Information for GPs

Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS)

Minor eye conditions such as red eyes, dry eye, flashes and floaters, foreign bodies etc can be referred to one of the MECS accredited optometry practices. You can search for practices providing MECS here:

Cataract Referrals

All cataracts referrals should be directed through the enhanced service pathway to ensure that the patient is counselled on the risks and benefits, meets the referral criteria and requires and wants surgery. If a referral is sent to you from an optometrist out of the area, please send the patient to one of the accredited optometrists with a copy of the referral letter.

You can search for practices providing cataract referral here:

Macular Degeneration

Wet AMD is an urgent condition. Optometrists in the area should be referring directly to the WetAMD service. If you received a standard referral for this condition, you should fax it to Optegra on 0161 240 0799. You may also phone 0161 240 0700 to confirm receipt of the referral.

If you feel one of your patients has wetAMD you can refer direct to Optegra using this form. The patient must meet the referral criteria and the referral should include visual acuity. If you don't have this information or are not sure of the reason for recent vision problems you can send urgently to MECS for differential diagnosis and onward referral if required.

Referral information for the patient is available here.

Suspect OHT (ocular hypertension)

If you receive a standard referral from an optometrist not participating in the enhanced service then the patient needs to be referred routinely to the HES for assessment.

Routine Referrals

If there are concerns or questions about routine optometry referrals then please contact the referring optometrists who will be happy to help.

More information about specific referral pathways is available on the dedicated page here.

Patient Information

There are various patient information leaflets about eye conditions available here.

Your own patients

If you have a patient experiencing vision problems not of acute onset; if for example you suspect dry macular degeneration or headaches due to eyestrain, the patient may just need a sight test and the hospital eye service does not provide this. It is best to send these patients for a sight test with a community optometrist. This may be private or NHS depending on their age and circumstances. If they are eligible for NHS sight tests a doctor can send them for one even if they are not due for a test under the normal rules governing sight test intervals. The optometrist will write to you if they need further referral. The NHS will pay for a sight test for the following groups of patients: