Category Archives: Interviews and Videos

Volunteering in the NHS – Interview with Sir Tom Hughes-Hallet

Black and white picture of Sir Tom Hughes-Hallett smiling

Sir Tom Hughes-Hallett is the Chairman of Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust and also the founder and Chairman of HelpForce

Helpforce will be working with Friends to provide volunteers to support anxious patients undergoing procedures under local anaesthetic in the operating theatres. He spoke to Friends CEO Angela about his vision for volunteering in the NHS and the role of HelpForce.

“I was Chief Executive of Marie Curie for twelve years before coming here to the hospital, and from that I learned just how important community involvement can be to the operation of a really good health operation, that case palliative care, hospices and nursing at home. We had 10,000 volunteers and 4,500 staff. Then when I came here to be Chairman of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital I discovered we also had 4,500 staff but less than 200 volunteers. Now with the support of Chelsea & Westminster NHS Trust’s Chief Executive, Lesley Watts we have taken volunteering on to a new level in that hospital. That is what led me to really think about how we could make volunteering a bedrock for our NHS staff, not to replace them but to support them.”

Click on the arrow to listen to the interview:


Posted By: Angela Smith

Date 16-11-16

Information Videos about Anaesthetics



Are you coming to Moorfields for surgery or another procedure on your eye? Friends have sponsored for a series of information videos about the different types of anaesthetics we use here.

Introduction to Anaesthetics

Anaesthesia – Sub tenons block

FAQ – Sub Tenon Blok

Anaesthesia – Deep Sedation

FAQ Deep Sedation 

Anaesthesia – General anaesthetic

FAQ General Anaesthetic





Cornea Disease and the Pentacam

Picture of Frank Larkin with the new Pentacam

Frank Larkin came to Moorfields as a Senior Trainee in 1990 and has worked here ever since. He became a Consultant in 1997. He is one of the three consultants who deal with cornea problems in children, and his clinic is in the Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre.

Here Mr Larkin talks to Angela Smith about different  things that can affect the cornea for both children and adults, and explains how the Pentacam Friends recently purchased will help with diagnosis and treatment:

“The cornea is the curved and transparent ‘window’ structure at the front of the eye. So we don’t actually see the cornea when we look at the eye of a patient – we see through it, at the black pupil and the coloured iris. When the cornea, in disease, loses its transparency this causes problems with vision in that eye for the patient.”

Click on the arrow to listen to the interview:

Nick Strouthidis talks about glaucoma


Mr Nick Strouthidis, Medical Director (and former Glaucoma Service Director) at Moorfields

came to the Friends office to talk to Angela Smith about glaucoma, and to thank Friends for all their support.

“Glaucoma is a condition where the optic nerve, the structure that takes vision from the eye to the brain, can get damaged over time. This damage is irreversible and can lead to progressive loss of vision. Although you do not have to have high pressure in the eye to have glaucoma, one of the main risk factors is elevated pressure. The treatment for glaucoma, to stop this optic nerve damage, is to lower the pressure. This is usually controlled by taking eye drops regularly, but it can also be treated with laser or by surgery.”

Listen to their full conversation by clicking the arrow here:

Sickle Cell Disease & How it Effects Eyes

Mahi Muqit, Consultant Ophthalmologist and Vitro-Retinal Specialist talks about Sickle Cell Disease

““Sickle Cell Disease is a genetic condition very prevalent in African, Caribbean and Mediterranean populations as well as the Middle East. Everyone has a protein in their blood called haemoglobin and in Sickle Cell patients, this haemoglobin is abnormal. This means the cells loose
oxygen and they become like a sickle shape, or like small roads. These abnormal cells block up the circulation around the whole body such as the heart, the central nervous system and especially the eyes. Here at Moorfields, we have a very diverse population and treat patients from all over the world, so Sickle Cell is something we see a lot in a veto-retinal practice at Moorfields”

Click on the arrow to listen to more:


Posted By: Angela Smith

Date 13-02-17

Eye Pathology and a Teaching Microscope


With your support we have purchased a Slit Lamp/HDMI Video Microscope for the Institute of Ophthalmology to assist with training.

It is a light microscope connected to a digital camera which displays the image that the operator can see is projected onto a wall screen in real time, allowing the lecturer to respond quickly to questions and give clear demonstrations

Here Dr Caroline Thaung talks about eye pathology and demonstrates the microscope to a group of Friends Volunteers





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:

Director of Nursing talks to Friends



Tracy Luckett, Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professions

Spoke to Angela Smith, Friends Executive Manager about the role of nurses at Moorfields and how they work with volunteers to provide essential patient care.

“There are over five hundred registered nurses working at Moorfields, and then there are approximately two hundred support nurses, healthcare assistants and technicians who play a really important role. So nurses are the largest workforce within the Trust.”

Click on the arrow to listen to more:

Addressing Demand for Glaucoma Services


Consultant ophthalmic surgeon and glaucoma specialist Maria Papadopoulos

spoke to Angela Smith about the new Specialist glaucoma optometrist clinics and how they will address the increasing demand for the glaucoma service at Moorfields

Using a generous legacy from the late Michael Banes, former Optometrist at Moorfields Friends will be paying for a number of optometrists to take the new UCL Higher Level Qualifications in Glaucoma including the Diploma in Glaucoma.

Click on the arrow to play the interview:

‘People’s Sight Matters’ Jo Moss talks about Moorfields strategy refresh

Jo Moss is the Director of Strategy and Business Development at Moorfields .

“Our core belief is People’s Sight Matters’ We want to have an emphasis on why we all come to work, why we all care. It was really clear from talking to patients and talking to staff that it is an understanding that people’s sight is really important and that is the thing that we need to hold central to everything we do no matter where we are working, which of our networked sites or what our job role is, whether that be delivering front line services, or in our finance department – that people’s sight matters should be the golden thread that carries through”

Here Jo tells Angela Smith about the process they went through to refresh the strategy and ways Friends can help with the delivery.

Read more about the strategy here:

Click on the arrow to listen to the interview: