Plans for Sunderland’s iconic £36m Eye Hospital in the city centre have recently moved forward in recent weeks, as South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust have begun asking for the public to give their views on plans ahead of a formal planning application.


We’ve put together a handy guide on everything you need to know about Sunderland’s new Eye Hospital in Sunderland, what it means for the North East and how you can get involved with this generational development… 


Plans to build an iconic new Eye Hospital in the centre of Sunderland as part of the City’s ambitious Riverside Sunderland masterplan were unveiled a few weeks ago. 

Fast-forward a few weeks, and developments are now beginning to move forward as South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust have begun asking people to give their views on proposals for the new Eye Hospital which will be built as part of the City’s ambitious Riverside Sunderland masterplan. 

The state-of-the-art project would see all clinical services currently provided from Sunderland Eye Infirmary be transferred to the facility and be delivered from a new modern, purpose-built environment in a much more accessible City centre location. 

As part of its plans, the Trust is also keen to continue expanding its specialist ophthalmology services in the community through its satellite hubs across South Tyneside, Sunderland and Durham, including the introduction of a new clinic at Cleadon Park Primary Care Centre in South Shields.

Funding for the development has been provided by the local authority and will be repaid by the Trust to allow the relocation of the hospital to a much improved City centre location on the former Vaux site.  


Looking to the future…



The proposed new Eye Hospital will be located in the heart of the City centre and will form a key part of Sunderland City Council’s Riverside Sunderland Masterplan and it would be situated at the western most point of the old Vaux Brewery site. 

Building a brand new Eye Hospital in Sunderland has been part of a strategic plan for a long time for the NHS. 

The NHS Foundation Trust also noted that the current building is now over 75 years old and despite the outstanding care and treatment taking place inside, the current building is no longer fit for purpose and does not provide the best experience for patients or staff.

This new facility was identified as an investment for the long-term in order to bring the hospital environment up to modern day NHS standards and build a state-of-the-art facility to reflect the world class NHS care taking place inside.


What will it look like? 



Ground floor 

The current plans have the ground floor as an open, airy and welcoming space for visitors. 

A feature staircase will provide access to the second floor with lifts to all floors and 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 arriving by public transport. 

The public spaces will include a Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) shop and a pharmacy as well as an Eye Clinic Liaison Office which 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 furry canine friends.


First floor 

All main outpatient clinics will be located on the first floor and will be a reception desk at the top of the stairs and a large waiting area. 

In addition to this, there will be another imaging hub for patients who need to have a scan as well as 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/pram parking. 


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 Galley’s Gill park area and overlook the River Wear. 

A new Ambulatory Care area will be located alongside the ward for patients who need short periods of clinical care and who go home the same day.


A proud history in Sunderland… 


Sunderland Eye Infirmary is an important part of the City’s history and it’s a place that has had an immeasurable impact on our local communities down the years.

The hospital was founded almost two hundred years ago in 1836 and it was originally located in the East End before moving to Crowtree Terrace and then onto Stockton Road in 1893. 

The current building on Queen Alexandra Road was built during the Second World War and before the creation of the NHS.


How can I voice my opinion?



South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust are asking people to give their views on proposals for an iconic new Eye Hospital which will be built as part of the City’s ambitious Riverside Sunderland masterplan.

The Trust is keen to hear from as many people as possible to ensure the new Eye Hospital provides the optimal experience for patients, staff and visitors.

Healthcare leaders have extended the period for people to comment on the plans for building a brand-new, fit-for-purpose Eye Hospital in Sunderland which were announced by South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust in March.

An additional online public information event to gather views has been confirmed and is a chance to find out about the designs, give feedback and ask any questions about the plans for a new Eye Hospital in Sunderland.

The final online engagement event will be hosted by Eye Infirmary staff including a clinician and nurse who have been closely involved in shaping the designs for the new Eye Hospital so far.

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust want to hear from patients, families and carers and the general public to help them shape and refine their plans for the city’s new Eye Hospital. 

You can get involved by the following the link below and completing their online survey here: 

Please note: all images are ‘artist  impressions’ or ‘how the hospital could look’ – the designs may be subject to change due to the ongoing engagement and future public planning consultation by Sunderland City Council.



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