Movers And Shakers And Flying Lasers

A pile of neatly stacked bright blue crates met me in the hall as I opened the front door to the London Vision Clinic at 8 Devonshire Place …maybe for the last time.

Nothing brought home “the move” quite like those blue crates waiting to be filled with office papers and other paraphernalia of the clinic’s life. For instance, one of the crates might well become the temporary home of the carefully wrapped emblematic jar of newly redundant spectacles which has always sat on the receptionists’ desk; possibly the extensive tea selection from the patients’ kitchen might be packed away in another.

Whatever is packed into the crates, I am certain that they won’t be used to move any of the highly sensitive diagnostic and surgical laser equipment from Devonshire Place to the LVC’s new Harley Street home. An extremely specialised and intricately devised procedure awaits these precious items.

So alongside all the usual challenges facing any office move – like making sure that that the phone and computer systems are up and running from the outset– for the London Vision Clinic there is also the need to check that, once in the new premises, that all the sensitive diagnostic equipment is tested and ready for action.

The lasers’ move will be supervised by two specialised engineers who are flying over especially from Carl Zeiss in Germany – one had previously been over ahead of time to measure up and carry out a pre move inspection. These experts will then stay on for two or three days to set up the equipment in the new clinic.

Physically transporting the half a million pounds worth of laser equipment is bound to be a complicated operation.  These two machines (broken down into three main units) go by the names of the Visumax and MEL 80 (Dr Dan advised on the development of the latter which has since been proven by the US FDA trials to be the most accurate laser platform available). The Visumax is so cumbersome that it will have to have its outer “skin” removed to be sure that it will fit.  While talking about “skins”, it is essential and that these highly sophisticated pieces of electronic equipment are protected from any dirt or dust particles on their journey… and don’t even mention the possibility of rain.

It had, apparently been a highly intricate procedure manipulating  the London Vision Clinic’s two huge laser machines into their basement home at Devonshire Place in the first place. Reversing the process – lifting them out, and over the railings (with inches to spare either side) to street level – will be just as tricky. The fit, at either end of the lasers’ journey, will be so tight that even doorframes must be removed to buy the vital extra space necessary.

A special crane (operated by someone with an exceptionally steady hand and nerves of steel) will be used for this most intricate of jobs which will also include positioning them – through an even less convenient basement entrance (with even fewer spare centimetres leeway) at the new premises at 138 Harley Street.

Craig expects – without a doubt – that the toughest part of the experience will be getting the lasers out of Devonshire Place and in to the new Harley Street clinic– once in-situ their calibration and setting up will, apparently, be relatively straight forward.

With all the pre planning in place we can only wish the LVC team good luck with their move. Photos of the flying lasers and other aspects of the move should be posted here soon.