Dome

We ‘Climbed the Dome’ on 19th August!

On Sunday 19th August a group of 30 patients, staff, Volunteers and Relatives are climbed the O2 Dome in support of Friends of Moorfields. Here are some of the people who took part:

Hannah is 10 years old and has been going to Moorfields Eye Hospital since she was a baby, to get treatment from the eye prosthetic specialists. She has a prosthetic eye because her right retina did not develop properly, therefore she cannot see at all through her right eye.

Christine and Loretta are sisters-in-law and are climbing for us because Christine’s granddaughter is a patient at Moorfields and they want to say ‘Thank You’ for the care she receives

Angela and Graham are grandparents to George who is 12 years old and has been receiving treatment at Moorfields Eye Hospital since being diagnosed with paediatric glaucoma at the age of 3 years. They want to say ‘thank you’ for the gift of sight for George and to all who are under the care of Moorfields.

Husband and Wife Indu and Kishor are climbing to show their appreciation for all the help and support they have received at Moorfields

Colleagues Malcolm and Sophie work at Bright Horizon’s Nursery in Chigwell and have cared for a little girl who is visually impaired for the past 19months.

The Friend’s Shop Team, all either work or volunteer for The Friends of Moorfields, or are related to someone who does. They include our oldest climber – 86 year old June!

Jessica, Naomi and Preety all work in the Quality and Experience team at Moorfields and are supporting Friends because of their strong ‘Patient Focused’ approach. Jessica’s daughter Pricilla will also be climbing with them.

Keera is 11 years old, and was diagnosed with a lazy left eye which stopped her from seeing things clearly. But now thanks to Moorfields she is able to see things much clearer and is not bumping into things like before. She is climbing with her brother, 10 year old Michael.

Friend’s Trustee Michael will also be climbing with his son Hugo

A big ‘Thank You’ to everyone for all your support!



Posted By: Angela Smith

Date 17-07-18

Celebrating Volunteers


 Photo of a group of volunteers in green jackets

Celebrating Volunteers at Moorfields.

Volunteers make a significant contribution across the trust to patients, staff and the community spirit at Moorfields. The trust is incredibly fortunate to have had the support over a number of years from a strong and growing band of volunteers which currently stands at around 200. Their concerted efforts go a long way to ensure the trust can continue to offer an excellent service to patients across the network.

Click to watch a video made by our volunteers

Friends of Moorfields volunteers provide support at City Road and some network sites as patient guides and buddies. They help patients with self check-in, support the information desks at City Road and the Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre (RDCEC). They also provide valuable assistance at the Friends shop, with the trolley service, the booking centre, accident and emergency, medical imaging and in clinics.

Link to more details about volunteer roles

Link to some photos from National Volunteer Week



Posted By: Angela Smith

Date 17-07-18

Peacock Newsletter: July 2018


Front Cover of Peacock

‘Peacock’ is our quarterly newsletter giving information about Friends of Moorfields and the work we do.

In this issue:

  • Volunteers Week: 1st – 7th June
  • Student volunteer at Moorfields
  • Moorfields Stars
  • ‘Best Disease’ Patient Day
  • Ultrasound and Patients with Sspecial Needs – Interview with Marie Restori.
  • Experts of Tomorrow – Local Primary Schools celebrate ‘Science Week’ at Moorfields

Download Peacock Here

FriendZ is our publication for Children and Young People. Learn about your cornea and other ways your eye works; how Moorfields take photographs of eyes; puzzles and a wordsearch

Download FriendZ Here



Posted By: Angela Smith

Date 14-05-18

Bright Horizon’s Young Fundraisers!


Nursery Pictures

Bright Horizon Nursery Chigwell raise ÂŁ664.89!.

A big ‘Thank You!’ to the staff and parents at Bright Horizon’s Nursery in Chigwell who took part in a week of fundraising and awareness raising.

Purdy is two and a half and was born with cataracts. She has been a patient at Moorfields all her life, and lives with a visual impairment. She also attends Bright Horizon’s Day Nursery in Chigwell. Her key worker Sophie recently organised a week of events at the nursery to raise funds for Friends, but also to highlight Purdy’s condition, and some of the challenges she faces, to the other children and parents.

Nursery Manager, Malcolm Vickery said “Here at Bright Horizons Chigwell we recognise and value the individual needs of all the children in our care and this week has been no different. We have a little girl in our nursery who has a visual impairment and during the week we planned many activities to raise money for the hospital that has been supporting her from birth. It amazes us daily how much this little girl has flourished in our care.”

Sophie and Malcolm came to Moorfields to give the cheque to Friend’s Trustee Gus Gazzard, Chief Exec Angela Smith, and Moorfields Consultant Gill Adams.

Cheque Presentation




Posted By: Angela Smith

Date 02-05-18

Moorfields Stars!



Volunteers recognised for long service and contributions to Moorfields at ‘Moorfield’s Stars’.

Friends are delighted that volunteers were recognised for the first time at Moorfields Stars ceremony.

The annual Moorfields’ Stars awards ceremony took place on Tuesday 6 March 2018, at Plaisterers’ Hall, London. Staff, volunteers and their guests enjoyed a memorable afternoon to recognise and reward the academic, professional and volunteering achievements of colleagues throughout 2017.

Now in its ninth year, Moorfields’ Stars of 2017 celebrated staff and volunteers through more award categories and a record number of nominations, over 400 in total. Thank you to Moorfields Eye Charity for supporting the awards scheme and event.

The ceremony began by celebrating those who have achieved academic success, those who have achieved long-service and retirement after long-service, colleagues who have received recognition externally, and our employees of the month who demonstrate ‘The Moorfields Way’

In the second half of the ceremony, the winners of the prestigious competitive categories were announced. Shortlisted finalists in each award category were selected by judging panels representative of staff from across the trust.

Volunteer of the Year: Winner: William Davis for his exceptional organisational skills to help manage the medical imaging reception desk every Wednesday. William has built a strong rapport with patients, particularly patients who require special attention. He is an invaluable support for staff in a very busy clinic. (Also shortlisted: The Friends Shop Team and Sylvia Jenkins

Patients Choice (Individual) Winner: Clerical Officer Kai Owens – for his dedication and compassion toward patients, making them feel supported during their visits to City Road. Patients commented on Kai’s ability to provide a first class service, always with a friendly smile. (Also shortlisted Nicola Dunlop, nurse consultant and Charlie Fergie, paediatric staff nurse)

Patients Choice (Team) Winner: Louisa Wickham and the vitreo-retinal team at Moorfields at St George’s – this team has had an immense impact on patients. The team provide an excellent, efficient and caring service, building trust with patients and providing the highest quality care to patients with sight threatening conditions.

Moorfields Eye Charity award for innovation: Winner: Dawn Sim,  consultant ophthalmic surgeon – for her passion and drive to improve our patients’ experience and working practices for staff by adopting new cloud based technology to make sure the right patients are referred to Moorfields. Dawn has led a pilot to introduce innovative technology to the trust that improves collaboration and learning with high street optometrist practices. (Also shortlisted: Shaun Kirupairatnam, digital applications and informatics architect, and The Vanguard Team)

Moorfields Eye Charity Champion Winner: Flossie Donovan for her passion and commitment to support Moorfields Eye Charity through fundraising activities and being a positive role model and active ambassador for the charity. (Also shortlisted Pete Jones, post-doctoral research associate, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Mariya Moosajee, consultant ophthalmologist and senior lecturer

Team of the Year Winner: Ealing day care and theatre team – despite working in a challenging environment, the team works efficiently and effectively to deliver an excellent service to patients, nominations for the team praised their caring and organised approach. (Also shortlisted The Arts committee and the Refractive laser nursing team)

Start of the Year Winner: David Sheridan Contact Lens Technician – for taking on considerable responsibility to manage the contact lens laboratory for a period of six months on his own. David went the extra mile to fulfil orders for patients who needed them urgently and always demonstrates a positive and collaborative approach to his work with colleagues. (Also Shortlisted Julie Dolan, receptionist and Ella Preston, intravitreal injection database coordinator)

Chairman’s award for outstanding contribution to Moorfields. Winner Paul Sullivan , consultant ophthalmologist, for his dedication and commitment to Moorfields’ trainees, no other ophthalmologist in the country has contributed to the training and support of so many ophthalmic registrars; over 60 each year. Paul has played a significant role and had a game changing impact on the trust’s medical education programme.






Posted By: Angela Smith

Date 27-04-18

Visually Impaired Photographer Exhibits at Moorfields


Mikel with Friends CEO Angela and Laura from The Arts Committee

The Moorfields art committee’s latest exhibition showcases work by visually impaired photographer Mickel Smithen.

Friends are delighted to fund the Art Programme at Moorfields, which includes rolling exhibitions from artists like Mikel.

Mickel lost most of his sight to a brain tumour when he was just five years old and is registered blind. He became interested in photography after attending a workshop for people with sight loss and has learnt to exploit all his senses to help capture an image. Watch this video to find out more about how Mickel captures his photographs.

The photographs that will be displayed in the optometry corridor at City Road have been selected from two of Mickel’s collections focusing on movement and diversity.

Mickel’s portrait photographs feature gay black men after feeling that they were under represented in the magazines he was reading.

Mickel said: “I thought I would take matters into my own hands and do a small project of my own that positively shows gay black men having an afternoon out on the Southbank. I also have a background in dance. I’m very fascinated with movement of the body.”




Posted By: Angela Smith

Date 21-03-18

A major milestone for the London Project to Cure Blindness


Moorfields Patient and Consultant

Successful trials of new treatment at Moorfields in fight against sight loss caused by AMD.

Patients regain sight after being first to receive retinal tissue engineered from stem cells:

  • Successful trial on patients using new stem cell based treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
  • Results from a clinical study suggest the treatment is safe and effective.
  • The study is a major milestone for the London Project to Cure Blindness and could lead to an ‘off-the-shelf’ treatment within five years.

The first patients to receive a new treatment derived from stem cells for people with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) have regained reading vision.

The results of this ground-breaking clinical study, published in Nature Biotech, described the implantation of a specially engineered patch of retinal pigment epithelium cells derived from stem cells to treat people with sudden severe sight loss from wet AMD. It is hoped that it will also help treat dry AMD in the future.

It’s the first description of a complete engineered tissue that has been successfully used in this way.

Link to more information





Former Medical Director

Declan Flanagan was appointed Medical Director at Moorfields in 2010, and since then the trust has practically doubled in size: in terms of numbers of patients seen, numbers of operations done; amount of research done and in terms of money spent on behalf of patients.

Declan recently stood down after 8 years in post, and he spoke to Angela Smith about some of the best, and also some of the more challenging aspects of his role.

“I think the most important thing for me is being able to make a difference. What we can offer patients in ophthalmology has extended enormously in the past 20 years and I have had a big role in making sure that patients get access to new treatments. “

Click on the arrow to listen to the interview: