7 August 2008
Moorfields joining Europe's largest academic health science partnership
Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust today announced that it is one of the five world-renowned medical research centres and hospitals that are coming together in London to create what will be Europe's leading health research powerhouse.
By pooling resources and expertise, the new academic science health partnership - to be known as UCL Partners - will be able to produce more world-class research in nine key areas, including ophthalmology, and deliver the benefits more rapidly to patients.
"Working within a wider network of academic and healthcare organisations will undoubtedly be beneficial," says Moorfields chief executive John Pelly. "In particular, it will give us a greater voice in accessing research funding and developing new treatments for people with visual impairments.
"We already enjoy a very strong relationship with our research partners at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, and we believe that the new partnership will enable us to enhance this further - at the same time as exploring links with other academic partners.
"Moreover, we are looking forward to the opportunities offered by the partnership to enhance Moorfields' existing excellent reputation for eye care and research, for which we are rightly recognised locally, nationally and internationally."
Professor Phil Luthert, Director of the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, adds: "This development flows with a compelling logic from the growing integration and alignment of so many notable healthcare and biomedical research institutions in this sector of London over recent years.
"It is a great opportunity to facilitate the channelling of the partners' phenomenal resources into specific thematic programmes that will bring innovation to the community. Our successes in ophthalmology to date will only be enhanced by closer working with leading investigators in other areas of biomedical research."
As well as Moorfields, UCL Partners will comprise:
- UCL (University College London), which is one of the world's top ten universities, and rated as the best UK university for health research;
- Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust (GOSH), the world-class children's hospital, which has the broadest range of paediatric specialists under one roof anywhere in the UK;
- The Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, whose clinical transplant unit (a partnership with UCL and UCLH) is one of the largest in Europe and
- University College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which together with UCL forms one of the largest partnerships for biomedical research in Europe.
UCL Partners, which together treat around one million patients every year, will support around 3,500 scientists, senior researchers and clinicians, with an expected annual turnover of around two billion. It will focus initially on ten areas of research, each of which poses a major health challenge: the nervous system, children's health, heart disease, transplantation, immunology, ophthalmology, deafness and hearing impairment, dental and oral disease, cancer and women's health.
UCL Partners will build on existing strong links between member organisations, which have already led to medical breakthroughs or improved access to treatment. The development, funding and delivery of UCL Partners' services and associated research programmes will be overseen and coordinated by a board of directors whose members will comprise representatives of the partner organisations. This partnership will not change the terms or conditions of employment of anyone working for any of the organisations concerned.