Plymouth’s REI (formerly known as the Royal Eye Infirmary) has taken a step closer to a new home in 2022, with the submission of planning application for a purpose-built development on William Prance Road.
The proposed three-floor facility will bring together outpatient and surgical eye treatments, which are currently provided at Derriford Hospital. If the planning application is successful, it is anticipated that the new REI could receive its first patient in the second half of 2022.
When asked about the new development, Future Hospital Director Stuart Windsor said “We are very pleased that plans to move the REI to its own purpose-built facility are progressing. The new build will give the REI a home for the foreseeable future and allow us to deliver enhanced ophthalmic care away from the Derriford Hospital site.
“Vacating a large space within the acute site allows us to re-think some of our existing services and how we can utilise the current REI footprint as additional wards and clinical spaces going forward.”
The proposed new site offers improved access for patients with a drop-off zone and parking immediately outside of the building. The internal plans include an increased number of treatment rooms and an expanded area for young patients.
Last summer, two new modular theatres were installed at Derriford Hospital, following investment from the NHS Elective Recovery Fund to address the major impact of covid on hospital waiting times.
The modular builds are proposed to be repurposed at the new site along with the addition of a third operating theatre. This additional theatre will be dedicated to sub-specialisms, such as oculoplastic, orbital and corneal surgeries, to reduce the waiting times of patients from across Devon and Cornwall.
The Trust has worked closely with Plymouth City Council who have agreed to lease the site to the NHS and now awaits the results of the planning application process. The proposals are earmarked for a large plot on the Plymouth International Medical and Technology Park at Derriford next to the site of Plymouth’s newest district shopping centre.
A planning application was submitted for a new retail park at the end of last year to develop the former Seaton Barracks including big brands such as Marks & Spencer (M&S) Foodhall and Aldi. This area of land at Derriford is owned by the Council and its development has been a key strategic objective for the Council.