Moorfields Eye Hospital will be featured in a unique documentary series created by the BBC to spotlight the pioneering work of NHS hospitals.
‘How the NHS changed our world’ is a five-part series, with each episode focusing on the life-changing work done by NHS hospitals around the country. Moorfields Eye Hospital has been selected as the London based trust to feature and the programme showcases Moorfields’ work with the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre and the research funding support provided by Moorfields Eye Charity.
In the episode, the BBC and Dr Oscar Duke will embark on a journey to look at how Moorfields Eye Hospital has transformed eye care and saved the sight of millions of patients. Himself a patient at Moorfields since the age of three, Dr Duke explores how the 1960s and 70s transformed Moorfields from a general eye hospital to a specialist centre of excellence. A lot of the advances shown throughout the episode are thanks to philanthropic support which has enabled Moorfields Eye Charity to fund important equipment and research.
During the episode, Dr Oscar Duke is given exclusive access to witness a cutting-edge treatment for Moorfields patient, James O’Brien. The victim of an acid attack 24 years ago, Mr O’Brien is blind in one eye as a result of the attack, which burnt the surface of his right eye. In the episode he undergoes stem cell treatment, which involves taking a small biopsy from his healthy eye to repopulate the damaged eye. The procedure, carried out by consultant ophthalmic surgeon Saj Ahmad, has taken 20 years to develop. Mr Ahmad joined Moorfields in 2016, enabled by an award from Moorfields Eye Charity to underpin the research portion of his post and for research expenses to help catapult his research programme. He set out to develop further stem cell based treatments for blinding diseases of the cornea, and is now performing this procedure as a result of this research.
Dr Duke chats with consultants from across Moorfields about some of the other pioneering work being done, including Pearse Keane who talks about the use of artificial intelligence in diagnosing eye conditions, Mark Wilkins who discusses how cataract surgery has evolved over the years and Mariya Moosajee who explains how examining zebrafish can help in developing gene therapy treatments in humans. A significant philanthropic donation has allowed the charity to support Mariya in this exciting research.
‘How the NHS changed our world’ will be aired on Wednesday 20 June at 7pm on BBC One London and Wednesday 27 June at 7pm on BBC Two. You can watch the episode following this on BBC iPlayer.
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