Optegra Eye Health Care, which operates six specialist eye hospitals across the UK, held a ceremony last week (5 November) to celebrate the opening of its new flagship hospital in London’s famous Harley Street medical district.
The state-of-the-art Optegra Eye Hospital London, on Queen Anne Street, occupies six floors of two adjacent houses and will open its doors on 14 December after two years of development.
Behind the Edwardian and Victorian facades, the buildings have been transformed into specialist ophthalmic facilities, offering a spectrum of procedures led by renowned consultant ophthalmic surgeons.
The £13m investment in the hospital design and build, as well as the latest technologies, mean that Optegra will offer a full laser suite, medical ophthalmology rooms, ophthalmic theatres and an 11-bed ward in central London. The new treatments include the latest laser eye surgery ReLEx SMILE, which is a bladeless, flapless, minimally invasive alternative.
The first surgical patients have already booked in to the new hospital for retinal transplants in January.
Explaining to OT that the new hospital would have a “boutique hotel feel,” director of the hospital, optometrist Amy Richardson, added: “We appreciate that patients can be nervous and sometimes frightened about eye surgery, so we have created a calming, relaxed space.
“Although we are bursting with medical equipment, in parts it does not feel like a hospital at all. We will do everything in our power to make the whole experience as pleasurable as possible.”
She added: “Our brief was very much to create a stunning environment once people step through our doors, capturing the high quality of our service through the optimum standards of design, materials and experience.”
At the launch celebration on the 42nd floor of The Leadenhall Building in London, the 240 guests heard that the new hospital aims to offer “the A to Z of eye health care,” from vision correction options such as laser eye surgery and lens replacement, through to medical treatments for conditions such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, floaters, retinal tears and glaucoma, as well as hoping to provide stem cell transplants in the future.
The new hospital will also be offering ‘innovative services’ such as a telemedicine service for optometrists wanting advice on optical coherence technology images.
There will also be a low vision aid service to help patients maximise their remaining vision, as well as a vision counselling service run in conjunction with the Royal National Institute of Blind People to help patients come to terms with their vision loss.
The new hospital has clinical and non-clinical areas, to help patients feel calm and relaxed. Each aspect of the layout has been created to flow and to put patients’ needs at the heart of the design. For example, diabetic patients will have all of the necessary diagnostics and treatments carried out on one floor.
Light is maintained throughout the open floor space through the extensive use of glass, with opaque areas to ensure patient privacy.
One of the key spaces within the hospital is the patient pods on the third floor. Patients are provided with their own dedicated spaces which they will occupy for the duration of their stay, both pre and post-operatively.
Managing director for Optegra Eye Health Care UK, Rory Passmore, highlighted at the celebration that optometrists referring patients out of their practice would see continuity of care, with a letter to them from the hospital explaining what treatment had been given and that patient referred back to the practice.
Mr Passmore said: “We believe that our new hospital in central London shows that modern, innovative eye healthcare can be delivered in stunning, first class surroundings without compromising on impeccable customer service, which is core to everything we do.”
He concluded: “This hospital opening marks a key development for the business and an investment which reflects our success both in the UK and internationally.”