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Fighting Spirit

For over two centuries, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has been at the forefront of the delivery of ophthalmic care, research and education. The establishment of this single specialty eye hospital was a visionary move by a group of dedicated surgeon oculists – as was the development of ophthalmic subspecialization, which took place at Moorfields during the latter half of the 20th century. The spirit of innovation has remained a core facet of Moorfields’ life and has enabled us to not only survive, but also to flourish. We are now entering perhaps the most exciting phase of our history, with our proposed move into a purpose-built, integrated clinical, research and education facility.

Just as the blight of "military ophthalmoplegia" was the catalyst that led to the founding of Moorfields, the aging demographic and economic downturn are forcing all involved in eye care to deliver services in increasingly innovative ways.

Much of our ground-breaking work, undertaken at the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre alongside our research partner, the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, will be familiar to the readership of The Ophthalmologist – and many of our staff members have featured prominently in the Power Lists. This Moorfields “takeover” issue is a wonderful opportunity for us to demonstrate how research breakthroughs can help shape the future of ophthalmology, and allows us to showcase the broad range of our work, which is made possible thanks to NIHR funding; with such strong support for major research initiatives, we’re able to fast track projects that benefit patients.

But we must acknowledge that new developments in therapeutics and diagnostics will not be enough to meet the looming crisis of increasing demand and diminishing resources. Just as the blight of “military ophthalmoplegia” was the catalyst that led to the founding of Moorfields, the aging demographic and economic downturn are forcing all involved in eye care to deliver services in increasingly innovative ways. Moorfields is active in meeting this challenge – through the upskilling of the ancillary workforce and through more effective, efficient and widespread use of existing technologies, such as virtual clinics and tele-ophthalmology.

Moorfields does not exist in a vacuum and we could not deliver the best care, research and education without collaboration, partnership and dialogue with other providers, universities and commercial entities. Moorfields is now very much an external-facing entity, keen to reflect on and adopt best practices developed elsewhere, as well as encouraging our staff to discover, develop and deliver great advances in their own right. It is my great honor to serve as Moorfields’ Medical Director and to act as guest editor for this issue. I hope the following articles will interest, educate and inspire you.

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About the Author
Nick Strouthidis

Medical Director, Moorfields Eye Hospital

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