Visit the EyePod at Moorfields - it's National Eye Health Week

Moorfields Eye Hospital is marking National Eye Health Week (September 16 – 20) with events to promote greater awareness of eye disease and sight loss for patients, staff and the public alike. Fifty per cent of sight loss in the UK is avoidable.

The hospital has teamed up with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to host their travelling ‘Eye Pod’, is hosting an Open House at its paediatric hospital to demonstrate how innovative design and architecture has its own role to play in making hospitals welcoming places and is hosting a lunchtime music recital to promote the role of the arts in improving the patient experience.

The RNIB's 'Eye Pod' will be parked outside the hospital on Cayton Street on Friday 20 September and will be open from 10am-4pm. The Eye Pod is a sight simulator and provides visitors with an insight into the four most common causes of sight loss in the UK - Glaucoma, Cataracts, Diabetic Eye Disease and Age Related Macular Degeneration via electronic screens that provide a view of the outside world simulating each eye condition.

The futuristic pod has giant eyes connected to viewers that participants look through to experience the different conditions. Staff at the Pod can provide localised sight loss data sets and advise on related issues with treatment and health policy. There will be two RNIB staff members and also a blind or partially sighted volunteer with the Pod while it is on site.

Moorfields’ medical director Mr Declan Flanagan said: “We are delighted to welcome the RNIB’s Eye Pod to Moorfields. We hope it will highlight to the public the importance of looking after your sight and regular eye examinations. An eye examination can often spot serious conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure as well as glaucoma, cataracts and advanced macular degeneration before they cause serious harm. Many of the conditions, if caught early enough, can be treated and prevent severe sight loss. The problem with conditions like glaucoma is that they can creep on you and you may have no idea that your sight is even at risk. That’s why National Eye Health Week’s message on promoting the importance of eye tests is so very important.

“We also want to make people aware that if they do need treatment they can often be seen locally. At Moorfields we treat a full range of eye conditions at many of our satellite sites and clinics throughout London and the south-east. If someone feels something is wrong they can go to their GP or optician and ask for a referral to see an eye specialist.”

Stimulation of a musical kind is also provided by the Karelia Duo on Friday September 20 as part of Moorfields musical arts programme. Funded by the Friends of Moorfields for its golden anniversary year, the recital takes place in the hospital’s main entrance at City Road from 1-2pm.

The Karelia Duo are Hermione Jones (cello) and Alanna Tonetti-Tieppo (violin), met while studying at the Royal Academy of Music where they played in a quartet for three years.. During their time in the Karelia Quartet they won numerous prizes and performed recitals in venues across the world including Carnegie Hall, St Martin in the Fields and St John's Smith Square. They were artists with the Concordia Foundation and participated in master-classes with many established quartets and chamber musicians.

The recital is part of initiative started by the Arts Committee at the hospital which is staffed by volunteers who arrange a series of artistic events for patients and staff to promote the beneficial role the arts can have in improving the patient experience. A Moorfields patients and staff art and photographic exhibition and will go on display at the Parasol unit in Islington in the autumn.

On Saturday 21st September the pubic have the opportunity to step inside the world of Moorfields innovatively designed paediatric hospital.  The Richard Desmond Children's Eye Centre will be featured in Open House London - an annual event to celebrate London's architecture. Between 11am and 1pm, Penoyre & Prasad - the architects behind the children's centre - will be running tours of the building free of charge for members of the public.



Notes to editors

  • For more information about the RNIB’s Eye Pod please contact Matthew Winyard Assistant Campaigns Officer (Eye Health) T: 020 7391 2055 email
  • Moorfields is one of the world’s leading eye hospitals, providing expertise in clinical care, research and education. We have provided excellence in eye care for more than 200 years and we continue to be at the forefront of new breakthroughs and developments. We are an integral part of one of the UK’s first academic health science centres, UCL Partners, and also one of the new academic health science networks. We were one of the first NHS organisations to achieve foundation trust status in 2004.
  • We treat the entire range of eye diseases, from common complaints to rare conditions which require treatments not available anywhere else in the UK. We dealt with more than 528,824 attendances in 2012/13 at our main hospital base in London’s City Road and at 19 other sites in and around the capital, enabling us to provide expert care closer to patients’ homes.
  • With our research partners at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, we run one of the largest ophthalmic research programmes in the world and have the highest measure of scientific productivity and impact in the world for our research activity.
  • For further information, please visit

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