£2m fundraising goal reached as work gets underway

The first week of October saw work commence on site to extend the Royal Eye Unit and the paediatric service’s Sunshine Ward at first floor level, just as the £2m fundraising target was achieved.

This three-story extension is the significant second phase of a development project that saw the successful completion of the Royal Eye Unit’s expanded and enhanced acute referral centre in September last year. This next phase will create the space needed for a medical
retina unit to support the growing numbers of patients with age-related macular degeneration and other diseases that affect the back of the eye. At first floor level, it will provide a self-contained day care oncology unit, which is linked to the rest of the paediatric service to replace the current, inadequate facilities. A plant room is to be incorporated at second floor level.

As Chief Medical Officer, Bill Oldfield, explained:

Extending and enhancing the Royal Eye Unit is a pressing priority for both the trust and South West London because of the increasing demand we are facing from both an ageing population and the long-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Developing a discrete medical retina unit, while undertaking some internal alterations to the existing space, will ensure we can deliver a more efficient service. It will also improve the experience for our patients.

Doing so allows us to address the challenge our paediatric oncology patients face when having to make frequent visits to receive their chemotherapy. Developing a day care unit will ensure we can care for these patients in a calm environment, away from other sick children with potential infectious disease (and all the inherent risks for immunocompromised children). It will also help ensure disruption is minimised for these families.

I know the respective teams are very much looking forward to seeing this extension completed in June 2023. We are all so grateful to those who have recognised the importance of this project and given generously. When completed, this extension will further reinforce the impact philanthropy is having across our hospital, as we seek to ensure we can deliver the very best care possible to all our patients, both young and old.”

Our sincere thanks to all who have contributed to make this development possible, particularly the dozen supporters who donated generously at the five and six figure levels.