During 2020, staff have worked with architects to develop some early ideas and designs for the proposed new Eye Hospital. Patient
representatives from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) have also helped. This early design work has focused on the patient experience. We want to improve:

  • the patient journey and flow throughout the hospital
  • privacy and dignity for patients, carers and families
  • lighting and sound acoustics within the new building
  • wayfinding, signage and patient waiting areas.

A summary of the proposed layout is included below.

Ground floor

The ground floor will be open, airy and welcoming.  A feature staircase provides access to the second floor with lifts to all floors.  There will be a large welcome desk and two main entrances; one from the car park and the other making access easy for those walking or coming on the bus.  The public spaces will include a Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) shop and a pharmacy.  An ‘Eye Clinic Liaison Office’ will also be located on the ground floor.  This will offer practical help and support for those with sight impairment.  For people attending with a guide dog, there will be a dedicated outdoor area for our furry canine friends.

Clinical services located on the ground floor include the 24/7 Emergency Eye Department (with its own separate entrance) and the Retinal Unit.  This is where patients with macular or retinal disease will attend for regular check-ups and treatment.  There will be an imaging hub so that patients can have scans without going to another floor.  




First floor

All main outpatient clinics will be located on the first floor.  There will be a reception desk at the top of the stairs and a large waiting area.  There will be another imaging hub for patients who need to have a scan.  There will be two treatment rooms for minor procedures that do not require an operating theatre.  Clinics for children will have a separate waiting area with enough space for buggy parking.  There will also be a public and staff restaurant which features an external terrace.  Plans include a faith room and an area for breast feeding.

Second floor

The main inpatient ward and operating theatres will be located on the second floor.  Patients who need to stay in hospital will have their own ensuite bedroom with views across the River Wear and towards the Galley’s Gill park area.  A new Ambulatory Care area will be located alongside the ward.  This is for patients who need short periods of clinical care who go home the same day.  

There will be a new Day of Surgery Admissions (DOSA) Unit with individual rooms. This is where patients who need operations will arrive, have their surgery and then recover before being discharged home. Children who need surgery will have a separate waiting and recovery area.

Third floor

The third floor will be home to our nationally renowned Cataract Treatment Centre (CTC).  Patients who need cataract treatment will have this all delivered on this floor.   This includes all outpatient clinics and surgery.

Education and training facilities will also be located on the third floor.  There will also be admin / office areas for staff.