Western Eye Hospital to be expanded alongside building improvements to enable full reopening

We have given the go ahead to a major £9m building project at the Western Eye Hospital. It will allow us to reopen the hospital fully next spring, with additional operating capacity to help tackle the waiting list backlog created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As well as remedial works to address the fire safety issues that led us to take the precautionary step of closing some parts of the hospital last year, the project will deliver:

  • an additional operating theatre, bringing the total to three
  • refurbished pre-assessment areas
  • refurbished pre and post operation areas.

We temporarily relocated many services from the Western Eye to Charing Cross Hospital due to fire risks from the adjacent former Samaritan Hospital building. Services currently provided in the Western Eye building will continue to be provided there during the works. And services that have been relocated temporarily to Charing Cross - including in a mobile operating theatre - will continue there until the works are completed.

The Samaritan and the Western Eye buildings are expected eventually to be sold together to support the Trust’s overall redevelopment programme. This will take several years as it requires us first to be able to permanently relocate the Western Eye services in purpose-designed facilities on another of our sites, as part of the Government’s New Hospital Programme.

Professor Catherine Urch, divisional director for surgery, cardiovascular and cancer, said: “This is a great outcome to what has been a very challenging situation. It means the Western Eye will be able to continue to provide its much valued range of acute and specialist eye care in a greatly improved environment.

“We are extremely grateful to all our staff who have worked so hard to ensure high quality care for patients at all times, and to all our patients and partners for their understanding and support.”